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Imagine Dragon’s “Night Visions”: The Good and the Bad

Posted by Brittany Barth on 10/18 at 12:53 AM

Grade: C

My attention was called to the previews for NBC’s latest drama Chicago Fire for one reason: the song being featured. Something about the song was so enticing and just begging to be added to my music library. I quickly discovered what the song was and the band that wrote it.

Radioactive” is the second single released from Imagine Dragons’ debut album Night Visions. It is the first track on the album and shows so much promise for the songs that follow. However, the remaining eleven tracks just cannot match up to what “Radioactive” provides, which was something I was shocked to find out. It was hard to believe that the rest of the album wouldn’t produce the same satisfaction that “Radioactive” had given me.

Night Visions is definitely a mixed bag: half of the album’s songs are enjoyable while the other half are mediocre at best. While I believe that the album had the potential to be something special, it fell short due to a variety of factors.

Night Visions isn’t providing it’s audience with anything they haven’t heard before. The overall sound of the album is very generic and almost sounds like a combination of the bands Train and fun. which just doesn’t quite work.  The lyrics aren’t groundbreaking and the album doesn’t remain cohesive throughout.

The real issue, though, is that nearly every song on the album could be placed on a movie soundtrack. In fact their first single, “It’s Time,” is featured in the previews for the new movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  Overall, Night Visions is just too commercialized. Songs like “Amsterdam,” “On Top Of The World” and “Every Night” are other examples of where the album falters.

However, Night Visions does provide tracks that, at least somewhat, make up for what the album is lacking. “Tiptoe,” “Hear Me” and “Underdog” all save the album from being written off by audiences entirely. If they continue to create songs like this, their sophomore album will be a success.

Also, the song “Nothing Left To Say/Rocks” truly showcases the kind of music Imagine Dragons is capable of creating. The song is a whopping eight minutes and fifty-six seconds long, something I haven’t seen occur on an album in quite sometime. “Nothing Left To Say/Rocks” is actually two songs that share a single track. The first part of the song, “Nothing Left To Say” is emotionally driven, beginning and ending slowly and reaching its climax midway though. The second half of the song, “Rocks,” that begins after a short pause and officially starts at 6:49, completely contrasts what the listener just encountered. While the first half of the song remains rooted in rock, the second half adopts a sound that is reminiscent of Mumford & Sons. It is definitely the most likeable part of the song, in part because of the surprise it presents to the listener.

Overall, Night Visions fails to completely satisfy its listeners. After experiencing the album, I am still left wanting more, desiring tracks that replicated what had found in their single, “Radioactive.” However, I do believe that Imagine Dragons has the potential to be something great if they can manage to overcome the flaws I witnessed on Night Visions.

{name} Author: Brittany Barth
Bio: My name is Brittany Barth, an English major currently in my senior year at Penn State. I am a lover of food, John Mayer, all things nautical and cats. It has always been a dream of mine to be the lead singer of a (successful) band. After graduation, my goal is to become a Young Adult fiction novelist, but I would love to be an advice columnist prior to that. I am excited about graduation and what the future holds for me!

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