“Imagine Dragons” is one of the newest (mainstream) bands to get a following and a surge in popularity for more than a year — first, in the United States and only the last few months, here in the Philippines. When I first got to listen to their biggest hit to date, namely “It’s Time”, I thought it was a bit folksy–with their use of the mandolin, handclaps, and background style of singing. At first, the qualities of the song didn’t seem to fit in the bill of sounding anything like a modern rock band but instead, of a band that has a wide range of styles and not merely adopted to the latest music trends such as Electronic and Dub-step.
While the band has been active since 2008 and has released multiple EP’s already, it was only recently in mid-2012 that they finally got to release their major label debut titled ‘Night Visions’ under Interscope Records. Out of the 11 tracks, 6 of these tracks were taken from their previous EP releases.
Their lead single “It’s Time” is their biggest hit to date and the most commercialy succesful and has been used in numerous commercials and in a feature trailer for the movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and has likewise been covered in “Glee”. Their major label ‘Night Visions’ reached the Number 2 position in the Billboard 200 and received mostly positive reviews from critics who have cited their music to be refreshing and different and yet, still appealing to Pop music listeners.
This band also hails from Las Vegas, where it just happens that another band named “The Killers” debuted. So naturally, there would be comparisons and some similarities between the two bands but they aren’t of the same style and sound. The only other band to which I can compare the sound of “Imagine Dragons” is “One Republic” because of the former’s select acoustic-laden tracks and vocal style.
“Imagine Dragons” is one of the new batch of Indie acts that have crossed over to the mainstream scene and have received a lot of response already. Their music is radio-friendly and catchy.
“It’s Time” is a mid-tempo song that has a lot of heart behind it, when you hear Lead singer Dan Reynolds’ verse as he croons … “So this is what you meant / When you said that you were spent / And now it’s time to build from the bottom of the pit.” The lyrics just glide along to the listener’s ears and does tell a story of what perhaps could be some struggle that he is experiencing and wishes to share with the listener. Plus, the mandolin loops and hand claps are a perfect touch to this song, which accompaniments make it folksy in some aspects. That is one of the experimental characteristics of this band–they aren’t afraid to utilize seldom-used instruments such as the mandolin, and they are proud of their indie roots by blending in some elements of folk.
The sound of these guys are somewhat a mix of “The Killers” and “One Republic”. At first listen, their influences do show up right away but as soon as you get through the whole song, you would then realize that they have their own identity which they are trying to establish. While their music is indeed somewhat of a different approach when it comes to straight-up modern rock, they are still categorized as a rock band due to the following–how they are composed as a band, their song structures, and their main influences. Being different does make “Imagine Dragons” one of the best new artists to have debuted in some time and under the banner of being labeled as a rock band.