Album Review: Origins by Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons continues to impress with their ability to reinvent themselves on each new album release. Origins is the band's most recent release, and it's just as impressive as any other album they have created. Imagine Dragons are known for their unique rock and roll sound, but this album veers in a much different direction. In fact, it reminds me more of an electro-rock sound. Like Taylor Swift with her album Reputation, Imagine Dragons seems to have also experimented with an electronic sound that meshes quite wonderfully with their traditional rock and roll classification. Whatever you think of the band, this album is definitely worth a listen, and here are five songs from the album that will prove the legitimacy of this eclectic album.

 

"Natural"

Dan Reynolds' vocals stand out in this song, loud and powerful against the music in the background. One of my favorite parts of the song is the pre-chorus where the music becomes almost hypnotically low, allowing Reynolds to really explore his vocal range, hitting some impressive high notes. Of course, being the first song on the album, and the first song to be released from it, "Natural" sets a wonderful tone for the remainder of the album. It combines the band's impressive instrumentation with some interesting electric sounds.

"Bad Liar"

This song's opening is incredibly simplistic, just a few repeated chords and Reynold's soothing vocals. However, as the song progresses, more and more instruments are added, slowly building to a powerful choral explosion. In terms of genre, this song is more reliant on electric instrumentation, but there's something undeniably attractive about the melody. The pre-chorus is also delightfully smooth and provides a fantastic transition to the chorus. I also really liked how the music mellowed back out after the chorus, only to rebuild again, perfectly elevating the song's themes. Finally, be sure to listen at your own discretion because the lyrics are bound to get stuck in your head. 

"West Coast"

From its opening guitar chords, the song almost reminds me of something more folk in sound. In fact, when I think of folk music, the first thing that pops into my head is simple instrumentation and an emphasis on vocals and lyrics. I also see this approach in the rich harmonies that accompany Reynolds' voice. It gives the song a fuller sound and perfectly fits its theme of love. The clapping in the background also gives the song another layer, evoking the feeling of being surrounded by multiple people. Indeed, this only adds to the song's folksy approach and is definitely appreciated by this listener.

"Only"

Right from the first note, I instantly thought that "Only" sounded like a distinctive Imagine Dragons song. It's difficult to describe its sound, especially when it relies so heavily on an electric flavor. It mixes quite well with some of the rock and roll instrumentation, especially with the heavy emphasis on the drums. Moreover, the song sounds a lot like the kind of pop music I could probably find on any of the top hits radio stations. This is a great testament to the appeal of Imagine Dragons, staying true to their own sound while also being aware of the popular trends in American music. 

"Birds"

If there was any song on the album that reminded me of an old Imagine Dragons song, then it was this one. It's a wonderful ballad that just feels powerful, from its opening to its conclusion. It's a bit tamer in pace and is a bit less chaotic than some of the other additions to the album. However, that isn't meant to detract from the song in any way. In fact, it's definitely one of my favorites, but that's probably more due in part to its beautiful lyrics. Being one of the last songs on the album, it's a great way to start slowing down after the upbeat, high-energy starter "Natural."

 

What's your favorite song from the album?