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6-Point Reference Program for War on Drugs – “Lost in the Dream”

Stream the War on Drugs' New Album Lost in the Dream

by Jeff Yerger

In case you haven’t heard, the War on Drugs’ excellent new album Lost in the Dream comes out next week. It’s a breath-taking piece of epic vagabond classic rock that was recorded in Philadelphia but sounds like it belongs to Anywhere, U.S.A. It’s an emotional album that relentlessly tugs at the heart strings while evoking heavy doses of nostalgia, familiarity, and warmth. All I want to do is live in this album and never return.

Already, music lovers have Lost in the Dream perched at #1 on their year-end lists, even though it’s, well, March. Needless to say, you’re going to hear A LOT about it, even if you haven’t listened to it yet, spoilers be damned. If you haven’t listened to it yet, conversations with your musically inclined friends are going to suck! You’ll have nothing to do but sip on your 16oz PBR can while your friends jabber on about the pure magic they felt listening to album standouts “Red Eyes,” “Burning” and “Eyes to the Wind,” or the tears they cried when they heard “An Ocean In Between the Waves” and “Suffering.” This isn’t hyperbole; this album is THAT real.

Yet, in between the outright song-gushing, one of the main things will undoubtedly come up when talking about Lost in the Dream is the massive amount of influences the album wears on its sleeve. Some are pretty subtle while others are about as subtle as an oncoming freight train, and if you want to join in the conversation without actually hearing the album first, you’re going to want to be able to name drop. So, I have come up with a list of all the artists/bands/sounds that Lost in the Dream references. Think of it as a 6-point plan for your license to talk about Lost in the Dream. You’ll need at least 6 points to successfully talk about the album without hearing it, including at least 1 primary reference and 1 secondary reference. This will at least give off the impression to your friends that you know your shit; it’ll be a primary license, if you will. In order to receive your FULL license to talk, you must actually, you know, listen to the album… which you should… because it’s great.

Here is the 6-Point Lost In the Dream references program:

Primary References (choose at least 1)

4 Point References:

  • Dire Straits
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Tom Petty
  • Don Henley

3 Point References:

  • Bob Dylan
  • The Eagles
  • Bob Seger
  • Richard Marx
  • Bryan Adams

2 Point References:

  • Peter Frampton
  • Sting
  • Fleetwood Mac

Secondary References (choose at least 1)

3 Point References

  • “Walk of Life” by Dire Straits
  • “Against the Wind” – Bob Seger
  • “Dancing in the Dark” – Bruce Springsteen
  • That guitar solo from “Lines on My Face” by Peter Frampton. Man, that was awesome guitar solo. Peter Frampton is a highly underrated guitarist. Dude, what? Seriously. Have you even listened to Frampton Comes Alive? That shit is awesome.
  • “Touch of Grey” by Grateful Dead… which makes sense, since they cover it
  • The Travelling Wilburys, if Jeff Lynne wasn’t in the band but David Crosby was
  • Oh, and “End of the Innocence” by Don Henley

2 Point References:

  • post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd
  • the singer’s voice on here kiiiinda sounds like Peter Gabriel, at times
  • Roxy Music
  • Neil Young, maybe?
  • 80’s Eric Clapton
  • 80’s Steve Winwood
  • Pre-80’s George Harrison
  • That song… oh, what’s the name of it… uhh… shit, this is going to bother me all night… I wanna say it’s by R.E.M.? No, no, that’s not it. Wait… uh… damnit!
  • The National
  • What the Killers wish Sam’s Town sounded like
  • What Brandon Flowers wishes his solo album sounded like
  • What Bono thought Rattle & Hum would sound like

1 Point References:

  • Kurt Vile

Lost in the Dream is out March 18 via Secretly Canadian