MELANIE ON MUSIC: Imagine Dragons combine alternative rock, indie and electronic elements
I first found out about Imagine Dragons when I heard their song “It’s Time” and watched the video, and it managed to get stuck in my head for several days. I also remember my attention immediately being caught by their unique band name, which is probably a big part of why I ended up looking for more of their music after that.
Imagine Dragons is an alternative rock band made up of vocalist Dan Reynolds, bassist Ben McKee, guitarist Wayne Sermon and drummer Daniel Platzman. They have a decidedly intense and dramatic style, but it’s never done in an overbearing way. They also have several upbeat songs, such as “On Top Of The World.” And they accomplish a balance between the intense and upbeat with their creative, occasionally electronic-sounding music.
One of the most distinctive aspects of their music is the focus on the voice and lyrics. Reynolds’ voice consistently shines throughout their songs, and it’s complemented by memorable, catchy themes in the music. And their music also has a frequent, distinguishing combination of a heavy rock style with a more mellow indie sound.
A perfect example of this catchiness is their song “Demons,” which also happens to be one of my favorites. This song always gets stuck in my head more than any other, especially because of the way it builds. It starts out with a calm, gradual theme that exemplifies their occasional indie sound. Then it slowly builds in volume and intensity, and eventually culminates in a drum-heavy, rock ballad style.
The lyrics in “Demons” are also some of my favorite of any song, even non-Imagine Dragons ones. They essentially describe someone who is going through rough times, and has a lot of “demons” that hide inside them. The singer is trying to convince a significant other that it’s too late for him, and that he wants her to keep her innocence. But he also maintains some hope that she can help him be better. This inner struggle is best shown through the lyrics, “Your eyes, they shine so bright / I wanna save that light / I can’t escape this now / Unless you show me how.”
The band’s most recent song is called “Monster.” It marked the fourth time that they have written a song for a soundtrack, and was part of the soundtrack for the video game “Infinity Blade III.” It has a similar theme to “Demons,” as it is about someone who has never felt like they fit in. They think there is something wrong with them, or that they are turning into a “monster.” This song opens with an electronic sound, which is a reminder of what it was written for, and then transitions back and forth from contemplative verses to an almost desperate chorus.
And “Radioactive” has become their most recently successful song, though it came out in 2012. It has an apocalyptic theme throughout, such as in the opening lyrics: “I’m waking up to ash and dust / I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust / I’m breathing in the chemicals.” The music certainly fits this subject, and it features a combination of heavy rock beats and electronic elements that make it one of their most intense songs, by far.
Imagine Dragons has released one studio album called “Night Visions,” as well as a deluxe version on iTunes. They also have several singles, including “Monster,” and an acoustic album called “iTunes Session - EP.”
- Band: Imagine Dragons
- Members: Dan Reynolds, Ben McKee, Wayne Sermon and Daniel Platzman
- Website: imaginedragonsmusic.com
McGinniss is a senior at Red River High School. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.