Today, alternative rock band Imagine Dragons released their sophomore album following their debut in 2012 with Night Visions. Their first album was wildly successful, and while it seemed for a while that they had lost some of their initial steam, Smoke + Mirrors proves that Imagine Dragons has more than just beginner’s luck; they also have raw, unadulterated talent.
After a long tour and three years without new material, it’s highly impressive that Imagine Dragons can come back and capture our attention so quickly. Smoke + Mirrors is their second album released through KIDinaKorner/Interscope records, and while Night Visions gave the band a great debut that they would be able to ride the popularity of for a while, Smoke + Mirrors proves the diversity of the group with a new, raw, and soulful sound.
Smoke + Mirrors takes more of a risk in the alternative direction. It’s a little more gritty than its predecessor, though it fluctuates between the typically positive and upbeat sounds the band is known for and a harder, Las Vegas style rock. With this release, Imagine Dragons has equated themselves to established Vegas alternative groups like The Killers and Panic! At the Disco. Tracks like “I Bet My Life”, “Summer”, and “Insert Actual Song Title Here” are similar to the style of Night Visions, while “Gold”, “I’m So Sorry”, and “Friction” have a darker alternative grit. Overall, it’s a solid sounding album, and while experimenting with rougher sounds can sometimes prove detrimental, Imagine Dragons has taken on this challenge with soul and power, and we’re enthusiastic to see what comes next.
– Erin Walker