Imagine Dragons are a standard name in the indie pop rock genre. From “Smoke and Mirrors” to “Evolve,” and “Origins” to “Mercury – Acts 1 & 2”, Imagine Dragons have experimented with new styles as well as new sounds and different ways to express feelings such as depression . But even with all their experimentation nothing quite comes close to their original album, “Night Visions,” which they recently re-released as the super-deluxe expanded edition.
Ten years after the initial release, the original songs are still solid. “Radioactive” opens strong, with a driving intensity. It’s also one of the band’s most listened-to songs. “Demons,” another song in the top three, can also be found on the tracklist. But, the best of this re-release isn’t the venerable songs that have stood the test of time – they are instead the unreleased and extra songs that give this album a three and a half hour run time.
Among these unreleased songs is their new hit “Love of Mine.” The prominent synth and quick beat help the song fit right in with the original release, but is nice in its uniqueness. Every song added is a fresh take on the same concept. “Tokyo” was previously released on some streaming services, but it was hard to find. Now an underappreciated song can receive its due praise alongside other songs that might not have seen the light of day. “Bubble” is another interesting song which really lives up to its name. The opening bars can be best described as bubbly, and fits the rest of the album well. “I Don’t Mind” starts like a modern, more rock-based rendition of a classic ballad but quickly transitions into something strongly emotional that merits many repeat listens.
There is also a disc full of Dave Matthews Band-style live recordings and in a similar vein, the majority were from a concert at Red Rocks in 2014. Almost all the songs from the original base edition are here. Although “Every Night” and “Nothing Left to Say” are missing, they are replaced instead by “Cha-Ching” and “Rocks.” These live recordings don’t disappoint and are a personal favorite. Being able to hear the band’s talent and musical skill in the unforgiving world of live music is refreshing and a great experience for people who haven’t been able to see the Imagine Dragons live.
As a final touch, disc four contains multiple remixes of “Radioactive,” “It’s Time,” “Demons,” “On Top of The World” and “Hear Me.” While some of the remixes suffer slightly, removing too much of the original song and forgetting some important things about music-making, the vast majority are outstanding. These factors bring the album to a good close.
Frankly, if you liked “Night Visions” when it was first released you will love this super deluxe edition. It reminds us of the band’s roots and has a wonderful nostalgia factor in even the unreleased songs. Even if you didn’t like the original album, this still merits a try. There is something for just about everyone in the four parts.