When I wrote “Great House of the Captive Lovers” (original title: “Mythos”) in high school, I didn’t know exactly what triplet time was. I just had a song idea, and I knew there was a place I wanted to go with it. AWOLNATION’s “Sail”, Imagine Dragons’ “Believer”, and later Bishop Briggs’ “River” occupy a specific position in the canon of modern pop music, using a specific type of dark minor harmony and the triplet flow pioneered by rap musicians to create a threatening, jagged, methodical attack of a piece. Consciously, I tried to create a song that occupied that space, and I wrote something with a simple waltz rhythm. It may be 6/8 instead of 12/8, but you can pretty clearly see the influence “Believer” had on my song. Here is my review of Imagine Dragons’ ƎVOLVE.
Imagine Dragons’ Evolve is a really good album, but, then again, it’s hard to go wrong with Imagine Dragons. Dan Reynolds’ voice is always powerful, yet methodical, fitting very well with the band’s measured, planned statements. They’re getting really into the triplet arpeggios in the instrumentation, and it works, creating a safe, calm feeling on “I’ll Make It Up To You” and a jagged, violent tone on “Believer”. (This album has six 4/4 songs, two 6/8 songs, three 12/8 songs, and “Rise Up”.) I’m not trying to say they don’t break out interesting melodic riffs, such as the synth countermelodies on “Start Over” and the guitar on “Yesterday”, but my favorite riffs on this album have got to be Daniel Platzman’s brilliant drums. Really, when I see this album cover, I hear the iconic drum opening to “Believer”; all over the album, Platzman crafts innovative, catchy, and complex beats that give this music an unrivaled depth. The electronic production is another highlight; the way the chords echo around throughout “Whatever It Takes” is truly sublime and certainly isn’t what you’d expect under those swift, hard-hitting vocal melodies. Their experimental climax, “Dancing in the Dark”, is as fantastic as it is because of those excellent electronic chords and the perfectly-produced vocal harmonies that pervade this album. Just give this album a listen; if you haven’t heard “Dancing in the Dark” or “Believer”, you’re seriously missing out, and the whole album is really good, full of complex little hidden goodies that you’ll hear if you look hard enough.