It’s Time to Begin the Imagine Dragons Revolution

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By: Breanna Shiflett
It’s time to begin, isn’t it? The beginning of the chorus from “It’s Time,” the hit single from Imagine Dragon’s new album, is an appropriate start to the article, but it also expresses more about the bands and its members than one may think. The song itself focuses on change and growth, and the Las Vegas-based band knows more about these concepts than most. Frontman Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman have undergone a lot of change in the past; going from playing late night shows in casinos, releasing a few EPs, extensively touring, and growing a grass roots following along the way, to releasing their debut full-length album earlier this year. The band broke into the industry with a bang, with their album entering the Billboard Top 200 chart at #2 and having the best first week sales for a new rock band in over six years. Right from the start, it was clear that Imagine Dragons was bringing something new to the industry and revolutionizing it. In the spirit of their hit single, it’s time to begin… it’s time to begin the Imagine Dragons revolution.

From the first beat of “It’s Time,” you can tell that the band is something different. Right from the get-go, the song incorporates many elements that are unique for the industry but perfectly routine for the band. The song is upbeat and catchy, but at the same time is powerful with its great message—this last part being another thing that is constant in Imagine Dragons’ music. On top of having songs with actual significant meanings, the electronic sounds mixed with acoustic layers make the band’s music stand out from all the rest. I knew this was something different, and I had to get more.

I definitely was not disappointed. Imagine Dragon’s debut album Night Visions has 11 tracks of greatness, with 2 bonus tracks from Best Buy that are just as good. While the songs are not all the same and vary in tempo and mood, they do certainly all have an Imagine Dragons “feel” to them. From the strong and powerful “Radioactive” to the feel-good sounds of “On Top Of The World,” almost each track on the album has the same unique feel that I fell in love with when listening to “It’s Time.”
The balance of songs on Night Visions is great, and they can pretty easily be separated into two categories: the first including rock songs that are hardcore and empowering, with the second showcasing the more alternative and slightly pop-like songs that are more upbeat and catchy. Some of them do fit into both categories, but it’s fairly easy to hear the difference in most.

The album bursts out of the gate running with a song that fits into the first category. “Radioactive” is an extremely powerful song, one with great emotion and imagery where you can really envision the band playing in a rundown city that has been destroyed by the apocalypse. Similarly, the fourth track in the album, “Demons,” is intense and even slightly chilling with its tale of a man and his past demons haunting him when it comes to finding love. The theme of power continues with songs such as “Bleeding Out,” “Amsterdam,” and “Tiptoe” that all make you want to headbang and do a little air guitar solo.

The other side of Imagine Dragons can be seen on Night Visions just as clearly.  The feel-good song “On Top Of The World” extenuates the band’s ability to balance the genres of their songs, while still keeping the signature ID “feel” to them. Likewise, “Underdog” showcases great electronics, a beat that easily gets stuck in your head (but won’t prove as an intrusion), and sarcastic lyrics that are extremely relatable. “Selene,” one of the exclusive bonus tracks from Best Buy, is a different kind of love song, and has great rhythm and good lyrics to match.
While there are many great hits on this album, that’s not to say that it’s pure musical genius. Almost every good record has a few songs that simply don’t meet the expectations that the rest of the record has, and Night Visions is no exception. There’s always a song that, when you’re jamming out to the album, makes you automatically hit the “next” button as soon as the first identifiable beat plays. “Every Night” is the song that gets the infamous “skipper” track title of the album. The song is very clearly the outlier of the record, being a lot slower and much more ballad-like than the rest. Although it has decent lyrics, it just doesn’t have the key elements and the signature feel that have become so prominent and important to the rest of the album, and makes it fall just short of being a rare creation where you can listen to an entire record without skipping a single song.
Despite their musical differences, all of the songs on Night Visions come together to create an album that is truly spectacular. The rocking forces and the upbeat rhythms combine to blend into an awesome sound that is new to the industry but completely commonplace for the band. Night Visions has brought with it a lot of change, from the type of music to the lives of the band members that created it. And, the creators hope, it will make a change for you too. “We feel that we have finally created something we are all truly proud of,” says Reynolds, “and that can hopefully inspire others and help them feel a little less alone. That’s what music is about. It’s the greatest communicator I know.” He also hopes that it will inspire other people to create and get through their own struggles. With the release of their new album, the members of Imagine Dragons are starting a revolution, not just in the music industry, but throughout the world, causing change in people’s entertainment and lives alike.