The Lyrical Power of Imagine Dragons

Four Las Vegas guys with one passion created a band which, unbeknownst to them, would become the “Breakthrough Band of 2013”. With the combined talent to match some of the most prestigious musical geniuses in the world; Dan, Wayne, Ben and Daniel stormed the global music industry with their alternative rock band: Imagine Dragons. Like every other successful band, they are celebrated for their musical brilliance, countless awards and yearly sell-out tours. However, Imagine Dragons are loved and uniquely celebrated for another reason too. The lyrics, written by frontman Dan Reynolds, express raw emotions which he and the rest of the world have experienced at one time or another. On the Imagine Dragons’ website, Reynolds states “It’s really scary to think about so many people hearing what I’m talking about in the lyrics […] but I know that […] it’s completely authentic and genuine and true to who we are as a band”. This intimate connection gained through the truthful and didactic lyrics increased the world’s love towards this American rock band, and consequently threw them into the limelight of global success.

Imagine Dragons’ most recent album, Smoke and Mirrors, clearly displays the emotions and messages portrayed through their lyrics. Track ‘Gold’ for example, is a powerful and uniquely rhythmical track, which engages in questioning the materialistic society of the Western world.  Repeating the line “who can trust when everything […] you touch turns to gold” highlights the consequences of having everything. The insinuation that wealth can become a “curse of diamonds and rings” depicts that to be rich is not to be happy. Reynolds also signifies an element of loneliness through the repetition of “gold”; a single noun, segregated from the rest of the lyrics, as if “gold” is all you will have. In terms of musicality, the complicated rhythmical patterns with regularly changing time signatures highlight the struggles of having wealth. Instantly, the listener takes away the message that money isn’t everything. These lyrics undoubtedly relate to the millions of people who don’t have riches, but are truly happy with emotional wealth; a loving family and true friendships.

‘Demons’ from their debut album, Night Visions, also portrays heartfelt emotions and a highly pertinent message. The lyrics “look into my eyes/ It’s where my demons hide”, highlights past and present torments, and the inward battles with personal demons. However, the band use strong, determined drumbeats to accompany these lyrics, encouraging us to fight and overcome our demons. There is a highly emotional connection between the band and this particular song as it is dedicated to Tyler Robinson, a 16 year old boy, who was diagnosed with cancer. The band set up the Tyler Robinson Foundation in his honour as he was determined not to let his diagnosis stop him living his life and enjoying every moment of it. This song clearly portrays Tyler’s struggle and also his determination to fight through his demons. This song is the perfect example of how relatable and moralistic the lyrics are and how Imagine Dragons have used their unique musical brilliance to inspire the world.

Emma Humphrey

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