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Imagine Dragons continue to "Evolve" into robots with keyboards

Interscope Records
"Evolve" is Imagine Dragons' third studio album.
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2.5
2.5 Rustys

ALBUM REVIEW: Imagine Dragons – Evolve (Interscope) 2017

Ever since catching Imagine Dragons’ imaginative 2013 music video for the single “On Top of the World,” which playfully satirizes the conspiracy theories about director Stanley Kubrick’s alleged involvement in the faking of the Apollo Moon landings, among others (including the documentary Room 237, a favorite of mine), I have had an eye on this Las-Vegas-by-the-way-of-Provo pop-rock quartet.

Secret handshakes and winks aside, Imagine Dragons has a major international following, something that makes critics want to pick them apart. I merely want to understand the motivations behind the music. So, I simply let the music do the talking.

Among the more ear-catching songs in this batch of 11 are “Rise Up,” where vocalist Dan Reynolds is “bursting like the Fourth of July” (hmm …), the 80’s-inspired synth-pop (like a Mike + The Mechanics album cut) of “I’ll Make It Up to You” (where Reynolds sounds pretty contrite) and “Thunder,” a mindlessly catchy earworm of a percussive hip-pop tune that the local NBA basketball team would be foolish not to use at their games this season.

However, the rest of the album is a mix of anthemic pop-rock, bland dance music and a very current production vibe. I guess what I mean to say is that this is the sort of album two robots would put on just before having robot sex. 

"If you ever want to join me baby, I'll be dancing in the dark," a robotic-sounding Reynolds sings/speaks on the closing track, "Dancing in the Dark" (apologies to Mr. Springsteen).

I feel that with Evolve, Imagine Dragons are evolving into something like Rutger Hauer's replicant character in Blade Runner, when he tells Dr. Tyrell (Joe Turkel - "Lloyd the bartender" in The Shining!) he wants "more life, fucker!

And so do we, Imagine Dragons. We want more life. Not just soul-sucking, "trendy" tunes that have an extremely short shelf-life. We want more life in your music. Consider that your challenge, gentlemen.

Until next time ... 

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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