BOTTOM LINE The Las Vegas rockers follow their musical muse and find new depth, skills
Imagine Dragons continue cutting their own path connecting rock and pop with “Origins” (Kid in a Korner/Interscope), the companion album to last year’s “Evolve.”
And the more singer Dan Reynolds and friends do it, the better they get.
That part is clear on “Natural” — the album’s first single, which has already topped the rock charts for three months — as Reynolds shows new dynamics to his voice, rather than simply the intensity that has pushed the Las Vegas band up the charts.
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.” On the laid-back “Cool Out,” which sounds more like Coldplay or even Gwen Stefani than the band who built “Radioactive,” Reynolds taps into his inner R&B crooner.
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.