Imagine Dragons – Smoke + MirrorsCultureMusicAlbum reviews
Imagine Dragons’ folklore tells of hours playing in casinos devoid of natural light, to drunk and indifferent slot-machine zombies. It’s an admirable place to have come from to where they stand now – with a platinum album, a monstrously successful debut single and a song written specially for Transformers: Age of Extinction under their belts. So what of their new album, Smoke + Mirrors?
It has all the catchy hooks and crashing percussion you might expect, and it doesn’t take many listens to find yourself singing along loudly with the first track, Shots, as if it’s a well-known anthem of the 00s. Imagine Dragons have got a real knack for finding that part of your brain that holds memory and stroking it seductively to the point where you’re completely convinced that these songs are part of a musical history underpinning a generation, and that you’ve heard them hundreds of times before. Perhaps you have. The album is built on such familiar beats and rousing choruses that maybe that’s exactly what it’s trying to do – nestle its way into musical folklore without the requisite test of time and lasting popularity. It achieves it quite well.
There are, of course, less rousing moments. Dream is not the most interesting track on the album, to say the least. Rhyming “night” with “night” was always going to be a problem, and although the diversity of Dan Reynold’s voice in this track is worthy of celebration, the track itself falls a bit flat; a disappointing attempt at soulfulness in an otherwise buoyant album.
Reynold’s voice is the triumph of Smoke + Mirrors, his range is fully explored across 13 tracks of seemingly entirely different genres (Trouble, for example, sounds more like Mumford & Sons than they do) and he comes away from it victorious. Being able to successfully adapt your voice to the whims of modern musical popularity can’t be a bad thing in the current climate, and Reynolds does so with an energy and enthusiasm that will have Imagine Dragons drawing in stadium-fuls of fans for a while to come.
Smoke + Mirrors was released on 17th February 2015, for further information visit here.
Watch the video for Shots here: