Imagine Dragons: Smoke + Mirrors

imagine dragonsImagine Dragons
Smoke + Mirrors
(Interscope Records/KIDinaKORNER)

Buy it at Amazon!

Whatever you think about Imagine Dragons’ sound, you can’t deny that they do their thing rather well. Shouty rock bombast mixes with hip hop beats and electronics to give the band their signature style. Smoke + Mirrors isn’t a huge departure from the band’s debut, Night Visions, but there are more organic songs here and glimmers of why this sort of music can be so popular.

“I Bet My Life” is a track that will be familiar to most from appearing in commercials, but the song has a Mumford & Sons style of folk in the verses before the bellowed chorus kicks in. “I’m So Sorry” is unapologetic rock ‘n’ roll with a big beat, fuzzy bass, and distorted guitar. After about two minutes, piano and falsetto kick in to lend the song a Queen vibe before the chorus comes back only to be followed by a crazy ten second riff. It’s strange, but it’s so bold that it works. “Trouble” sounds like a Coldplay song with more pop sensibility and percussion, but that’s a good thing.

If there’s one complaint to be made about Smoke + Mirrors, it’s that the album is largely capable. The mix of electronic sensibilities with guitar rock is interesting, but it all sounds so immense that it can be hard to focus on any song in particular. None of the songs bothered me except the weird Bollywood “Friction,” even if few rose above my expectations as well. Still, Imagine Dragons show that they have staying power and more hits up their sleeve, and that’s something to be admired.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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