Imagine Dragons breathes fire on success with new album

by Danny Bush

Imagine Dragons has captured their unique and fun sound almost flawlessly again with the release of Smoke + Mirrors on February 17. This band, who continues to remain remarkably hidden from the spotlight, has lit hearts on fire with another album of anthem rock. It caters to many and is overall a successful attempt, if not quite as catchy as Night Visions.

The lyrics, if paid attention to, seem to highlight much of lead singer Dan Reynold’s past. The first line in the album is an apology. He speaks of woes he encountered while serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They convey a message of honesty and self-reflection with which nearly any listener could identify.

What I’m most excited to see is how this band will fair in the stage. Imagine Dragon’s has a spectacular and adrenaline-fueled stage show. They brought the heat with the Night Visions tour and I hope they bring a double dose with their next tour.

Though the lyrics and mood has changed with the new album, the style has not. Imagine Dragons is still the anthem singing group that hit the charts by storm in 2012. Reynold’s brings his powerhouse vocals to the forefront of the band again but it at times they seem drowned out by several layers of beat and tone added into the recordings.

The band’s fun, easy-going and catchy way of writing music is sometimes overshadowed by the bells and whistles found in each song. But, they are perhaps one of the most genuine groups to grace this decade. Anyone can like their music and everyone should at least go see them live.

It seems to be the standard that a sequel never quite measures up to the first. This applies to Smoke + Mirrors. Luckily for the band, they are providing us, at the very least, with more of what we love.

The low point of this album is the song “Polaroid,” which doesn’t fit the band’s vibe well. Reynold’s switches from high, belted lyrics to a lower register. It makes the song less interesting and makes my attention run short.

I like Imagine Dragons; they’re one of my favorite bands of all time. Yet, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason. They’re simply different. They come off as incredibly passionate about the music and to hardly give a care about the money or fame.

They entertain and they create. They’re not afraid to write about whatever they want. When I listened to their music, I feel empowered. I feel like I want to yell and be heard. Imagine Dragon’s has a charm that fills its audience with optimism and confidence. This charm remains in Smoke + Mirrors and I think that it’ll continue to develop.

Check this album out. It entertains and catches the ear. If not, at least go see the band perform live.

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