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Imagine Dragons - Night Visions Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8.5
Lyrics 7
Production 9
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 82%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8
Musicianship 8.25
Lyrics 8.25
Production 8
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8.25
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Average: 82%

Imagine Dragons - Night Visions

Reviewed by: justbradley (09/12/12)
Imagine Dragons Night Visions
Record Label: Interscope Records
Release Date: September 4th, 2012

Las Vegas, Nevada indie-rock outfit Imagine Dragons has been garnering a lot of newfound success lately; not as much as success as Fun, but they still have found themselves in a place of popularity, to a degree. I recently came across this band a few months ago when I purchased the band’s third EP (and first major label release) Continued Silence. It was a very interesting EP, but it wasn’t extremely unique. However, I enjoyed it because there was a nice mix between indie-rock, and indie-pop. Some tracks were more guitar-influenced, and others were more electronic/synth influenced, which I enjoyed a lot. I didn’t have much time to wait before Night Visions finally dropped, which is their debut record. The album art resembles Continued Silence, but it’s not a bad thing whatsoever. It’s a very cool idea for an album cover, and it certainly captured my interest. As a huge fan of indie-rock, I enjoyed Imagine Dragons’ last EP immensely, and Night Visions does not disappoint in the slightest.

The record starts off with “Radioactive,” which is the first track on Continued Silence. I didn’t have many problems with this record, but one problem I did have was the fact that four out of the six songs on the last EP appear again on this record. They don’t seem re-recorded, so that’s a bit of a disappointment. However, the record is about 44-52 minutes long, depending on if you get the iTunes version, Best Buy version (which I have), or the regular version. The length is a long enough for me not to get upset about it, plus, a couple of my favorite tracks from the EP are on the record, so I can’t complain too much. “Radioactive” is one of those favorite tracks, and it starts off the record nicely. It’s a nice blend between indie-rock and indie-pop. The song is more electronic-driven, and the lyrics about a nuclear apocalypse really set an interesting tone for the record. However, this is also what the listener can expect throughout the whole record. There’s a bit in terms of variety, but what is there is fantastic. Singer Dan Reynolds has a strong voice, and his vocals shine throughout his CD. They’re unique, and fit with the music perfectly.

Next track, “Tiptoe,” is another highlight of the record. It’s got a much more “pop” sound to it, which contrasts from “Radioactive” by a long shot. Another problem I had with this record is how polished it sounds; it doesn’t really hinder the record, but it comes off as an indie-pop record in many tracks. Some of the tracks are way too reliant on synth, which is not a bad thing, but I like the more indie-rock driven tracks. These guys do have a knack for writing catchy songs, though; “Tiptoe” is an extremely catchy song, and a lot of the songs on here are extremely addictive.

There are a lot of highlights on this record, including the first two tracks, as I mentioned. Both of those tracks really demonstrate what Imagine Dragons is all about. Third track, and the first single, “It’s Time” is the main show of this record, essentially. It’s the biggest track, and one of the best. This is also the first song on the record that doesn’t have any electronic influence in it. It’s a straightforward indie track with very optimistic lyrics. Out of all the songs on this record that appeared on Continued Silence, “It’s Time,” “Radioactive” and “On Top of the World” are my favorites. Sixth track “Amsterdam” is another interesting track.

The first half of the record is pretty interesting, and rather entertaining to listen to. It’s very enjoyable, but the second half slips ever so slightly. After “Amsterdam” is when it starts to go south. “Hear Me” is a pretty generic indie rock track with rather generic lyrics; while it’s a good song, it’s just generic. It doesn’t bring anything to the table, and it’s not the best song on the record. It’s enjoyable, and not forgettable, but still a rather generic track. “Every Night” is a good track, though, because Reynold’s vocals are very interesting here, and he switches it up a bit, which I like a lot. This is certainly one of the top five songs on here. “Underdog” is another highlight of the record, because it follows where “Tiptoe” left off as being a very catchy and addictive track. The last song “Nothing Left to Say / Rocks” is also rather interesting. The latter track is a “hidden” track and is only about two minutes. “Rocks” is a very nice little acoustic track, which closes out the album nicely. Depending on which version of the album you buy, there are a few more bonus tracks. I bought the Best Buy exclusive version, and the two tracks included are “Selene” and “The River.” The former is an enjoyable and catchy song, while the latter is much slower, but still enjoyable.

I didn’t have many problems with this record, but there were a few; mainly, it was how polished the record sounds, like I said. It sounds like a pop record in a lot of places, which is not a bad thing, because it does contrast with the more rock-driven tracks. Another thing that I found a problem with were the lyrics at times. Tracks like “It’s Time,” “On Top of the World,” “Underdog,” and “Radioactive” have very clever and creative lyrics, but other tracks are so cheesy, I can almost taste it. It’s enjoyable, but the cheesiness is certainly there.

Overall, the record is still great; Imagine Dragons clearly has the talent to make in the big leagues, with bands like Band of Horses, The xx, and Mumford & Sons (who all have albums coming out, or already out). They’re only a few years old, but they could certainly leave a lasting impression on indie-rock today.

Recommended If You LikeTwo Door Cinema Club, Death Cab for Cutie, Vampire Weekend, indie-rock, etc.


Additional Information
Track Listing:
1. Radioactive
2. Tiptoe
3. It’s Time
4. Demons
5. On Top of the World
6. Amsterdam
7. Hear Me
8. Every Night
9. Bleeding Out
10. Underdog
11. Nothing Left to Say / Rocks

Imagine Dragons is:
Dan Reynolds - Vocals
D. Wayne Sermon - Guitar
Daniel "Z" Platzman - Drums
Ben McKee - Bass


www.facebook.com/imaginedragons
 
Displaying posts 1 - 5 of 5
07:28 PM on 09/16/12
#2
whitelightning7
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I wrote a review of this for my college newspaper, and I have almost all of the same quarrels with it that you did. I felt that the second half lacked the intensity of the first half, and was sort of boring.

Great review though!
08:36 PM on 09/17/12
#3
justbradley
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I wrote a review of this for my college newspaper, and I have almost all of the same quarrels with it that you did. I felt that the second half lacked the intensity of the first half, and was sort of boring.

Great review though!
That's actually how I would describe it; the first half was really great, but the second half falls a bit short. It's great all the way through, but it loses that "oomph" that it had in the first half.

Thank you, though! That really means a lot!
06:08 PM on 09/24/12
#4
thekazeblade
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This band has a quality about it that I can't quite pin, but it's alluring. Good review!
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