Having first been released last September, it looked as if the debut album by Las Vegas indie band Imagine Dragons had slipped beneath everyone’s radar. Then they release the radio smash Radioactive and everyone sits up and listens, thinking “who the hell is this?”. Imagine Dragons have only recently come to light and it is without a doubt their debut single that they have to thank for it. In fact, Night Visions has been re-released with a few extra tracks in tow and after falling in love with them on the radio, I investigated further.
Beginning with Radioactive with its catchy melody, electro-rock base and indie vocal. The piano which can be heard in the back adds another dimension and the backing vocals take on a slightly eerie take. There is a touch of The Killers to the sound and when I first heard it on the radio, I did think that Brandon Flowers and co had rocked it up again and put out a new track.
The second single It’s Time which has also been released is perhaps my favourite on the album. The strong clapping beat at the beginning combined with the steel drum tone, which is quite prominent on the record, makes it an awesome upbeat summer song. Another awesome radio playlist addition for the coming season. On Top Of The World, Underdog and Working Man are other sunny tracks that are packed full of electronica and catchy hooks. On Top Of The World has quirky clicks and whistles in the back, Underdog has that Caribbean influence in the drums and a boho style and Working Man has a super catchy, upbeat hook in the form of “shake it, shake it”.
Arcade game-esque, electronic bounces are another motif. They’re first heard on Tiptoe and continue into Every Night and Working Man. With so much electronica at play, it’s hard to define them as a straight indie band or indeed, an indiepop band. Every Night also has electronic harmonies that becomes the main focus and there are few songs on Night Visions, where the synth and oscillators aren’t involved.
Festival-ready numbers are also plentiful on the album. Demons and Bleeding Out both have epic moments, where an atmosphere is created through the screeching riffs and breathy vocals. Demons is a slower track about a troubled mind, which is accompanied by a swaying rhythm and an electro piano backing. Bleeding Out is an acoustic guitar-led track with the higher end of a piano adding a haunting element. There is also an impressive higher vocal range displayed on this melodic pop song.
An eight minute medley of two tracks Nothing Left To Say/Rocks is an interesting mash-up. The former is a smokey pop number with repetitive vocals, atmospheric ooohs and electric violins but it is quite monotone and could perhaps be shorter. Rocks is a quirky indiepop tune with the ever-present Caribbean steel drum tone. An intriguing choice of songs to string together but it is a welcome contrast and adds an extra ounce of interest to the record.
Night Visions has a lot of electronica based, pop-rock songs. Some of them are very different to Radioactive, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend based on a love of the single. However, if you like a diverse and unpredictable album then it’s definitely worth a listen.