Night Visions - Imagine Dragons

Michael Stephen Hahn reviews the debut album from Imagine DragonsAfter hearing a song I had never heard before on the summer promo for the new season of Glee, I was intrigued as to who originally sung this inspirational and up-beat tune. 20 minutes later, after having pressed 'repeat' on YouTube many, many times, It’s Time by Imagine Dragons was the newest song in my iTunes library. As with many other Glee covers, I just assumed that Imagine Dragons was a reasonably unheard of but old American band, and so I was very surprised when my friend announced that he had discovered a great new band called Imagine Dragons.Formed in 2008 in Las Vegas, the four-piece rock band released four EPs before finally signing a record deal with US Company Interscope Records. Their debut studio album Night Visions, which included previous singles It’s Time and Radioactive went straight into the US Billboard charts at number 2, an impressive feat for any album, but especially since it was the group’s debut.All 12 tracks are beautifully compiled, and make use of both the talent of the group and of producer Alex Da Kid, whose decisions make each track shine as individual songs – the mandolin hook in It’s Time, the debonair whistle in On Top of the World, and several other finishing touches transform the album from an ordinary rock collection to an anthology of inspiring songs which can make a listener’s daily life seem more important and part of something bigger. The band manage to emulate modern greats with an echo of Franz Ferdinand, Neutral Milk Hotel and, Las Vegas contemporaries, The Killers, with Hear Me even having an air of The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Whilst, It’s Time still remains my favourite track, Tiptoe, Demons, and Bleeding Out are close runners-up.Producer Alex Da Kid has worked with many stars, such as Eminem, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj, and is particularly fond of duets between two artists of different genres – he was responsible for Eminem and Rihanna’s Love the Way You Lie, so we could see Imagine Dragons work alongside similarly big stars in the near future. A particularly interesting collaboration would be with Pussycat Dolls’ soloist and former Broadway star Nicole Scherzinger, who Alex Da Kid is working with later in the year.Whilst not quite matching up to The Killers 'Hot Fuss,' Kings of Leon’s 'Only By The Night' or other modern greats, 'Night Visions' is a fantastic debut album by an exciting new band. Imagine Dragons have not seen their new-found US popularity hit the same levels in the UK yet – but with their album soon to be released on UK iTunes, this is set to change. Although Glee gets a lot of bad press from the music industry about promoting highly edited music, it has certainly played an important role in promoting Imagine Dragons, and hopefully when Season Four airs in the UK in January 2013, it will have a similar effect. Michael Stephen HahnImage by Brian J. Bruemmer