Popular music today typically extols the joy of love, challenges of relationships, and agony of heartbreak. Many songs deserve airtime, but the themes are extremely overused and get dull after awhile. While listening to the band Imagine Dragons, my objections to common lyric choices were refuted.It quickly struck me that lead singer Dan Reynolds wasn’t groaning over his latest girlfriend. Instead he reminisced about personal trials and demons he was facing. This alternative approach was quite refreshing and I started paying closer attention to their songs.
At the final concert of their “Night Visions” tour, Imagine Dragons announced that they were going to hit the studio and create a second album. I was stoked! It has since been released, and does not disappoint. “Smoke and Mirrors” takes the theme of personal struggles, and combines it flawlessly with engaging rhythms. There are no unnecessary words or overused guitar solos, just simple songs that are expertly executed.
Most of them have a driving pulse, and I constantly find myself tapping my fingers and feet.
“Smoke and Mirrors” starts with “Shots”, an upbeat, energizing song to capture the listener’s attention. A personal favorite of mine, “Polaroid”, has a train-like beat going while the singer talks about being a freight train out of control. Another great song is “Dream”, an eerie piece with a steady piano riff. The coolest part is that the music flows like a dream: quiet action at the beginning, building melodies until the final chorus of the dream, and fading out as it ends. Throughout the entire compilation, the music doesn’t overpower the vocals, and vice versa. Instead, they build off each other and make the musical experience exponentially better.
I absolutely recommend purchasing “Smoke and Mirrors” because it is packed with meaningful songs. With its deep, personal stories, invigorating rhythms, and alluring melodies, “Smoke and Mirrors” will captivate and thrill you.
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