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Review: Imagine Dragons Meet Swedish Pop Gurus, Self-Flagellation Ensues

Our take on ‘Evolve,’ the latest from the Las Vegas rockers

Imagine Dragons' latest is 'Evolve.'

Eliot Lee Hazel

With their can’t beat ’em,
join ’em approach to mass market rock anthems, Las Vegas stadium rulers Imagine
Dragons build their third LP with Swedish minimalist-pop mechanics Mattman
& Robin, who gave the rock-ish personas of Tove Lo and Gwen Stefani sexy
shine. But their spacious productions are an odd fit for Dan Reynolds’ tortured
dude-isms; the single “Believer” turned his “pain!” howl
into a Roman coliseum-scale blood chant. His demand “Whip, whip, run me
like a racehorse” on the Joel Little-produced “Whatever it Takes,”
meanwhile, is more spring training than “Venus In Furs.” Redeeming
moments come via Alex Da Kid, producer of the Dragons’ mega-hit “Radioactive.”
See “Yesterday,” a sulk-fest whose boozy stomp and goofy guitar solo
actually sound like a band having fun, rather than stoic engineers of content
delivery systems.

In This Article: Imagine Dragons

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