Smoke and Mirrors by Imagine Dragons

8 August 2019

Imagine Dragons’ second hit album, “Smoke and Mirrors” is a successor to their previous album, “Night Visions.” Although “Night Visions” was the album that made Imagine Dragons the global success that they are today, “Smoke and Mirrors” presents the new approach that Imagine Dragons has taken towards music, with a largely different and diverse style. The variety can be easily recognized, as “I Bet My Life” is an upbeat and active song, while holding little similarity to the slower and intense songs like “Gold.” Yet, regardless of the beat or melody, their songs still incorporate their signature themes, such as the fear of failure or disappointment that make an Imagine Dragons song excel at expressing real-world feelings.
Out of the entire album, my favorite track would have to be”Shots.” Similar to “I Bet My Life,” the melody of this song is relatively lighthearted, but the lyrics express a deeper feeling akin to that of uncertainty regarding one’s own actions.

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The name of the song reveals this theme of indecisiveness through the lyrics “Oh I shot, shot, shot a hole through every single thing that I loved,” as the singer finds no other way to cope with the distress he inflicts on those he loves. The juxtaposition of thoughtful lyrics with an energetic melody keeps me coming back to this song whenever I’m in the mood for music.
Even so, the most unique song, regardless of my opinion, is indisputably “Gold.” The song’s drum beats reverberating in a slower yet intense tempo, along with lead singer Dan Reynolds’ rhythmic vocals, serves to create a distinctive rock song about the popular mythos of King Midas. Once again, Imagine Dragons has proven their creative talent by writing meaningful and sophisticated lyrics, thereby setting the band apart from many other musicians of today.
“Smoke and Mirrors” has received mixed reception from popular organizations such as Rolling Stone. “The radio kings’ second album is full of angsty rage, but there’s more smoke than fire,” the magazine described in a recent review. This goes to show that Imagine Dragons’ departure from their old style in “Night Visions” has not been widely accepted by both fans and critics alike. Those expecting more of the same from Imagine Dragons previous songs can expect to be somewhat disappointed. Nevertheless, certain fans including myself, given an adequate amount of time, will come to appreciate the surge of heartfelt music the band has dedicated in “Smoke and Mirrors.”

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