For the band’s third studio album Evolve, Dan Reynolds and company continue to create rock ballads that somehow turn into radio hits. I think that notion occurs on this project more than the last one. Instead of raw instrumentals, Imagine Dragons uses electronics in a more tasteful manner, and they tweak their sound just a little bit more than usual on this record.
I enjoyed the way the album title described the band’s state in music right now. Much like any other artist, Imagine Dragons feels like they can evolve their sound even if it’s only a tiny bit noticeable. They sound a lot more optimistic on this project compared to their previous LPs, notably Night Visions. It’s all summer fun, and for me, Imagine Dragons comes through with a satisfying experience.
Evolve is much more focused, and it never tries to be anything enormous.
I have to congratulate Imagine Dragons for actually following the blueprint of what makes a decent summer album. Short, sweet, to the point, and less than forty-five minutes long.
On this project, they’re back to their pop/rock roots with radio hits like, “Believer,” “Thunder,” and “Whatever it Takes.” “Whatever it takes” especially sounds like a song you’d play in an inspiring sports montage. The electronic instrumentals and the elevating vocals of Dan Reynolds are on point.
But it’s the songs that are hidden in the middle of this project that really stand out for me personally. Although Evolve lacks the humongous hit singles like “Radioactive” or “Demons,” I think that this third LP has more admirable songs than Night Visions ever thought of having. Hidden gems like “Walking the Wire” and “Yesterday” have that present-day alternative sound that caught more of my attention than I would have imagined. The blend of an electronic piano and a nice guitar riff in the middle of the latter song adds layers that are actually really amazing.
While at times a few of these singles contained repetitiveness when it came to tempo, the sweetness and charm encompassed in “I’ll Make it Up to You” and “Dancing in the Dark” hid that flaw. The track “Start Over” has this Caribbean vibe to it where they incorporate a flute instrumental.