Imagine Dragons - Night Visions
May 18, 2020

To celebrate this milestone, time to review the breakout album for one of the most hated music acts in this century. Great thing to do, amirite?

Ok being serious now, Imagine Dragons being absolute trash and quite insulting to their genre is a scientific fact at this point: their brand of "pop rock anthems" on albums like Evolve and Origins is super bland, way too overblown but accompanied with irritating lyrics and a somewhat disturbing attitude trying very desperately to make everything sound sacred and godly.

However, I'm pretty sure many people on this website still have some sort of attachment to this band, most notably their older stuff. And it's clear to see why, because this was an era for Imagine Dragons when they had a much better reputation, released some of their most iconic songs, and also dropped their most acclaimed LP in the process.

While that's not a high bar to jump over, and Night Visions still had many people getting disgusted and turned off by it, but in my opinion this is a pretty one of a kind album in the Imagine Dragons arsenal. Not mainly because of the quality of the stufd in here, but definitely because if leaves you with a much different impression and taste in contrast to their other bodies of work.

And before addressing that, I'm going to answer a few questions, mostly for people who listened to their newer work and not this:

1. Was Imagine Dragons still delivering compressed, overblown pop rock anthems? Yes, absolutely.
2. Are the subject matters all that different between the old and new ID? Not really.
3. Was Imagine Dragons a band that seemed to be experimental or adventurous in any way in their music? Not at all.

Conceptually, the album flow and theme is the same, but the execution is different. Imagine Dragons' music wasn't as grand as their newer stuff. I would say their music was more self aware of its limitations in a sense, so the arena sized anthems weren't annoying and actually served their purposes on the better tracks off Night Visions.

Also, the themes of love and sadness and stuff was still intact here, but the lyricism here is much better and tolerable. It wasn't impressive but was able to make do for the size of the anthems.

Moving to the production, nothing out of the usual pop rock with occasional electronic twists, but the instrumentals were more tending towards the rock playbook, which gave the tracks here more authenticity, and there's actually some really great tunes on Night Visions.

So basically there are many qualities going for this album, at a time where everyone in the band was a lot more passionate about their art despite its limitations, but that doesn't prevent me from having a few glaring complaints.

Most songs here are grand and well made and emotive, but every single track is very. fucking. PREDICTABLE. There's not a single cut that is safe from the 2 verse- 2 chorus-bridge structure that in itself isn't bad, but it gets very stale within 3 tracks. And it's on all the 12 tracks. Also, a few tracks like Demons end very abruptly, which is sad because Demons is well written and pretty catchy.

Also, there's a few tracks that suffer from a weak spot, like That's time being mixed in a pretty cheap fashion, Amsterdam and Underdog begging to break their monotonous progression, and Hear Me (which is the only truly terrible song here) because of its painfully basic overdramatic lyrics and shit singing.

But apart from that, about half the album is pretty quality while the other half is only boring with Hear Me being the lone landmine. A project with the tracks 1 to 5 (becuase On Top of the World is the best tune and song here imo) and tracks 11 and 12 would probably be at least a 70 from me. The secrion in between is relatively rougher but still listenable.

What do we conclude from all this? Night Visions is a kinda decent album. Love the dudes or hate them, as a debut LP, this album showed massive potential, and it actually looked like they were only going up from there. That saldy wasn't the case at all. And again, much much thanks for 400 followers!
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