Before, when I heard the words ‘Imagine Dragons’, I would have conjured up images of mythological, scaly and fire-breathing beasts who have had their fair share of film and television appearances. Now I think of an indie rock band hailing from Las Vegas, who released their debut album earlier this year.
Imagine Dragons’ first foray, Night Visions, is chock-full of assorted musical endeavours. The whimsical album title is appropriate, since each song is rather different from the last. Just like your own personal night visions, this album leaves you somewhere between clarity and “WTF?”. The track listing is like the little metal ball in the pinball machine, pinging back and forth between dubstep, pop, folk and rock. Above all else, it certainly makes for a satisfying and interesting listen.
The opening track ‘Radioactive’ is the perfect example of what I just described. It starts slightly folksy and ethereal, similar to something you would hear from the Fleet Foxes. Then it explodes, beating down in a mix of dubstep and hip-hop, while the haunting melody is still faintly heard in the background. The combination is addictive and innovative, and promoted me to listen over and over again in order to really figure it out. This is a welcoming experience for me, since most of the music that is presented to us these days can be rather superficial.
Other tracks, such as ‘Demons’ and ‘Underdog’ continue to use this folk/hip-hop/dubstep formula, while ‘Hear Me’ and ‘Amsterdam’ are definitely more rock-oriented, striking comparisons to The Strokes and The Editors. These are then interspersed and even more diversified by the sweet, indie-pop chords of ‘On Top of the World’ and ‘It’s Time’.
So it would seem, Imagine Dragons would have something for everyone’s musical appetite. By simply listening to the eleven track album, you genre-hop like crazy, getting your cultural fill, as well as meeting your fitness quota, because head-bopping, hand-clapping and hip-swaying will ensue soon after.