Saturday, September 22, 2012

Album Review: Imagine Dragons - Night Visions

Released: September 4, 2012
Genre: Alternative

I have fallen in love with this band and this album. My obsession with Imagine Dragons began as simply an intense love of their song "Radioactive" off their Continued Silence EP. When I saw this album, my first thought was, "Ooh, cool, Imagine Dragons has a full album out now, I guess I'll check it out." That quickly changed to, "I MUST BUY THIS ALBUM. IMMEDIATELY."

1. Radioactive
I'm waking up
I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow

This was the first song I'd ever heard by Imagine Dragons and what got me into their music; I love it so much. There's some really great, almost acoustic-sounding guitar and softer vocals at the beginning, and the way this builds into a really amazing beat is fantastic. The distorted sound fits the song so well, and the chorus just rocks. It paints such a clear dystopian picture, too, all the way through to the incredible ending, which cuts off and then just echoes for a few seconds. Pure awesomeness.

2. Tiptoe
Watch me fall above
Like a vicious dove

I love the way this starts; it has a very intriguing beginning that builds into the rest of the song. The chorus is amazing. This is the kind of fast-paced song that gets inside you. The vocals really stand out on this song. I love the lyrics, and the places where they're sung really rapidly are just incredible.

3. It's Time
Now don't you understand
I'm never changing who I am

This is one of the catchiest songs of the album - the opening instrumental reminds me a little of Coldplay, and is impossible to get out of my head. Then there's lyrics - oh my goodness. I can't even begin to describe them. The way they're put together is so beautiful and meaningful, and I've been singing the chorus ever since I first heard this song. This is a song you have to at least tap your feet to; it has that anthemic quality that makes it completely irresistible.

4. Demons
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

This is one of those songs that's so good that I almost can't bear to listen to it, because it raises such strong emotions. I love the way it starts off with just the vocals and the instrumentals build up behind it. The lyrics are so poetic and so powerful, and the way it builds before the chorus is just too intense for words.

5. On Top Of The World
And I know it's hard when you're falling down
And it's a long way up and you make your round

This is a really different sound from the other songs so far on the album, which is one of the reasons I love it - it shoes how versatile on the band is, and how many different sounds they combine on this album. I like the music - it's so upbeat and happy and contributes a lot to the sound. The lyrics aren't complicated, but they're still original and brilliant, and the whole song just makes you feel good.

6. Amsterdam
Well these days I'm fine
No, these days I tend to lie
I'll take the Western train
Just by the side of Amsterdam
Just by my left brain
Just by this side of the tin man

Yet another song where I love the beginning and the way the lyrics fit together and rhyme - it's really impressive, and what makes the song both catchy and meaningfull. The chorus forms a sort of mini-crescendo every time it's sung, adding so much to the meaning. What I really love about this song, though, is the attitude - you know exactly what the singer is feeling, and you can relate to it as if you're experiencing it, too.

7. Hear Me
I said it before, I won't
Say it again
Love is a game to you
It's not pretend

This is another really catchy opening instrumental that reminds me a lot of Coldplay. The vocals and music are perfectly timed together to be both catchy and interesting. The way he sings fits the meaning perfectly, and the lyrics are really original, but relatable. More sounds get added into this song as it goes on, making the sound really layered and complex; then, at the end, each of the different components sort of fade out until it's once again just the opening instrumental, which gives it a really great ending.

8. Every Night
I'm coming home to you
Every night, every night
Every night, every night

This is a big song, especially the way it starts with just the vocals and the chorus. It's just raw, beautiful emotion, and while there are a few places that are almost sad, overall, it's filled with so much joy and determination. It grabs your attention and draws you in. And then there's the piano at the end - the first time I heard this song, I liked it a lot, and then I heard that little bit of piano at the end and I just fell in love with it.

9. Bleeding Out
So I bare my skin
And I count my sins
And I close my eyes
And I take it in

This was the point in making notes for my review that I ran out of ways to say "This song is amazing," and ended up just writing down what I loved - which turned out to be everything, as my notes read, "Chorus, chorus, chorus. LYRICS. MUSIC." That was about all I could manage, because I was so blown away - this song just hits you. It's so filled with imagery and emotion, and sung so well and powerfully.

10. Underdog
That sounds like my luck
I get the short end of it
Oh I love to be, I love to be the underdog

I wanted to hear more of this song from the very beginning. I love the techno-sound - it reminds me so much of Owl City. This song doesn't sound like a copy of them, though - it has a really distinctive style, created by the combination of the style of singing, the music, and the way the lyrics are set up and where they repeat. They're not too complicated, but they still create a really great effect. The repetition of the chorus and the way it fades out at the end works really well here, too.

11. Nothing Left to Say/Rocks
Who knows what's right
The lines keep getting thinner
My age has never made me wise

The beginning of Nothing Left To Say is so melancholy - I love it. The sound is so spooky and gloomy. This song just pounds - the beat and the way the lyrics repeat give the song a fantastic rhythm and convey the meaning even more clearly. The echoes add so much. The chorus is big, loud, and desperate - amazing. And the song just keeps getting bigger as it goes on - it swells to huge crescendoes, and when he sings the bridge, he just belts it, and it blows me away. Combined with the strings - wow. And then it gets quiet at the end, really fitting the name of the song. The desperation is gone, all the energy has been spent, there's nothing left to say.

And then it transitions into Rocks. I have no idea why these two songs are combined, because they;re so different. Rocks is a more upbeat song; it's a lot simpler, although there are lots of layers to the music and meaning in the lyrics. I think the best part of this song is the instrumentals, though. It starts off pretty basic and straightforward, and then there's some really awesome drums and some kind of stringed instrument playing an awesome fast-paced riff that I really want to learn to play on guitar.

12. Working Man
Caught up in the middle of a headache and heartbreak
Just when I thought I was clear of the mistakes, no
Oh, oh, oh

This may be my favorite song on the album. The simple opening turns into a really incredible beat. Here's how I described it to one of my friends before playing it for her: "This song is going to tell you to shake it. Trust me, you are going to want to shake it." This is a fast-paced song that you can definitely dance to, and the fact that Imagine Dragons can do this well is impressive by itself. But then there's the fact that this song has great music, awesome lyrics, and meaning - it's a song I can dance to without feeling like my musical standards are being sacrificed, which is why I love it so, so, so much.

13. Fallen
Oh, oh, oh
We are fallen, we are fallen
Oh, oh, oh
We are fallen, we are falling down
We're just gonna ride it out
I just wanna take it in

I really wish we got to hear more of the beginning of this song, since once again it's awesome, but at least you can still hear it behind the vocals. Which are also incredible - the singing and music combine perfectly on this song, and the verses have a really nice rhythm to them. I love the chorus, too; like the rest of the song, it's simple, but so powerful and strong, making it a great closing to the album.

This is an incredible album with so many different sounds and styles on it. It makes its awesomeness almost impossible to describe, and while I've tried to here, I strongly recommend listening to it yourself. I'm pretty sure you'll love it as much as I do.


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