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It sounds glib to say so, but Lost in the Dream, the third LP from The War On Drugs, is just like its breakthrough album Slave Ambient, only more so. Essentially a classic rock band coming off a hell of an acid trip, the Philly act strains melodies straight off a Tom Petty or Paul McCartney record through a gauzy web of ambient psychedelia. The difference between Dream and prior work is that this is simply an improvement on all fronts. Leader Adam Granduciel writes more tightly crafted songs and, significantly, sings them better than he ever has before. The band shows off the whipcrack efficiency of two years on the road, even on the longer, more mysterious tunes. “Suffering” and the title track essay spacey ballads that sound like late night transmissions from the satellite heart. “Under the Pressure” and “An Ocean In Between the Waves” drive through the cosmos straight into the heart of the sun. “Red Eyes” and the surprisingly lovely “Eyes to the Wind” explore TWOD’s version of pop. “The Haunting Idle” goes straight for sheer, ghostly atmosphere. The closer “In Reverse” puts in all together for a transcendent wave of psychedelic rock. It’s a testament to Granduciel’s control over his vision that he can do the same thing on this LP that he did on the last, and still make it a stronger showing.
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