The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream
Critic Score
Based on 42 reviews
2014 Ratings: #10 / 1019
Year End Rank: #1
User Score
2014 Ratings: #19
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Time Out London

It’s no small feat to make rock music sound this fresh nowadays. Amid the hordes of bands pulling the same old tired moves, thank god for The War On Drugs.


It's a near flawless collection of dreamy vibes, shifting moods, and movement, and stands easily as Granduciel's finest hour so far.

The Line of Best Fit

The record coalesces elegantly nonetheless, forming a flawless, ethereal artistic statement by a band who has clearly refined and perfected their craft.

Consequence of Sound

The more you spin it, the more you wear out that thin needle of your record player, you realize that Granduciel is discovering the problems of his life, not figuring them out or even reflecting on them. This all makes for an album that truly sounds like it’s coming to life.


It’s a tender, inviting, consoling, comforting record that you’ll play again and again (stoned or not). In short, Lost In The Dream is perfect in every way.


Lost in the Dream is a sad record, but it’s also a hopeful one, enriched by the journey of its own heartbreak and the possibilities that remain.

A.V. Club

On Lost In The Dream, The War On Drugs provides the darkness, and fans are just lucky enough to listen.


Simultaneously spare and just as fully fleshed out as it needs to be, Dream is a perfect distillation of Granduciel's wide-open claustrophobia. The sound is more expansive than ever, even as its maker's songs seem more personal and less universal.


Like Slave Ambient, the indie-rockers’ third album repeatedly slips in and out of focus, while maintaining the yearning for forward momentum present in all of his work.


With their third album, the War on Drugs continue to recreate classic rock in their own image and in doing so they created a classic album of their own.


2011’s ‘Slave Ambient’ may have been a cult success, but this follow-up is a fast-flowing gully to mainstream domination. 


What at first seemed like a fairly straightforward, traditionalist roots-rock exercise has very gradually, very subtly blossomed into something wondrous and profound.

Under The Radar

Though clearly there's a significant amount of work going into their music, it manages to sound effortless. 

Pretty Much Amazing

It’s nerves are uneasy, but Lost in the Dream stands as Granduciel’s most open-armed record yet, filled to the gills with selfdom and sprawling musicality. 

NOW Magazine

The lyrics are buried and impressionistic, referencing disappearing, darkness and an inability to see. The album may have been borne in a fog, but the result finds Granduciel on the other side of the murk.


Right to the final decayed note, Lost In The Dream is a triumph of emotive feel amid neurotic detail: immaculately conceived big music for little people.

The Guardian

The decaying guitars and analogue synthesisers create a crepuscular melancholy. These are impassioned songs, but they steer clear of Bruce's bombast or lighters-aloft choruses.

The Skinny

The listener is constantly reminded that this is an expansive modern rock record, stuffed with big hooks and a crisp production

The Independent

It retains their signature blend of folk-rock songcraft and miasmic guitar-drone textures, but in a more purposive manner.

The Observer

Lost… maintains a kind of motorik languor throughout, turning 80s arena rock into something much more intriguing.


Richly melodic and possessing a classicist pop sensibility, this is rock music with soul.

Slant Magazine

Granduciel is clearly still drawn to his rock roots, but as the gap between him and those influences widens, it become suffused with anxiety and dread, the sort of existential ambivalence that Lost in the Dream masterfully conveys with its vast distorted spaces.

Loud and Quiet

‘Lost In The Dream’ embodies a big-hearted Americana, one that trades the knotted complexity of the quotidian for a wistful, widescreen beauty.


Lost in the Dream pushes rock music forward—it isn’t the mirror of supposed better times that lesser bands make because they can’t or don’t want to locate their own voice.

American Songwriter

Lost In The Dream doubles down on its predecessor’s adventurous side, and it’s War On Drugs’ most engrossing album thus far.


Previous album 'Slave Ambient' seemed to push The War on Drugs on to a new level: 'Lost In A Dream' takes them even higher. From the misty cover to the dreamy rhythms and hazy melodies, it’s an album that lives up to its title. 

Drowned in Sound

Lost In The Dream is an instant salve to the shittiness of modern life, an album that would sound as though it could have been made anytime in the last five decades were it not so immaculately produced

No Ripcord

They most certainly have created something special over the 15 months or so the album took to piece together.

Northern Transmissions

It’s a union between longtime engineer Jeff Zeigler and principal songwriter Adam Granduciel whose result is a ten track outing branded with the Philly native’s perfectionist watermark as the two seamlessly weave bar room piano, pedal steel, and seasoned vocals with enough drifting effects to fill whatever space comes between.

The 405

By the end, Lost In The Dream is similarly as sprawling and textured as its predecessor, harnessing the affirming, heartfelt sentiments without becoming corny or meek (mostly). 

The Needle Drop

The new War On Drugs album is a winning combination of psychedelic rock, krautrock, folk, and Americana--just like the band's last album, but better.


Singer Adam Granduciel piles his blue collar mystic lyricism atop a rush of eddying rhythms and tones that feature Robbie Bennett's keyboards more prominently than ever.

Rolling Stone

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.


While this record doesn’t really offer anything profound, most of the time it’s actually quite underwhelming lyrically. It does do one thing exceptionally, and that’s the atmosphere. The sound here is so comforting. It encapsulates the feeling of finally overcoming something, it leaves you hopeful. While I might not be head over heels over Adam Granduciel’s writing, I still appreciate his voice and tone. His performance sonically is amazing, i just wish there was more ... read more


The Time Machine.

You'll read here and there that The War on Drugs is a "dad rock" band. Some will write it as a pejorative thing, others as a compliment. In any case, the notion remains relative. Logically, from one generation to the next, the rock listened to by fathers changes in pace. We're talking here about the rock of American parents in the 70s, it's Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Neil Young, a bit of Bob Dylan in certain intonations. But it's also tons of more or less ... read more


It grew on me. And continued to grow. Still growing.


If I could live in a sound: The Album

Okay this genuinely is such a beautiful record. Like it’s the perfect blend of an atmosphere, a certain sort of nostalgia, and fantastic songwriting. Front to back I am captivated, and each song feels so memorable and genuine. Im honestly surprised it doesn’t run out of steam considering it’s hour long runtime. Red Eyes genuinely would probably make it into my top 50 songs of all time, which is kinda saying a lot considering the amount of ... read more


Under The Pressure & Red Eyes is one of the most underrated one-two punches of any tracklist EVER. Adam Granduciel is a master of guitar tones.


From the getgo, it was like listening to everything The Killers would have been, but simply couldn't be.

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Added on: December 4, 2013