Imagine Dragons’ third full-length album Evolve hit stores today (June 23) and as expected it’s chock full of hits and stadium-sized anthems.
“Believer,” the album’s first single, shot off with a rocket-like trajectory when the song was picked up by Nintendo to advertise their new console, Switch, during the Super Bowl months before the album was even announced. The track currently sits at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 after 19 weeks on the chart.
According to frontman Dan Reynolds, the album is his most personal work yet. Reynolds spent the past few years in a spiritual crisis, battled depression, and fought debilitating physical ailment all while learning to be a family man and a good husband. The emotions came pouring out of him during the making of Evolve, and it shows.
Here are our five favorite tracks from Evolve.
The song finds Reynolds being, dare we say, a tad boastful. Starting life as the quiet kid in the back of the classroom, he flips the script on those who ignored him. “Thunder” will surely find audiences singing to the chorus’ pitched-up, synthetic-sounding vocal while the band’s signature big bass drum pounds like thunder overhead.
The album’s first single, “Believer” finds Reynolds being tested by nearly insurmountable pain, and ultimately bouncing back with a vengeance for life. Reynolds discussed the song with Radio.com back in February. “‘Believer’ to me, is the first song I’ve ever written in my career that I could stand back and say, that is only Imagine Dragons—that comes from a place that is really authentic to us, it’s very percussive, it has the urban qualities that I’ve always latched onto but it also sounds strange and kind of grand. I feel like it was the right place to start with this record.”
“Whatever It Takes”
This introspective track finds Reynolds reflecting on his own mortality. Despite the heavy lyrical content, the track’s enormously catchy chorus will have audiences singing along.
Starting with a glistening guitar and a fleeting Red Hot Chili Peppers feel, “Rise Up” is destined to be a single that finds its way into TV commercials and movie trailers. The track grips your heart with the strength of a hydraulic press. Reynolds belts out the verse, his voice almost cracking under the pressure and the strain—the pain is undeniable. But the real magic comes in the bridge when Reynolds pairs incredibly introspective lyrics with his band’s almost angelic melody, just before slamming back into one of the biggest choruses on the album.
This track will be relatable for many listeners—realizing you’ve screwed up just before the relationship fizzles completely—then doing everything possible to salvage it. There’s a hopeful thread to the song, the relationship is not too far gone to be repaired. That sentiment couples well with the band’s signature uplifting percussion.
Imagine Dragons hit the road this September with dates dotting the U.S. through November.