‘Smoke + Mirrors’ leaves a lot to the imagination

On Feb. 17, Imagine Dragons released their long-awaited second album, “Smoke + Mirrors.”

In the midst of the rise of British alternative rock bands’ success in recent years, the Las Vegas founded band upholds the reputation of American rock music with powerful emotion and a sound that embraces strong rhythms and reaches out to audiences. The band’s first studio album, “Night Visions,” released in 2012, reached double platinum status, and “Smoke + Mirrors” holds as much potential.

With the help of music producer Alex da Kid, Imagine Dragons has gifted fans with their newest creation, a 13-track album with a potent rawness that gives way to tender revelations.

The night before the release, the band shared some of the new lyrics with their 2.19 million Twitter followers as a taste of what to expect from the album. Lead singer Dan Reynolds also posted a poignant note to fans describing the album’s significance.

He explained in a Tumblr post that the band’s new album tells “the story of my life. my thoughts. my fears. my anxieties. my joys. my loves. my flaws. I wrote it in hopes that someone puts on their headphones late at night and feel something while they listen to it.”

In a world where we often cast aside the significance of words and strive so as to not let ourselves be affected by the events around us, listening to “Smoke + Mirrors” can help us find relief in the precision of the lyrics that dig into memories, hopes, fears, frustrations and realities. With songs like “Trouble,” “Shots,” “I’m So Sorry,” “Smoke + Mirrors” and “It Comes Back to You,” Imagine Dragons asks their audience members to confront multitudes of jarring emotions to reveal the audacity of our exquisite human im-perfection.

The illusion of the album’s title, smoke and mirrors, presents a contrast and metaphor which is captured in Imagine Dragons’ sound.

A sharp and shining object pro-vides an image, which a fleeting and vague substance distorts, before drifting away, leaving only a lingering scent in hair or clothing and the haunting memory of the blurred reflection.

The things we cannot physically see are often the most intoxicatingly real inside our heads; it’s all smoke and mirrors.

The deception prompts further consideration: the question of our purpose and our impact. In the past, as listeners, our night visions were plentiful. They left us with convictions and unburdened our sorrows, and now we look through inevitable smoke and mirrors to find meaning, the truth, and we bring with us an unfailing hope for clarity.

Smoke and mirrors: mysterious and infuriating, but also revealing and eventual-ly satisfying. Imagine Dragons’ second album captures these human complexities and leaves with us the lingering, penetrating effects of “Smoke + Mirrors.”

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