Thursday, May 16, 2013
Albums2010 #61: Night Visions
Imagine Dragons have been popping up on the local radio station a lot so I decided to hop on my Spotify, give their debut album a listen and let y'all know what I think. But first, a tangent:
Tangent: I started the whole Albums2010 thing waaaay, waaaaay back in 2010 funnily enough, when I set out to listen to 100 albums after observing that more and more, people are listening to less and less albums and more and more individual songs that they can gank off of iTunes and turn into whatever happy little playlists they want. I wanted to find great albums and learn to appreciate them in their entirety. Somewhere along the way, the whole 100 albums thing just became a number and it sort of became a general outlet for any album reviews I felt like posting. Which hasn't been that many lately (my last one was November of last year.) But it's summer now, I just finished writing my first novel and I'm bringing back some music to the blog. So, thanks for reading my tangent. Now, back to the review:
Night Visions is the first studio album from Las Vegas based band Imagine Dragons and it's a nice, promising debut. Anyone who's been near a radio station at anytime in the past year or so will have heard 'It's Time' and more recently 'Radioactive.' (I prefer the latter to the former when it comes to the radio) but the rest of the album is just as a good as well.
I keep trying to categorize this band somewhere but I don't think they fit into any one genre with ease. There's elements of straight up rock n'roll throughout the album but some songs bring a lighter touch with more elements of indie rock/alternative rock to it. They seem sort of like chameleons, really-- the tone of the album isn't uniformly dark or light and there's a subtle differentiation between a lot of the songs that helps creates a remarkably unique sound. (They're also very creative with their percussion... which I like. It's another element that helps make their sound unique.)
The album opens with the bombast of 'Radioactive' and their debut single of 'It's Time.' Tucked away just behind that is one of the hidden gems of this album- the almost bouncy, upbeat 'On Top Of The World' is guaranteed to cheer you up if you're in a bad mood. The song 'Hear Me' could easily be found on any album by the Killers and lead singer Dan Reynolds sounds a lot like Brandon Flowers on that particular song... (at least to my ear. Other people may disagree.) The very next track, 'Every Night' is a more straight forward ballad. (I was going to say I could imagine Daughtry singing this song, but that might be slightly insulting to some people.)
There's an underlying theme of emotional struggle and triumphing over emotional struggle that runs throughout the album that I can really identify with-- seems like this band has been through tough times and wanted to take the negative and turn it into something positive and uplifting- and with this album, they've more than succeed. And indeed, a visit to reviews of this album on Amazon, not to mention their own website seems to back that up.
Overall: Perfect soundtrack to start the summer- and if you're trying to shake off the blues or need to cheer yourself up a bit, this album should do the trick nicely. I'm interested to see what these guys come up with next because they've got a heck of a debut under their belts. **** out of ****
You Already Know: 'Radioactive', 'It's Time'
You Should Get To Know: 'On Top Of The World', 'Underdog', 'Rocks.'