'Night Visions' by Imagine Dragons
A Song-By-Song Analysis of the 2012 Album 'Night Visions' by American Band Imagine Dragons
Imagine Dragons is one of my all-time favourite modern bands, and Night Visions is one of my all-time favourite albums.
(Note: I'm not doing the deluxe because it's long).
Track #1: 'Radioactive'
A song we all have definitely heard before, in one way or another. One of their biggest hits to date.
"Radioactive" has a techno-rock feel, with post-apocalyptic lyrics which gives us the feeling that we're in the future, listening to a song meant for dystopia.
At first glance, it just sounds like a typical made-for-radio song, but the lyrics run a bit deeper than that. Of course, it can just be used for the radio or even for a movie soundtrack, but the lyrics co-penned by frontman Dan Reynolds are about a person who's been locked up for a long time and who's finally free to welcome in this new age.
Track #2: 'Tiptoe'
"Tiptoe" is an upbeat song about, it seems, the evolution of one's identity. Someone coming out of their shell, starting to become someone who they want to be, and no one else can help them see it but themselves.
They're quietly tiptoeing higher toward being a different, more powerful person.
Track #3: 'It's Time'
This is, I believe, their first single from Night Visions.
Following the theme of the previous song, it's about growing into your own self. It's about wanting to become your own person, despite what society and other people want you to be.
While it's probably cliche, this is one of my favourite songs by them lyrically.
It's a happy, upbeat song with a message that resonates with everyone who doesn't feel comfortable with themselves because other people are trying to make them different.
Track #4: 'Demons'
The first song I'd ever heard by them, so it has a personal spot for me.
This song is pretty cut and dry for meaning, for me. It's about overcoming something terrible in your life and becoming a better and stronger person, as is the main theme of the album.
It's slow but with a slight rock-ballad feel which kind of suits the meaning of the song, as well. It's slow during the verses when Reynolds is singing about the depressive state of his life and then the beat really picks up in the chorus when he starts to overcome it.
Track #5: 'On Top of the World'
An uplifting song with a light, uplifting beat to match.
Not much to say here except that I have it on a personal "for rainy days" playlist for when I'm sad and I need songs to cheer me up, because everything about this song makes me smile.
Track #6: 'Amsterdam'
This is my favourite song from the album, everybody.
This song can be interpreted in many different ways, as I'm sure Reynolds wanted when he wrote it.
It's, ultimately, about realizing that everyone has their time and that you need to be patient for it. It'll come when it's meant to, and you need to wait for it.
(Kind of reminds me of Vienna by Billy Joel, actually.)
Track #7: 'Hear Me'
One of my least favourites on the album, unfortunately—at least, production wise.
I love the lyrics, though. I see it as a person who feels neglected and like they're not getting enough affection from the person/people they love.
They just want to know that someone, anyone, cares about them.
Track #8: 'Every Night'
One of the sadder songs of the album, "Every Night" is about someone who's in love but is also battling depression. Or, at least, that's how I see it.
The song is slow-to-medium tempo, that picks up a bit throughout but still remains still and slow.
Track #9: 'Bleeding Out'
The saddest song on the album, for sure.
"Bleeding Out" is about someone who's so in love with someone that they're willing to do anything for them, because the person they're in love with is obviously in pain.
It's an up-tempo song that in no way matches the lyrics but there's a tone in the song that makes it darker, that makes it fit the lyrics a bit more.
One of the most complex songs on the album, "Bleeding Out" is one that has many interpretations all over and that many people can relate to.
Track #10: 'Underdog'
Going back to upbeat, this song follows the main theme of finding yourself and being who you want to be but ultimately rooting for the underdog. Having a simple life, wondering if they want the simple life, but loving being the underdog regardless.
It's actually one of the most simple and self-explanatory songs on the album, and it's a bright, cheery song.
Track #11: 'Nothing Left to Say/Rocks'
This song, to me, is upbeat but with a deeper meaning.
It's about someone who's trying to balance living the life he wants and wanting to have the money to be comfortable.
Work work work and no play, essentially. Feeling unfulfilled in the life that they're living, but needing to continue living it.
Track #12: 'Working Man'
This hits home with a lot of people, I think. To me, the song is about someone who's dealing with something large—be it addiction and sobriety, depression, anxiety, etc.
It's got a depressive tone in its lyrics, despite the techno/rock beat.
This song, ultimately, is about being so unhappy that you feel like you need/want to give up.
(Side-note: it has one of my favourite lyrics from the album—"My age has never made me wise.")
Track #13: 'Fallen'
Another one of my favourites, because it seems more personal for Reynolds, a former Mormon.
Ultimately, this song is a callback to The Book of Enoch, about the fallen angels locked out of heaven.
But to me, the song is about how much we as people have fallen and that the world will likely end because of it.
Album rating: 4.5/5
Favourite songs: "Amsterdam," "Demons," "It's Time," "Bleeding Out," "Fallen," "Nothing Left to Say/Rocks"
Overall thoughts: This album came into my life when I needed something uplifting that I could listen to, a reminder that it was all going to be okay and it delivered. I still listen to the album on repeat sometimes when I'm feeling spectacularly low, and I'm constantly reminded why I love it so much. It may just seem like a generic pop/rock/alt album, but it's so much more than that.