Following the release of their successful debut album, Night Visions in 2012, Imagine Dragons are back with a surprising but equally brilliant second album. Smoke + Mirrors veers away from any notion you may have had that the band were of the pop genre and pushes the second album in a new direction. A number of the tracks are significantly rockier like ‘I’m So Sorry’ and ‘Friction’ which just adds to their impressive repertoire. However, Imagine Dragon’s signature sound of epic-ness is still evident throughout, especially in the massive chorus of ‘I Bet My Life’.
Their mix of rock, indie, folk and pop genres means that several comparisons can be made. The chorus of ‘Gold’ is reminiscent of AWOLNATION’s song ‘Sail’ with the lift and shout of the words ‘Gold’ and ‘Sail’ matching harmonies. Main singer, Dan Reynold’s voice is strikingly similar to that of Chris Martin’s from Coldplay and ‘It Comes Back to You’ could easily be a track by them. The band’s blend of genres is evident in the folk, rock influenced ‘Trouble’ which is similar to the banjos and fast paced drum backings that Mumford and Sons use.
Each and every track is wildly different to the next unlike Night Visions which draws on uplifting pop tones and softer backing such as whistles and keyboards on every track, letting them all flow into one. Whilst darker and slower than the previous album, Smoke + Mirrors has definitely grown on me and I surprised myself by ‘I’m So Sorry’ being my favourite track. It is of the modern rock genre and not something I would normally listen to but the effortlessly cool sound of the electric guitar combined with the crashing drums is incredibly catchy. It also reminds me of Royal Blood; noisy but tuneful.
I would definitely recommend it to any fan or people who like modern rock music as Imagine Dragons have really developed and honed their sound in an impressive sounding second album.