I Honestly Tried to Like Imagine Dragons
I'm going to let you in on the secret: I don't know anything about music that normal adult humans listen to. Avalanches of culture engulf our entire society while I sit in a grubby basement, hunched over a laptop listening to old Motorhead records. However, on occasion, I'm forced to stick my head out and comb through the bleak, bland, and depressingly white landscape of pop music to observe the catastrophes around me.
I have heard a song by Imagine Dragons - "Radioactive." I was a career counselor at an arts college and some little booger that went to school there had covered it playing all the instruments himself. I thought it was really good for sounding like something I was fundamentally against.
Then I listened to Imagine Dragons' original version. It reminded me of Linkin Park crossed with Foster the People with a dash of Skrillex. If it were a meal, it would be a bunch of white turkey meat covered in sand. And you'd eat it off an ironic looking windbreaker jacket.
Ultimately, it was catchy and uncomfortably stayed with me, like the persistent feeling that you did not wipe your ass properly.
Imagine Dragons will be gracing Dallas with their heavenly presence tonight. As a teaser to generate interest, I have dutifully stepped up to honestly, seriously consider the band's record, Night Visions, track-by-track.
1. "Radioactive" I went to a vocational technical college at the end of high school so I could sometimes smoke weed in my car. In class, I sat next to an intense serious looking goth who sat pensively in his own world, listening to music. A metalhead myself, one day I decided to ask him what he was listening to. He handed me his hilariously gigantic headphones and I prepared myself for some onslaught of pounding drums and blazing guitar solos. What I heard was "Return to Innocence" by Enigma. I can guarantee this dude is now listening to "Radioactive" on repeat as he piles down gas station food.
2. "Tiptoe" Whoa, this rules. It sounds like it could be some sort of Stabbing Westward or Gravity Kills b-side -- two of the greatest bands of our lifetime. Of course, they go and ruin it at the 0:28 mark with some cheesy drums before forcing on some vocals that made me yell "OH" out loud like I was Andrew Dice Clay being punched in the stomach. The rest of the song sounds like it would be the soundtrack to a montage scene in Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 . I can imagine a tiny dog triumphantly catching some Frisbees as the manicured and overproduced voices chant "nobody else can take me higher".
3. "It's Time" Starts out with a similar beat to Fergie's "London Bridge." How can you go wrong with that? Shit, they're playing a fucking mandolin.
4. "Demons" Matchbox 20 with a glockenspiel setting on a synthesizer. This is the only time I have ever prayed for Carlos Santana to show up.
5. "On Top Of The World" Sounds like if Jimmy Buffett was young enough to bleach and spike his hair. Handclaps. Steel drums. Awful. I'm getting a stomach ache. I bet one of them wears a Hawaiian shirt during their set and they make some sort of joke about the weather in the town they're in.
6. "Amsterdam" This song is kind of cool, actually. It's more subdued and sounds like he's singing in a sewer, which is where I presume all the members of this band will soon be living after the creation of their music is recognized as a violation of human rights. I was going to end this review early but they've bought themselves some more time.
7. "Hear Me" Starts with the same beat as OMC's "How Bizarre." Fuck it, I'm done.
In conclusion, Imagine Dragons are a band that should've taken that name and formed a Lord of the Rings power metal band. You can see them tonight at American Airlines Center. Someone in attendance will be smoking a marijuana cigarette and will remember the third encore of "Radioactive" as the best moment of their entire life.
Follow Drew Ailes on Twitter at @CountBakula.
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