Imagine Dragons’ Album Evolve Squanders An Opportunity To Do Something Great
Around the summer of either 2008 or 2009, I had moved across country from San Francisco to Rhode Island to check out schools & scrounge up money under the safety of my parent’s room after having gone broke funding my good-for-nothing bandmates in the years prior. I had plenty of free time, so on any given day I was either going to local shows to see what was new on the scene or watching Fuse TV to catch up on what was happening elsewhere in my favoured sonic demographic. A friend of mine had actually invited me to one of Imagine Dragons’ first shows on the east coast which I couldn’t make it to for work reasons, but peculiarly enough that previously-mentioned love of Fuse TV eventually brought the band back into my sights a couple short years later when their corny commercial for the ‘Fuse Logo Remix Contest’ started airing that summer – Naturally, I was flabbergasted by how quickly these guys went from hometown heroes to televised high-rollers pushing Sharpie products, so I decided to give them a listen, but boy, was I disappointed, finding their music to be incredibly generic & almost embarrassingly mainstream, so much so that I couldn’t even respect their decision to become sellouts after seeing how insanely-different their original Indie Dance Rock sound was just two years prior, resulting in me developing an instant hatred for them & their music in the years that followed. Fast-forward another seven years & I’m now a little less judgmental, actively going out of my way to explore genres I’d previously overlooked to see if my progressed age has made me kinder & more accepting of the true musicianship residing somewhere deep within the industry’s most marketable acts, extending this courtesy now to Imagine Dragons’ 2017 album Evolve to see if they really have evolved at all; I just had to know how they could possibly achieve such astounding worldwide success when my initial opinions of them were so disgustingly low, feeling like maybe I was just missing something in my adolescent rage that was truly innovative & entertaining in ways I refused to admit back then – Well, I can say with confidence today that Dan Reynolds & crew are certainly world-class performers with a knack for catchy composition, something we can likely attribute to their extensive music theory & music business educational backgrounds, but they’ve unfortunately let the media machine turn them into something terrible on Evolve, pushing aside some unmistakably magnificent arrangements in favour of satisfying the lowest-common-denominator of audiences with their more Pop-centric numbers.