Sunday 24 September 2017

Album review: Imagine Dragons - Smoke + Mirrors

2*

The Las Vegas quartet have become a big deal back home thanks to big, epic songs that straddle multiple genres.

Collaborating with the likes of rap’s most exciting talent, Kendrick Lamar, has done their street cred no harm either.

Smoke + Mirrors is their second album and is likely to make them as popular as their Nevada counterparts The Killers in this part of the world.

Whether they’re gunning for U2-like riffs or channelling the big choruses of Maroon 5, this lot have stadium-domination in mind.

But as is so often the case with bands who run before they can walk, Imagine Dragons come undone time and again. Too often, their over-reaching comes at the sacrifice of songs while elsewhere their electronically-flecked rock sounds both homogenous and uninspired.

There are flashes of excellence, though – ‘Gold’ is a potent collage of influences designed for global radio domination and ‘I’m So Sorry’ sees singer Dan Reynolds channelling his inner Chris Martin on a tune that might just be one of 2015’s guilty pleasures (for those who ordinarily wouldn’t give this band the time of day).

Ultimately though, this collection is an over-produced, underwhelming bid to appeal to the masses. With The Script and Ed Sheeran in Croke Park this summer, don’t bet against this lot headlining GAA HQ in the future.

Key tracks: ‘Gold’; ‘I’m So Sorry’

Imagine Dragons - Smoke + Mirrors (Polydor)

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