It’s rare to hear a rock album that feels classic without feeling derivative and irrelevant.
The woozy, comedown grooves of ‘Lost in the Dream’ by The War on Drugs is just such a beast. It’s an album of long drawn out tracks that swing along without dragging.
Like the last album from fellow Philadelphia native Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs album has a wistful quality harking back to another time of greater promise and opportunity.
Rivers, roads and railroads tracks are the only things in this world that are going anywhere. The people that inhabit this landscape are in the words of lead singer Adam Granduciel ‘Standing in the wake of pain/ and we stare straight into nothin’/but we’re covered all the same.’
Bummer. Thankfully the album isn’t a downer as the band ennobles the people and places they sing about with rousing hooks and choruses.
This is the album Springsteen might have made if he were 40 years younger.
Many will point to the albums backward looking old school aesthetic as prove of its lack of relevance but for me this album is one of the very few contemporary albums that manages to reflect the mood of blue collar middle America