Lost in the Dream

The War on Drugs make archetypal road-trip music: shimmering, steady, gritty as pavement and open as the sky. Longer on instrumental texture than songwriting, their third album recasts the blue-collar fantasias of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen as earthy ambient music, better to soak in than to scrutinize. As usual with T.W.O.D., these songs are only as good as their grooves: Seven-minutes-plus songs like "In Reverse" and "An Ocean in Between the Waves" have enough locomotion to go twice as long, while slower tracks like "Suffering" are deadwood in search of a spark.

From The Archives Issue 1206: April 10, 2014
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