Imagine Dragons – Smoke + Mirrors: Album Review

Imagine Dragons is a rock band that took the world by storm back in 2012 with their debut album. They topped the charts with singles “It’s Time” and “Radioactive.” The band is back with another album filled with inspirational rock anthems. You can count on the band to make nothing short of successful chart topping songs.

The album opens up with the line, “I’m sorry for everything, no, everything I’ve done.” The lyrics are pretty depressing compared to the upbeat tempo of the actual song. It has light electronics and also has soulful qualities due to the strong sounding voice of lead singer Dan Reynolds. As a whole, the song is a great start to the album.

The first single off of the bands sophomore album, “I Bet My Life” is very Imagine Dragons like. Meaning, the song speaks of redemption from past mistakes which is what a lot of the bands songs revolve around. The track is said to be inspired by Dan Reynolds’s relationship with his own parents. “I knew I took the path that you would never want from me. I gave you hell through all the years,” sings Reynolds. It’s yet another track that has emotional lyrics but still upbeat music carrying the song through.

“Gold” is the second single off of this new album. I wanted to talk about this track in particular because it’s lyrically more complex than the other two songs I’ve mentioned so far. The lyrics actually reference Greek mythology and also warn about the consequences of fame and fortune. One particular line is, “When all you have’s turning stale and it’s cold, you’ll no longer feel when your heart’s turned to gold.” It’s catchy and memorable and it’s set up to be the next big hit.

“Mocking birds and diamond rings, I have thought of greater things,” is pure imagery off of the song “It All Comes Back to You.” It’s a track on the album that isn’t set up to be a hit but it’s both lyrically and musically great. These small moments on these songs are what makes an Imagine Dragons album a good one.

As a whole, the songs are pretty predictable. There’s no big emotional ballads but it’s more like one inspiring rock anthem after another. Some of the songs have the ability to pump you up and make you want to do something. But a lot of the songs just fall flat due to the fact that it’s not really different. I expect this album to be a commercial hit but I think the band is playing it just a bit too safe. The good thing about it is this is only their second studio album, they have plenty of time to grow both musically and lyrically. I expect this rock band to be in the spotlight for quite a long time.

Review written by Rachel Geiger