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Album Review: “Origins” by Imagine Dragons

"Origins" by Imagine Dragons given five out of ten rating

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The newest Imagine Dragons album “Origins” is interesting, in that some may categorize it as a rock, but I think it fits more into an alternative category. It has interesting songs, but it really doesn’t stand out to me. I feel the album has potential in its own right, but I was expecting something more energetic. It touches on the divorce of the lead singer and his wife, but I haven’t been able to decipher much of the album as a whole. I find myself asking, “What am I listening to? Is there any deeper meaning to this song rather than what is being said?” In this review, I’ll explain what I was able to gather from my favorite songs off this album.

The first song, “Natural”, tackles the religious and marital struggles of lead singer Dan Reynolds. The song is one of the most relatable on the album, as I do share some of the same feelings as Reynolds. Along with describing the sacrifices Reynolds has made in order to succeed, the song touches on the struggle of the LGBTQ community. Reynolds, a devout Mormon, has questioned the doctrine of his church’s firm stance against same-sex marriage. While expressing his views through the lyrics of the song, in 2017, Reynolds created the LOVELOUD music festival in order to bridge the wide gap between the Church and the LGBTQ community.  What really stands out to me is the darker tone used in this song. It stands out as one of the best on the album by far.

The second song, “Boomerang”, is about the relationship between Reynolds and his ex-wife Aja Volkman. The chorus and end of the song is repetitive and truly distracts from its actual meaning. It doesn’t stand out to me as much as the starting track, which has a deeper message that is easily identified throughout.

The third track, “Machine”, is one of the heavier songs on the album. It is about the band often being labeled for appealing to the masses rather than producing quality music. The track is surprisingly political, as it touches on the Protest Movement of the 1960s, the upcoming midterm elections and how Reynolds doesn’t want to be defined by a single political ideology or “genre”.

My favorite song on the album, “Real Life”, is one of the few songs which I can say speaks to me, as I understand its true meaning. It talks about how the world is becoming numb to the atrocities being committed by terrorists worldwide. Mentioning both the 9/11 attack and the Boston Marathon Bombing of 2013, it also touches on how people often use religion to try to make a difference to fix an atrocity caused by a terrorist. This is definitely the best song on the album since it doesn’t focus on Reynolds’s relationship struggles, but talks about something bigger than all of us.

Sabrina Castle

Another track on the album is “Zero”, which is featured in the film Wreck it Ralph: Ralph Breaks the Internet. It discusses the depression many people suffer from during the holiday season, as well as the mysterious 27 Club. The club includes famous artist such as Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse, who all died at the age of 27. The song sounds like the rest of the album, which is my biggest pet peeve and honestly what brings it way down on my list. I think if they were to experiment with different styles of music and sound, it would make the album better and draw more of fans from different genres of music.

While writing this review, I feel like I am repeating the same thing over and over again. The album itself is well produced, but lacks any lyrical diversity. I feel that I am listening to the same song on repeat. I can enjoy a song or two about relationship problems as long the story is interesting. But, when the theme is expanded throughout the entire album, few people will be able to enjoy it. I somewhat enjoyed this album, but it got annoying knowing that it was about one subject and lacked lyrical creativity. Overall, I give this album a five out of ten.

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Album Review: “Origins” by Imagine Dragons