Imagine Dragons is an alternative rock band based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and comprised of vocalist Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman. Less than a year and a half after releasing the double-platinum album Evolve coupled with crossing the globe on a 100-date tour, the band released their new album, their fourth studio album, Origins, on Friday, 9 November 2018. The album is a bit different from the band’s previous works and according to the Associated Press it “extends the band’s flirtation with Charles Darwin — taking its name from ‘On the Origin of Species’ and coming right after ‘Evolve.’”
The Associated Press review further states, “‘Origins’ is “supposed to be a sister companion to last year’s monster ‘Evolve’ and it’s an intriguing follow-up, offering more textures and sonic experiments. If ‘Evolve’ was the band stalking around as an arena powerhouse, ‘Origins’ is their quirky little sister, making cool stuff in her bedroom.” The AP continues, “Lyrically, ‘Origins’ dwells on modern-day alienation and the band’s own uncomfortable relationship to its own fame.” They note that “On ‘Zero,’ lead singer Dan Reynolds reminds everyone he once felt empty and unreal” and “On the moody ‘Bullet in a Gun,’ he [Dan Reynolds] notes sadly: ‘To make a name you pay the price.’” Later the words “sellout, sellout, sellout!” are heard.
Billboard, in their review, commented about the single, “Bad Liar,” which is about masking pain. The single is the fourth from the album and was released on Tuesday, 6 November 2018. Billboard wrote, “The rock ballad carries a lyrical heaviness similar to the band’s 2012 hit ‘Demons’ from their debut release, with frontman Dan Reynolds simmering on the struggles that accompany hiding the pain from a lover.”
Indepent.co.uk reports, “Frontman Dan Reynolds has clearly been working out those pop writing muscles – he deals in songs that don’t try to trick the band’s young fanbase with pretentious metaphors. Most of his lyrics feel deeply personal, perhaps because they’re based on his own experiences or tackle issues he feels passionately about.”
Glenn Gamboa for Newsday.com commented, “It’s impressive to hear them try new things, like the bouncy pop of ‘Zero,’ which uses the upbeat music to offer support for the seriousness raised in the chorus of ‘Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero.’” He continues, “The poignant ‘Bad Liar,’ sung from the point of view of a parent trying to comfort his kids, has lyrical risks that pay off spectacularly. It’s no wonder that Origins sounds like the start of something even bigger for Imagine Dragons.”
In an interview with Newsweek, Dan Reynolds commented, “This past year has been so tumultuous. High highs, low lows. It really created a perfect environment for creating. Often when I’m bored or life is vanilla, I find myself having a hard time creating music. It’s been a really intense year, so it just felt natural to create another album.”