One of our favorite bands – and one we got to go see in concert a couple of years ago – finally has a second album. Imagine Dragons! They have been one of the top selling alternative rock bands ever since their first EP, Continued Silence. Their first big single, “Radioactive,” is still big. And really, just, they’re on top of the world.
When we saw them in concert, what we saw was a band that was genuinely surprised and grateful to just be able to play their music. They never dreamed of getting as big as they got – who realistically could? But their music was a great combination of fun, happy, and thoughtful.
Well, that tone has changed a bit! What we have is still a great album, but I think you can hear the effects of the fame.
I talked about this sort of effect last year, in my series of music posts on Sourcerer, in talking about Lorde. You could hear a tension in her music – between lines talking about how she’s looking forward to things like her first plane ride, but then she talks about her newfound fame, and how her whole outlook might change.
The week after I talked about Lorde, I talked about Imagine Dragons. And about how the fame didn’t seem to have gotten to them yet. About how they were still just so genuinely thankful. Well, that’s changed!
Now, you have them singing about how much their life has changed, and how fame has affected them. How do you know who to trust, when every song you make, every single you release between albums, is solid gold? I imagine they’ve ended up with a lot of people around them who are there because of the fame.
There’s another thread through the album, like in “I Bet My Life.” A thread of being apologetic, sorry for the ways they’ve changed, for the life they’ve been leading, for the things forgotten or undone. Apologies to spouses, perhaps?
Hopefully they still have that joy in playing their music!