ARTIST : IMAGINE DRAGONS
GENRE : ROCK
DATE OF RELEASED : FEB 2015
Hearing the first song in this album “Shot” might shock some listeners and ask if this band had shifted gears, meaning they go suddenly pop or try to dabble with EDM / Dance Music genre. The song seems to be signifying in that direction. You will be shocked more once you get to the next song as it has “Bizarre Love Triangle” like introduction for a few seconds then shifted to marimba like sounds for another few seconds before you hear drums and other percussion instruments. Apparently, “Gold” can be likened to Spandau Ballet song of the same title in terms of musical structure.
The title song “Smoke + Mirrors” feels like “Without or Without You” in which the notes were arranged backwardly at the start, until the vocals set in and you realize that the song can be mistaken as any Maroon 5 songs and oh my the drums programs are quite similar to Phil Collin’s “In The Air Tonight.” “I’m So Sorry” is the first full rock song that you hear in this album if you follow the listing in the record. “I Bet My Life” sounds too country and you can deduce that there will be lots of cover of this song from any popular country performers.
“Polaroid” is quite refreshing to hear; it starts with tinkering sounds then progress with few drums splice in between. The song “Friction” has intro bar similar to main soundtrack of “Dragnet,” and then progress more like a rap song with heavy metal elements. “It Comes Back To You” is the kind of song that any boy band or groups would die to have it performed for their own. “Dream” reminds of the piano intro with the song “Winchester Cathedral” by CSNY and the piano intro of “Trouble” reminds of the “Head Over Heels” from The Go Gos.
“Summer” is quite an interesting song as it combined trip hop drum arrangement, falsetto vocals, clapping of hands sounds, country guitar riffs and you have a song that is quite celebratory in nature but you feel certain sadness while listening to it. “Hollywood Opus” seems like a slow version of some popular songs from Red Hot Chili Peppers especially the one that has familiar lyrics of “give it away” repeated several times. Drum program was heavily in used in “The Fall” which was understandable to create the drama the song wants to impart to the listeners.
Now, Imagine Dragons is also one of those rock groups who cannot help to pay homage to the eighties sound with the song “Thief.” “The Unknown” has R and B and Hip Hop elements and which is no longer strange as Lenny Kravitz is also fond of doing this kind of fusion. And I thought that “Second Chances” is a Gotye song or morphed song from “Somebody That I Used To Know.” “Release” might be the song that will break their record set in Billboard Hot 100 as having a song that logged on more than 75 weeks in the chart. “Warrior” is a anti-climatic song ender for this album when you consider that many songs were quite good prior to this song.
As a whole the album has lot of songs with good melody and hook. It is not a great album but not a useless effort at all. In fact, this might land in some of year end’s best. I rate this record 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.
1 star = Ignore it
2 stars= risk it
3 stars = borrow or buy it
4 stars = buy it and keep it
5 = buy, keep, and treasure it