189 of 210 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Night Visions (Audio CD)
I stumbled upon Imagine Dragons back in January through sheer stupid luck. The indie rock Gods must have been smiling down on me that day. From the very first listen to "It's Time" I was hooked. I knew from that moment that this band was going to go Big. Of course I didn't picture them going Big quite so fast (although the band has been working at this for years). It has been really cool to watch the band's rise in popularity. It seems like I can't turn on a radio without hearing "It's Time." What is cooler though is that as amazing as "It's Time" is, it's just the beginning. Night Visions is a stellar debut album. It is the product of hard work and vast musical talent. The songs hold common threads that make for a strong sense of album unity but the fact of the matter is that each one is a unique gem of enjoyment. Another review of the Continued Silence EP called Imagine Dragons a "radio friendly indie rock band" and that is a great description. There is an undeniable appeal here to the mainstream, even thought the quality is beyond the "mass consumption" label. From the well written lyrics and the percussive electronic beat to the subtle guitar work and vocals that are at once polished and natural, Night Visions is a debut album that sounds anything but "debut."
"Radioactive" - If the throbbing, pulsating beat of this song doesn't get you pumped there is something wrong with you. The vocals are firmly in charge of this stellar post-Apocalyptic rock song. Welcome to the New Age!
"Tip Tope" - I wasn't impressed with this song the first time I listened to it. After a few more listens I have to say that it has grown on me. I really dig the synth. There is a definite pop draw to this song, it makes you want to dance. ***EDIT*** After several more play throughs this has become one of my favorite tracks on the album. I can't seem to get it out of my head.
"It's Time" - The essential Imagine Dragons song, complete with rhythm clapping and a mandolin. The song is beautiful, musically and lyrically. If you have heard of Imagine Dragons it is probably because of this song. If I had to declare a Song of the Year for 2012, this would be it.
"Demons" - We all have our inner demons and that makes this song all the more empowering. The music takes a back seat to the vocals and lyrics this time around but the trademark sound is still present. If you're in a dark place, give this song a listen.
"On Top of the World" - It's funny how a song can grow on you. I didn't much care for this one at first but you know what? It's catchy. The music has this sort of cheery, Lion King vibe going on and it might just give you that necessary pick-up when you need it.
"Amsterdam" - This one is a little more subdued than the previous tracks, a bit more intimate. Musically this one is strong and I really enjoy the ups and downs of Dan's vocals. It starts out low and rises as the song goes.
"Hear Me" - This is one of my favorite older tracks. Like "Amsterdam" the highs and lows of Dan's vocals are great and match the flow of the lyrics perfectly. I love the percussion near the end of the song and the electronic beat.
"Every Night" - Time to slow things up a bit. The quality of the lyrics isn't quite up to par with the rest of the Imagine Dragons songs here. There are some strong lines but overall this track reminds me of "My Fault" from the Continued Silence EP.
"Bleeding Out" - I was so freaking excited for this track, ever since I heard the album preview. Oh man, this song gets me pumped! As tame as the last track is, this one makes up for it in spades. Dan's vocals soar, the lyrics are premium and the music rises energetically. There is a raw edge that boosts this track and makes you want to scream it from the top of the tallest mountain.
"Underdog" - This is another strong new track, trending more towards the pop side of Imagine Dragons than rock. I don't even like pop but this song is fun and enthusiastic. Who doesn't love to be the underdog?
"Nothing Left to Say" - It is impossible NOT to have an emotional connection to these songs. This one is a bit darker compared to the more inspirational songs like "Demons" but that's its strength. There is something haunting about this song I can't yet put my finger on but it is there.
"Rocks" - And alas, a great ending to a great debut album. This and "Bleeding Out" are my favorite new tracks. It's fast paced and the vocals have a whimsical sort of characteristic. It's folky and fun.
So there it is. Night Visions, the debut album of the rising alternative rock stars Imagine Dragons. You will find new things to love with every listen, I sure know that I have. Even tracks you aren't keen on at first could very well nestle themselves in the folds of your brain and take root. This band is destined for great things and I will be following along in eager anticipation. If you enjoy the album I highly suggest seeing them live if you get the opportunity. I saw them perform at Firefly Festival in Dover, Delaware and it was a vigorous show. The affection and determination the band pours into its music is heart warming in this day and age.
The iTunes version of Night Visions comes with two additional songs, "Working Man" and "Fallen." If you bought the album elsewhere I suggest you purchase these two tracks individually from iTunes. You gotta have the complete collection. The track "Fallen" is especially good, it's a shame that it wasn't included on the album.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 4, 2012 7:33:22 PM PDT
I have to agree - completely. There are older songs I wish were included, but I'm glad to see Demons and Hear Me make an appearance. Having to pare the amount of great past songs and what I can only imagine were a vast amount of new songs (I believe I heard Dan mention something like 800 in an interview!) down to just this many must have been sheer torture. I also highly recommend seeing them live, they are one of the few bands (so it would seem) that sound better live. Having started as a stage band, they've got a lot of practice whith running all over the stage and still keeping the vocals in tune. You have to head over to iTunes and download the two bonus songs from there (Working Man and Fallen), I haven't listened to the Spotify Bonus: Cha-Ching (Till We Grow Older) yet but I plan on getting it too.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2012 6:09:04 AM PDT
Thanks for your feedback! I've been reading a lot of the interviews and they just make me appreciate the band that much more. I have tickets to see Imagine Dragons on the 13th and I can't wait (AWOLNATION is headlining) and I'm really hoping for a chance to maybe meet them. I met Wayne's parents at Firefly and they were the nicest folks. And thanks for the heads up about Cha-Ching because I had no idea it existed!
Posted on Nov 30, 2012 4:31:45 PM PST
Great review, thank you. I heard It's Time for the first time the other day and headed for the reviews before purchasing. Sounds like a great album and I hope it lives up to your comprehensive and detailed review. Again, thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 5:33:11 PM PST
I'm glad it helped! Having listened to Night Visions for several months now and seen Imagine Dragons live twice I can safely say that this is one of my top 3 albums of the year. I sincerely hope you enjoy the journey :)
Posted on Mar 12, 2013 8:34:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 12, 2013 8:48:06 AM PDT
Anil R. Pillai says:
BTW, the XBOX Music version of this album comes in with 16 songs (about five older songs) and worth every penny. Nothing Left to Say and Rocks are combined into one longer song.
Additional songs (from previous albums) are My Fault, Round and Round, The River, America and Selene.
Posted on Mar 22, 2013 7:11:20 PM PDT
Brian McDonnell says:
dude, amen this is my favorite album ever what you say is true
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2013 7:14:07 PM PDT
Posted on Jun 12, 2013 3:37:29 PM PDT
I am on the fence with these guys, but that was a great review. How anyone can say that it was not helpful is beyond comprehension. Whether you like the band or not, it was a stellar, very detailed review.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2013 3:41:34 PM PDT
Thank you, I really appreciate that a lot.
Posted on Jul 22, 2013 5:04:01 PM PDT