Historically, there's a progression that bands usually follow before their sound goes full-on arena rock. Things will start small and gritty, and then as the fame and crowds build, the sound changes to match the massiveness of the venues. However, on their debut album, Imagine Dragons buck tradition and swing straight for the cheap seats, doing away with generations of sonic evolution in favor of the huge, arena-made sound of Night Visions.
Review Summary: So polished that it slips right in one ear and out the other. The mandolin introduction to Imagine Dragons’ ‘It’s Time’ was the soundtrack to many a radio-rock goers’ summer, and with its unique progression building to one of the year’s most unforgettable choruses, nobody could be blamed for eagerly awaiting the band’s first full-length album. If it delivered upon the promise of ‘It’s Time’ and Imagine Dragon’s earlier 2012 counterpart, the EP Continued Silence, then there would be little doubt that we’d be staring at one of the best and most unabashedly mainstream rock albums of the year.
Las Vegas is a city built on relentless optimism and big gestures. Thousands have found out the hard way that whilst the original sin city is one hell of a good time, its bright lights, shotgun wedding chapels and garish facades don’t survive on good luck or judgement. The same applies to Vegas and its music. Rather than producing their own stars, the city has more often that not imported the finished product for a quick win, be it Elvis Presley, the Ratpack, Celine Dion or Prince – for decades, the strip has dealt in superstars rather than the next big thing.
If you had bounced and jumped around to Imagine Dragon’s chorus in “It’s Time”, you would also wait with so much excitement for the band’s first full-length album. It’s a shame that Night Visions fails to match the fresh adrenaline rush that the band’s first single had promised us when we first heard it on the radio or in commercials earlier this year. We’ve heard more crisp songs from them before.