Alternative rock group Imagine Dragons release Smoke + Mirrors today, their sophomore effort on the Interscope Record label. An album said to be inspired by their experiences supporting their multi-platinum debut Night Visions, the much anticipated follow-up album is hitting store shelves to mixed reviews.
Night Visions was a huge success for the band, garnering them critical acclaim, establishing a huge international fan-base, and winning the group multiple awards, including a Grammy for Best Rock Performance. Smoke + Mirrors hopes to capture some of the same energy from their first album, but also reflect the maturing of the band.
Much of the content is said to be fueled by the band’s experience in the music industry and life on the road, while other pieces stem from personal relationships and emotional strain. In an interview with USA Today, Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds said that “The Unknown is a song about questioning the future, and about my grandfather, who passed away years ago.” He continued to elaborate, stating, “He was one of the most humble, funny and hardworking men I’ve ever known.” In an interview with Rolling Stone, Reynolds also said that there were times when he composed multiple demos for Smoke + Mirrors during bouts of depression.
Reynolds noted when speaking with Billboard that the 13 song collection is “definitely different” from Night Visions, but not everyone seems to see it that way. The New York Daily News found it to be more of the same formula for success that Night Visions established, and lacking artistry. On the flip side, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Smoke + Mirrors as “a more complete body of work” than their first album, and that “Just about every song has something to like.”
Ultimately fans of Imagine Dragons will determine the success or failure of the album, by voting with their wallets. Smoke + Mirrors is available today in stores and online, with a special Deluxe Edition available exclusively through Target.
The Smoke + Mirrors album will also be supported by a world tour, scheduled to begin in Los Angeles on February 20, but fans won’t have to wait long to see them play songs from the second album. Imagine Dragons is scheduled to perform on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon this evening, and will be appearing on The Ellen Degeneres Show February 20, before kicking off their tour.
Complete tour information can be viewed at the band’s website.
[Image via Tuomas Vitikainen]