Imagine Dragons unifies listeners with unique sound, varied genres

Owen Gibbs

Imagine Dragons is one of the most well known artists in the world, earning nine Billboard Music Awards, and amassing over five billion views on YouTube. Audiences enjoy them because they appeal to both rock fans, such as myself, and pop fans as well.
When turning on the radio, listeners have a good chance of hearing an Imagine Dragons song, whether it would be their newly released pump-up anthem, “Natural”, or an older hit such as “Radioactive”. I like “Natural” because of its haunting verses, strong chorus, and the music video, which is even more haunting than the lyrics.

However, “Radioactive” takes the cake for music videos. It’s like a four-minute-movie with a pink teddy bear and a gambling champion, and I love it. They currently have two songs that are close to reaching a billion views each on YouTube, one of which would be “Radioactive”, the other being “Thunder”. But they weren’t always The Beatles of today.

Imagine Dragons started playing in Las Vegas bars with sometimes as few as twelve fans present. They released their first EP, Speak To Me, in 2008, the same year that the band was formed. Few people have actually heard their earlier songs, seeing as how they’re not on major streaming sites such as Apple Music, Spotify, or Google Play Music. The same goes for for their later released self-titled EP, released in 2009. They’re first big hit was the single, “It’s Time”, first released on the It’s Time EP, and then later on their number one album, Night Visions. When the album was released in 2012, “It’s Time” was followed by three more hits: “Demons”, “Radioactive”, and “On Top Of The World”.

In comparison to their first, Imagine Dragons’ second album, Smoke + Mirrors, seemed a failure. Smoke + Mirrors topped the charts as well, but its highest charting singles, “Warriors” and “I Bet My Life”, weren’t even close to those of their first album, and many people feared that Night Visions was all Imagine Dragons had in them.

But they proved the critics wrong. Their third album, Evolve, proved as efficient and powerful as their 2012 album. Their lead single, “Believer”, was an emotional track that lead singer Dan Reynolds wrote for his friend who had committed suicide. I love the lyrics from “Believer”, because it is emotional as well as motivational. My favorite line is, “Pain! You made me a, you made me a Believer”. So, unsurprisingly, my favorite track on the album would be “Whatever It Takes”, a motivational, fast paced track.

This August, I was able to see Imagine Dragons in concert. Dan Reynolds was very emotional at the concert. He was sick, and his lungs weren’t up to high notes. Although Reynolds himself wasn’t thrilled about it – he apologized many times – the concert was still great. Reynolds, since he “couldn’t sing well”, would sometimes tell us the meaning behind the song before they played it. Most people would have never expected the happy, upbeat chorus of “On Top Of The World” to have a darker origin. He came up with it when he wasn’t feeling well, and he was taking a walk. He said, although he was not feeling on top of the world, it just “came into [his] head”. The acoustic performance of “I Bet My Life” was hard to beat, but I personally liked the performance of “Radioactive” best, I just love the drums in the live version.

When I first started listening to rock music, which was a little more than a year ago, I discovered Imagine Dragons with a song called “Believer”. Soon after that, I decided that “Whatever It Takes” was my favorite song. Having heard all of their songs multiple times, my favorite is “Demons”. “Demons” is the most beautiful song that I have ever heard.

Imagine Dragons are mega popular because of their diverse audience including fan’s of 80’s music like The Police and teenagers who only listen to mainstream pop. This is demonstrated by the fact that they are one of the most streamed bands in the world.