Compared to the likes of fellow Nevadans The Killers who have sold 17 million albums and 2011 Grammy Award-winning Arcade Fire, indie rockers Imagine Dragons appear to have big shoes to fill. Yet, with their brand of stadium rock, it sounds like Imagine Dragons, which Billboard considers among 2012’s Brightest New Stars, are ushering in the future with their unique blend of folk, hip-hop, dubstep and pop music.

In fact, vocalist Dan Reynolds says as much, singing, “Welcome to the new age / welcome to the new age”, soulfully against a richly textured bass drop tied with heavy hitting backbeats, perfectly encapsulating the incredibly diverse elements in the 13-track Night Visions.

It’s easy to see why “Radioactive”, the first track off Night Visions and arguably their most popular song to date, has garnered such commercial success, being the first of their songs to make it to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. The song kicks the album off with crisp delicate strumming on the guitars and gradually melts away into catchy warbling electrical synths and loud booming rhythms, redolent of the hit “Too Close” by fellow alternative artiste, Alex Clare.

Following the traditional “verse-chorus-verse” structure of mainstream pop music, “It’s Time” is an anthemic number that starts off with upbeat foot stomping, followed by feisty and rare mandolin playing. An elegant balance of emotional buildup with complex layers of harmonics, this song, to no one’s surprise, propelled these Las Vegas startups to international stardom.

Slowing things down with “Demons”, this ballad is as sincere as it’s emotional, effectively translating unadulterated passion into good music. With lyrics like “Don’t get too close/It’s dark inside/It’s where my demons hide/It’s where my demons hide”, it’s evident the band has really made the effort to spill blood onto the page. Contrary to what the title and lyrics of the track suggest, this is one number that draws you into a sense of hopefulness, similar to the uplifting tunes of reggae/hip-hop artist Matisyahu.

Not cutting back the optimism, “On Top of The World”, which was used in the trailer of DreamWorks The Croods as well as video game FIFA 13 by EA, begins with catchy rhythmic clapping and exultant whistles, before breaking out in melodies that scream sunshine.

“Underdog” provides a refreshing change of mood, with its blithe and lighthearted 8-bit tune. However, the generic, background sound proves to be quite forgettable, much like tracks “Nothing Left To Say/Rocks” and “Every Night”, which seem to be a little too forcefully churned out.

While there are some misses like the ones just mentioned, the stellar tracks in Night Visions more than make up for them. Nonetheless, the grandiosity coupled with the feel-good, optimistic vibes and emotional charm of the whole make this an album worthy of your time.

Songs to check out: Radioactive, It’s Time, Amsterdam, Demons, On Top Of The World, Hear Me

Album Details

Artist: Imagine Dragons
Album Name: Night Visions
Rating: 3.5/5
Language: English
Genre: Indie Rock
Record Label: Interscope Records/KIDinaKORNER
Release Date: March 31

Track list:

1. Radioactive
2. Tiptoe
3. It’s Time
4. Demons
5. On Top of the World
6. Amsterdam
7. Hear Me
8.Every Night
9. Bleeding Out
10. Underdog
11. Nothing Left to Say / Rocks
12. Cha-Ching (Till We Grow Older)
13. Working Man