Imagine Dragons

Smoke + Mirrors

Written by: HES on 12/03/2015 20:36:50

It's hard to say if it's fair to be disappointed in Imagine Dragons - because it became quite apparent while watching the band grow to massive proportions since their break-through record "Night Vision" that the band's live appearances became more and more lethargic and predictable. "Smoke + Mirrors" follows up on that general feeling of lethargy and finally snuffs the band's ambition of breaking the mold out with radio-friendly, made-for-stadiums songs with no real merit or direction other than the one straight to the one-use music scene.

Whereas "Night Visions" mainly disappointed after the dystopian single "Radioactive", it still had this catchy and uplifting theme that made it sing-in-the-shower friendly. "Smoke and Mirrors" lacks the song-writing finesse that made "Night Vision" annoyingly catchy. The drumwork that carried both the former album and the live-sessions is completely drowned in the mix of songs like "Trouble" and now instead only serves as a gimmick rather than an actual musical element. And albeit some songs still utilize interesting rhythm like the walzy "Gold" or glockenspiel-sporting "Polaroid" it still sounds like another stillborn baby from the Kanye-oriented music industry.

Redeeming qualities are far in between, but the power-pop anthem "I'm So Sorry" is at least heading somewhere in the same direction as "Radioactive" did, with a decent guitar hook and a yelling-choir. But honestly we're still miles from where this band could've made it. Instead the album screams for stadiums and hardly works without them. It seems the band just needed to put something out there so they could continue appearing on any and all festivals, talk shows and Grammy Awards. So the question was again if it was really fair to be disappointed in Imagine Dragons for following the lucrative trajectory they were thrown on? I think not. The writing was on the wall ages ago, it was just easy to miss if you had an agenda of music being something more than just a pastime or background noise. I will anytime admit that I have that agenda, but Imagine Dragons don't. So we'll part ways as friends - the most platonic of way-partings - as I predict that a band like this will slowly remove itself from the rock moniker.

5

Download: I’m So Sorry, I Bet My Life
For the fans of: Kings of Leon, The Killers, Walk The Moon
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.02.2015
Interscope Records

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