Imagine Dragons, ‘Origins’ – Album Review

These past two years countless nostalgic bands of the last decade returning into the mainstream. Arctic Monkeys have released their Mercury prize nominated 6th record, Liam Gallagher released his first solo record, and the likes of Foo Fighters, Fall Out Boy and Panic At The Disco have all topped the bill at Reading and Leeds. Whether you believe these events have been caused by a lack of current upcoming talent or simply that these artists are some of the best around, you can’t deny that 2017/18 have been full of triumphant returns from some of the most popular artists of years gone by. Now, Las Vegas natives Imagine Dragons have not been blasting through our radios for anywhere near the same amount of time as these other artists. However, they have already cemented themselves in pop-rock culture and have taken on a level of prestige that is hard to achieve in the 10 years they have been together. Thus, they have got in on the trend of the past couple of years. Having released their hit record ‘Evolve’ last year, they are back yet again to show the world of music that they are not finished yet!

Their new release, ‘Origins’ is the band’s 4th studio album and could potentially be their best yet! It is supercharged with their characteristically anthemic sounds. Clever melodies are intertwined between the huge, heavy-hitting instrumentals, creating an uplifting primal energy that flows throughout every song. The difficulty of maintaining this level of consistent quality for a full decade cannot be understated, yet Imagine Dragons haven’t let the rapid rise to fame after 2012’s ‘Night Visions’ make them take it easy. This new album has quality written all over it; there isn’t a single track that could be regarded as filler.

One track that really encapsulates the vibes of ‘Origins’ is the third song, ‘Machine’. This track leaves no room for quite intros or subtle effects, it jumps straight in with a dense layer of angst-filled drums that instantly grab your attention and create a slightly ominous atmosphere of suspense. These briefly make way for Dan Reynolds’ soft vocals, before they and Reynolds erupt into a head banging frenzy, met my a ferocious riff that completes the infectious cocktail. This sonic volcano culminates in the group chanting of the chorus.It is a sound that triggers something primitive inside the listener, forcing an impulsive desire to indulge in the simplistic satisfaction of these thick sounds and add your inadequate voice into the chant.

Another highlight, although not typical of the album, is ‘West Coast’, a blissful folk rock tune that springs imagery of warm summer nights around campfires and cross country roadtrips, glancing at your special someone as you drive through the night. Instantly warming. Whether it is this smile inducing experience of ‘West Coast’, the raucous mind-melter of ‘Digital’, the soaring poignance of ‘Bad Liar’ or the euphoric album ender ‘Love’, each track brings something different to the record contributing to a perfectly-rounded listening experience.

‘Origins’ delivers the deeper lyrical value and open honesty that Reynolds promised in the lead up the 2017 release, ‘Evolve’, yet this does not compromise the quality of the songs one bit. They are full of character and brimming with heartfelt meanings, generated not just through the lyrics but through the stadium-filling instrumentals as well. This record is a fantastic way to see out the year, and even if decided to tune out all things Imagine Dragons after the incessant radio plays of ‘Radioactive’ this may be the perfect time to give them a second chance. There is something on this album for everybody as it takes you on a musical journey that simply leaves you wanting more and more.

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