Album of the week: Imagine Dragons’ Smoke + Mirrors

Yesterday Las Vegas rockers Imagine Dragons released their second album, Smoke + Mirrors. Sophomore records tend to be flops, especially when a band’s first album is so good. 2012’s Night Visions gave us such hits as “Demons,” “Radioactive” and “It’s Time.” As such, I was doubtful that the group would produce another killer album, let alone one that is perhaps better than the first. In one day, I’ve listened to Smoke + Mirrors 3 times all the way through, with several songs on repeat. The band incorporates sounds from around the world, most notably in “Gold” and “Friction.”

An indie vibe is more pervasive in songs like “Shots” and “It Comes Back to You,” and others are pure ear candy (“Summer”). My guess is that reviewers will criticize this one for being all over the place, but I think it’s pretty damn good. All too often a group releases an album where the songs bleed into one another, but Imagine Dragons have proved that they not only know how to rock but are also hella versatile. My favorite track (if I must pick one) is “Friction.” It doesn’t sound like anything else on the album, and reminds me of the days when Linkin Park was all I listened to. Preview Smoke + Mirrors here and let me know your favorites!

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