Was Imagine Dragons’ Debut Album Night Visions Ahead Of Its Time, Or Just Directionless?
If I’m being completely honest, I’ve sadly spent a grossly unnecessary amount of my career both as a musician & as a writer trashing Las Vegas-born Pop Rock band Imagine Dragons, going to great lengths to discredit their fame out of jealousy, disinterest & a generally misguidedly elitist mindset that somehow saw them as inferior songwriters who preyed on mainstream formulas to produce exceptionally-generic tunes audiences absolutely adored, essentially putting a stain on my status as a credible source for musical opinions since I couldn’t feasibly separate my prejudices from the hard facts of their incredible successes. Perhaps I was angry that they’d broken through to the waning MTV generation through what I believed to be sellout-level techniques, or maybe their initial promotional material left a bad taste in my mouth that prevented me from exploring the rest of the unknown tracks on their albums, but a casual playthrough of their latest record Origins piqued my interest as I found genuinely compelling compositions amidst its track-list full of anachronisms & progressive techniques worthy of my attention, persuading me to go back & thumb through their earlier entries in case there was something I’d been missing all this time – Naturally, I figured the best place to start on this adventure would be the very first studio album Dragons ever released, the nondescriptly-titled Night Visions from 2012 which sealed their fate as the industry’s replacement for aging Pop Rockers Coldplay, displaying in full their methodical application of music theory techniques learned at prestigious schools like Brigham Young University & Berklee College Of Music scientifically-proved to satisfy the vast majority of modern listeners. Coincidentally, I’d actually been exposed to & already-spiteful of the band by the time this record released after having learned of their existence whilst living on the East Coast & witnessing their decidedly-spineless promotion of Sharpie products on a FuseTV commercial, clearly contributing to my harsh criticism of the group as the scene I was involved in back then was all about integrity & the pursuit of narrative expressionism through music rather than Pop-centric ideals. As such, I went into this analysis with an open mind, hoping my maturation as a listener would help me appreciate Night Visions for the double-platinum certified, 2,500,000+ record selling behemoth that it is – Unfortunately, or perhaps delightfully, my hard-headed opinions would soon be validated by the utter lack of cohesion Imagine Dragons enacted in this album, confirming the 53% Metacritic rating it has so-rightfully earned by others in the industry; Still, as reaffirming as it may be for my own sense of pride, no musician truly finds pleasure in pouring salt into old wounds that’ve already suffered enough pain in the past.