Imagine Dragons - Night Vision

imagine-dragons.jpg

Sometime last year, after Alex Clare’s hit “Too Close” was featured in a Microsoft commercial, another, similar sounding song caught my attention.  It was called “Radioactive.”

At first, I assumed that this was just some copycat band or artist trying to ride the wave of dubstep’s popularity, with nothing more than dubstep to offer... Today, I am happy to say that I was dead wrong.  The band that created that dangerously catchy tune is called Imagine Dragons, and they kick ass.

Hailing from the famous Las Vegas, Nevada, Imagine Dragons is a four-piece comprised of frontman Dan Reynolds, bassist Ben McKee, guitarist Daniel Sermon, and drummer Dan Platzman.  They rose to fame in early 2011, after their song “It’s Time” became a bonafide hit, staying in the Top 10 for Alternative Rock for over 30 weeks.

Their sound is a bit hard to nail down, but here is how I see it: it’s a really eclectic, powerful mixture of Mumford & Sons, fun., The Lumineers, and AWOLNATION.

Their debut studio album, Night Visions, was produced by up-and-coming producer Alex da Kid, a producer with quite the impressive pop and hip-hop backgrounds.  The effect of this relationship was to make Night Visions a truly differentiated rock record.  It’s no surprise, then, that two of the tracks went platinum, while the album went gold (an increasingly rare occurrence these days).

The album starts off with their most recognizable song, “Radioactive” -- a dubstep infused, powerful sing-along anthem that is oddly effective at getting stuck into the heads of listeners.  But the album quickly takes a new direction after this first track, pivoting more towards a raw alternative rock sound, with hints of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s all present.

“Demons” is another stand-out on their debut effort, with its gut-wrenching layering, captivating lyrics, and friendly groove.   Singer Dan Reynolds’ voice is on full display in this track, as the power and emotion of his singing shines through so powerfully that it is easy to get lost in the track itself.

“On Top of the World” is a chipper, summer anthem that is ideal for a fast drive with friends, with all of the windows down.  It is by far one of my favorite Imagine Dragons songs.  This one is better listened to than described any further though (check out the video below):

After those few tracks, my favorites include, “Bleeding Out,” “Round and Round,” and “The River.”  You can check out videos for each of these songs below:

“The River”

“Bleeding Out”

“Round and Round”

But, you know, what really gets me excited about this album is that it is a solid effort throughout.  While the several songs I have mentioned are my personal favorites, your list of favorites off of this album are likely to differ from mine.  I’d challenge you to find how your list might differ, if you don’t know already.  Either way, it would be a lost opportunity to not give this album a fair shot.  To those who do not want to pay for the album though, it can be streamed for free on Spotify.

I, for one, am excited about this group, and the fact that this is their debut studio album.  I’m expecting to hear many more great things from Imagine Dragons in the coming years.  Now all I have to do is see them perform live (which might be tough considering that nearly every single one of their American shows is already sold out-- that’s including pretty big venues too).

-MDavis