Imagine Dragons Releases Third Album

When their first album, Night Visions, was released in September of 2012, Imagine Dragons quickly started amassing a fanbase.  There are very few albums that not only grab, but retain my interest for months and years to come.  Night Visions did that in extraordinary fashion for me and many others and is still a record I go back to frequently.  Roughly three years later, the band came out with its sophomore album, Smoke + Mirrors.  For whatever reason, I never connected with it.  Nothing jumped out and grabbed me and I always found its debut track, “I Bet My Life,” to be rather noisy.  Critics were split on the record and I was bummed.  Still, it went gold in the U.S. and was successful overseas.  However, my musical concern grew.  Could they be the proverbial rookie flash-in-the-pan?  A one-and-done?

Fast forward to June 23, 2017 when Imagine Dragons released their third major studio album, Evolve.  Three tracks were available on iTunes in May ahead of the album’s full release.  If anything happened after listening to ‘Whatever It Takes, ‘Thunder’ and ‘Believer’, it’s that the album’s namesake echoed repeatedly with me in being drawn back to the band’s creativity.  The first song on the record, ‘I Don’t Know Why’, wastes no time in identifying the band’s intentions on Evolve.  A synthesizer provides a bit of an 80’s flavor to introduce the beat before blending into lead singer Dan Reynolds’ commanding vocals.  The song is disciplined yet aggressive and magnificently sets the tone for what’s to come on the album as a whole.

The seventh track, ‘Yesterday’ displays the band’s versatility as I can’t help but think of Queen’s unconventionality  when the song plays.  It conducts a waltz-like melody paired with rock overtones that all add up to a sound reminiscent of the aforementioned Freddie Mercury-led powerhouse.  How they can pound out a teeth-clenching, adrenaline-laced song like ‘Believer’ one minute and belt out something like ‘Yesterday’ in the same performance is proof of their talent.

Further displaying their varying sounds is the contrast of songs like ‘Start Over’ with its enchanting intro that sounds like a pan flute set to a pop beat, against the ballad ‘Dancing in the Dark’ utilizing fade-in/fade-out vocals and subtle instrumentation.  Dare I forget about the machine gun lyrics on ‘Whatever It Takes’ that soar into the chorus and the electronic background of ‘Mouth of the River’ the further cement the buffet of tunes found on Evolve?  This audio diversity is all just very representative of the sound and feel of album. How would I best describe Evolve?  In a word…enthralling.




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