After a brief hiatus in 2016, Imagine Dragons have stormed back onto the rock scene with a new 11 track album, Evolve. On first listen, the songs are immediately recognisable as Imagine Dragons’ work – aggressive choruses, funky beats and accessible rock. Evolve has been plugged so much on Spotify and TV adverts that several of the tracks such as ‘Thunder’ and ‘Believer’ are already familiar and make for an easy, instantly catchy listen.
Imagine Dragons are straying from their indie roots towards electronic, hip hop infused rock and consequentially, tracks like ‘I’ll Make It Up To You’ and ‘Thunder’ wouldn’t sound out of place in a night club. Of course, this doesn’t make them any less credible or enjoyable. Lead singer Dan Reynolds continues to write and perform meaningful lyrics, Evolve tells of his life as a Mormon and struggle with depression through lines like “Pain, You break me down, You build me up” and “I was broken from a young age”. For the most part, the lyrics are inoffensive cliches but nonetheless enjoyable set against dramatic bass and powerful drumming.
The more upbeat, electric nature of their latest offering keeps Imagine Dragons sounding fresh and interesting, building upon the previous album ‘Smoke + Mirrors’ which saw the band diversify into a range of genres. Yet, their multi-platinum studio debut ‘Night Visions’ remains their strongest work with the more coherent track progression, climactic verses and distinct rock vibe which delivered their mainstream success and perhaps set the bar too high. While Evolve isn’t particularly groundbreaking, there aren’t any significant weaknesses and its worth adding to to your next catchy party playlist.
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