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Imagine Dragons
"Smoke + Mirrors"

© Interscope

January 01 - 07, 2023

Year of Release: 2015
  • Shots
  • Gold
  • Smoke And Mirrors
  • I'm So Sorry
  • I Bet My Life
  • Polaroid
  • Friction
  • It Comes Back To You
  • Dream
  • Trouble
  • Summer
  • Hopeless Opus
  • The Fall

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    Imagine Dragons -- My first discovery of them were from their #1 album from From 2015, Smoke And Mirrors or Smoke + Mirrors, their second album from their career. They would achieve more success on the Adult Alternative Rock Songs chart, and especially on the Hot Rock Songs chart, having a total of five #1 songs, from both charts. However on the Hot 100 singles chart, Imagine Dragons has yet to reach the top spot. From Smoke + Mirrors there were three singles, "I Bet My Life," "Gold," and "Shots." For myself, I never really listened to them, and it was rare that I would hear their songs on the radio (my only recollection in hearing their music was on Chicago's WXRT, and occasionally listening to them on Sirius XM stations.) So in reality, I will be listening to this week's chosen album, as if I had never heard of the band, Imagine Dragons. Of course, there was the hype of Imagine Dragons being many bands that were hated, such as Phish, Nickelback, as well as many others. Why? Like any band, they are trying to get their music recognized, hopefully positively. So, let's see if Imagine Dragons' Smoke + Mirrors is a yay, or a nay...

    Leading off is one of the three singles, "Shot." It has a somewhat 1980s Pop feel. Oh right, Imagine Dragons is considered a "Pop Band." It's quite good. "Gold" is the next track, and it's very quirky, compared to "Shots." This one is a hit-or-miss; more of a miss. The title track is the next song, and it has a good Pop sound, worth listening to. The softer singing gets the attention. The song is if U2 could travel in this Pop direction.

    "I'm So Sorry" is more of Rock song than Pop. Somehow, it also has the sound heard in "today's Country." Yet, it is a ROCK track, that could fit the Rock and even Alternative Rock formats. It's a good Rock track, as it does wind down in sound, and it makes it even better. "I Bet My Life" returns to the standard Pop. "Polaroid" continues the Pop sound as well. "Friction" is another common Pop in today's nature, yet it has a more hip-hop meets Rock feel, as in a Imagine Dragons meets Destiny's Child. Imagine that.

    "It Comes Back To You" also has a 1980s Pop feel, it has a gentle Pop sound. This song could have been another single. "Dream" is another gentle Pop track, yet "It Comes Back To You" is better. "Trouble" is more on the Rock side, it's another hit-or-miss tune, this song goes in so many directions. "Summer" is catchy, it's a good Pop catchy groovin' track. Another Pop track gets "Hopeless Opus," as it's quite good than others. Ending the album is "The Fall," and it has a carnival sound, as you go round-and-round in a good Pop way.

    All of the songs from Smoke + Mirrors are unique from one another. There isn't really any bad tracks here, but there are those that are better than others. Lead singer Dan Reynolds' voice could be better on some tracks though. His falsetto is good on some, not-so-good on others. But give the band credit, they have developed 13 tracks on Smoke + Mirrors that can only get better, with repeated listens. Imagine Dragons' Pop sound can be grouped together with such artists as Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, Coldplay. This is "today's Pop sound," and quite honestly, it does have a good direction. Again, giving Smoke + Mirrors will most likely get more positive with more listens. Call me old-fashioned, this is quite different than the Pop music I've grown up with, during the 1980s and beyond. Pop music stood out more after the 1970s decade, which was more Rock than Pop, and that decade also had many other genres that were hitting the surface well: Country, Soul, Disco, Punk, a little Jazz as well.

    In summary, Imagine Dragons is a good band for today's musical standards. Sure, they are not as popular as many bands from the previous decades, but it's their musical sound for the 21st Century. Time goes on, and so does music. Good Pop music is found here on Smoke + Mirrors. Is this album a yay or nay? A little of both, but it's still a good Pop album for today's modern music.

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