Monday, March 6th, 2017

Imagine Dragons – Believer

Today’s Jukebox line-up is for anyone who likes rock and/or roll!


[Video][Website]
[3.83]

Joshua Copperman: Continuing my series of defending shitty pop-rock bands, Imagine Dragons are often frustrating, but they have one inexplicable masterpiece that I referenced in my review of fellow shitty group The Chainsmokers’ “Paris”: “Shots.” Their flaws became their strengths in that song — one of the interesting things about Smoke and Mirrors was that as bombastic an album as it was, it always sounded like the work of humans, with its imperfect mixing and bizarre song structures. That humanity works to your advantage when singing things like “I’m sorry for everything I’ve done” at the top of your lungs. A co-write with Justin Tranter, “Believer” is business as usual for Imagine Dragons, with half-time drums and shouty lyrics, if none of the multitracked “gyuhhs” that resulted in my favorite Jukebox comment ever. Also, they already used the word “pain” for a hook in their Suicide Squad single. Also, the chorus is over-the-top even for this band, and would be for Muse. The verses have some cool moments, especially when Dan Reynolds pulls off impressive triplets on those pre-choruses, but it doesn’t feel human anymore. It’s not as cringeworthy as something like “Roots,” which abruptly stops multiple times just to reference The National (not a joke), but it’s nothing interesting either. 
[5]

Tim de Reuse: The eager over-enunciation leans towards obnoxious, but the laundry list of inspirational self-help clichés is maybe charming if you ignore how authentic it wants you to believe it is. What really sours the whole package, though, is the viscerally unpleasant tone of production: plastic and sickly beyond lazy or stylistic artificiality, like the flavor of cherry cough syrup synthesized into audio.
[3]

Alfred Soto: Coldplay refracted through Destiny’s Child and dunked in a barrel of Fitz and the Tantrums shit. Singles like this have nothing to say except their access to sound engineering.
[3]

Katie Gill: With this song, Imagine Dragons joins fellow bands X Ambassadors and Fitz and the Tantrums in the category of “Ah, you wrote this song in about five minutes just in the hopes that it’ll play in a wide-spread commercial and/or film trailer, didn’t you.”
[4]

Maxwell Cavaseno: Martial stomp-alongs and bleating anthema, sure to impress with the people who are surprised Muse haven’t tried to hurry out an album for them to cope in a world of mistrust. The stop-gap rushes of info after those attempts to hold it back are a cute trick, but the remainder of the song sounds like a weird cross between a less-inspired Nine Inch Nails and “Skinnamarink.”
[2]

David Sheffieck: Dan Reynolds will never have Patrick Stump’s vocal chops, but this is a better Fall Out Boy song than Fall Out Boy have managed in the last four years.
[6]

Reader average: [10] (1 vote)

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4 Responses to “Imagine Dragons – Believer”

  1. can’t believe imagine dragons made a bad song. now that this shocking discovery has been revealed, can we talk about Lorde??

  2. next Monday :)

  3. also Tim your blurb is fantastic, especially this part:
    “What really sours the whole package, though, is the viscerally unpleasant tone of production: plastic and sickly beyond lazy or stylistic artificiality, like the flavor of cherry cough syrup synthesized into audio.”

  4. Like, that’s exactly what it sounds like.