The War on Drugs’ third album, however, presents no easy remedy for his inner turmoil. If the mesmerizing motorik hum of Slave Ambient gave Granduciel an outlet to escape his problems, Lost in the Dream is where he pulls a U to survey the emotional wreckage. While his former War on Drugs compadre Kurt Vile is forever Walking On A Pretty Daze, Granduciel has been sleepless through some ugly nights.
This tension is inescapable. Whether it’s the hair-raising, Autobahn-blazing charge of “An Ocean In Between the Waves” or the Positively South Street sway of “Eyes of the Wind”, Granduciel’s litany of worries are laid bare here, free of any textural interference or obfuscation. And the comparatively direct lyrics mirror the new approach to incorporating some of Granduciel’s more unfashionable influences. As ever, totemic figures like Dylan and Springsteen cast a long shadow over the War on Drugs’ terrain, but Granduciel is the sort of classic-rock purist who wore out the grooves of those artists’ most canonical albums so long ago that he now finds fresher inspiration in their less lauded 80s discography.