The debut album from Las Vegas based Imagine Dragons, Night Visions is refreshing. Each song welcomes the listeners to a bit of the unexpected while keeping an epic fullness of sound plus a bit of grit through the tracks.
The first single, "It's Time," is the song that originally got me interested in the band. Besides being played on Chicago radio fairly frequently, it has also been used for the trailer for the much anticipated movie "Perks of Being a Wallflower". The song itself has a happy pop feel but they were smart enough to use an anthem quality throughout not only to give the listener something to sing along with but also keeps it from being just another pop song.
Another track that blew me away was "Radioactive.” With an intro that could lull you to sleep with its peaceful melody the listener is then awakened about 20 seconds into the song when the heaviness of electronic drum beats kicks into high gear. Electronic drum beats that help add this intense eerie quality that are matched by apocalyptic lyrics. Almost a complete polar opposite of the up beat " It's Time" this song was a much welcome surprise.
Then there are songs like " Underdog" and "Tiptoe" that could be straight out of the ‘80s. With a bit of reggae flare these songs could easily be the tune of those coming sunny fall days, or even the few last ones of summer. While not being lyrically complex, these songs do show the ability to bridge the genres of electronic and reggae and the bands fearlessness in doing so.
"Demons" a short and sweet song falling just under three minutes, gives a feel of Coldplay but without it being boring and already done. With the title of the song being a great clue as to the tone of the song the lyrics themselves are almost more haunting. An example of this is "They say it's what you make, I say it's up to fate, It's woven in my soul, I need to let you go." These emotion packed lyrics are sung calmly only to be followed by the booming drums that are the base for the refrain that loom through the whole song.
This full length debut album does not disappoint. Dan Reynolds heart filled powerful vocals are what keep this album fluid. This band has easily made it on my list of must see live bands. If the intensity and passion that translates to this recording is even half of what they give live they will easily be at the head of game real quick. Reminiscent of bands such as The Killers and Airborne Toxic Event, I see this band gaining fans with each show they play. Night Visions is currently out and I suggest giving it a listen.