The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Review | Imagine Dragons rocks electropop in new album ‘Loom’

Photo Courtesy of Genius
‘Loom’ is the newest album from technopop group Imagine Dragon. This is their sixth studio album.

Rating: 7.1/10

Popular technopop group Imagine Dragons released their sixth studio album ‘Loom’ on June 28. This comes three years after the release of their album ‘Mercury – Act 1’ and the reissue one year later, ‘Mercury – Acts 1 & 2.’

Ushering in a new era for the band, ‘Loom’ modernizes the classic electric pop and hip-hop sound the band has become notorious for since its debut in 2012.

The album opens with the fast-paced electropop sound the group is so well known for. ‘Wake Up’ moves quickly with its rapid instrumentals, but it keeps the listener in suspense with its lyrics.

Between the repetitive chorus, quick verses and monotone pre-chorus, the song creates a tone of paranoia and panic.

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“Everybody’s comin’ for you, wake up/ Everybody’s comin’, wake up/ Bodies droppin’ everywhere, I’m waist up/ Everybody’s comin’, wake up,” Dan Reynolds sings.

The story told through the lyrics rises in climax as the song progresses, further drawing in the listener. As the chorus repeats itself, and the verses grow in intensity the suspense builds. The vocals of the song end leaving a feeling of abruptness, which is followed by rattling instrumentals. All put together, this makes the song feel almost unfinished, or cut off, which contributes to the tone and story.

‘Nice to Meet You’ begins with a lighter set of vocals, and follows through with a classic pop sound, reminiscent of music from the late 2010s.

This song follows the frustration of dating someone whose friend is involved in the relationship.

“I’ve always really hated that when you are dating someone, you are also kind of dating their friends,” Reynolds said in an Instagram Live, regarding the song.

Despite the agitation the narrator feels, the instrumentals still carry a light, jovial tone. This song is bright and easy to listen to, making it a great addition to a summer playlist or a road trip queue.

‘Eyes Closed,’ the third track, garnered popularity when it was released as a single in April of this year. At its initial release, the band alluded to this song as the beginning of a new era of their music.

The instrumentals carry an electric tone, starting calm and growing intense with added bass as the song progresses.

Juxtaposing the somewhat somber instrumentals and sound, this song has a positive, motivational message. The narrator expresses that he can do anything, despite the odds and obstacles he faces.

“Lock me up in a maze (Oh)/ Turn out, turn the lights (Oh, oh, oh-oh)/ I was born, I was raised for this (Oh)/ (…) I can do this with my eyes closed,” Reynolds sings.

With rhythmic electric guitar, ‘Take Me to the Beach” carries a chill techno sound, contrasting the intensity of the previous song.

Comparable to the other songs on the album, this most closely resembles the sound of current pop and hip-hop music — both genres that Imagine Dragons dabbles in.

The lyricism of this song follows the ever-popular sentiment of escape from the rat race of the corporate world. The narrator expresses a desire to leave behind the stress of everyday life for a worry-free beach by himself.

‘In Your Corner’ is the first song on the album with a melancholy story to accompany the downbeat tone.

Straying from the traditional electric, synth-based sound featured in the rest of the album, this song opens with what sounds like an eerie electric organ, followed by prominent drums.

The lyrics recite a story of losing a relationship with someone while holding on to the feelings of love and care. Reynolds expresses being in someone’s corner, despite “not having a relationship anymore.”

The song may echo Reynolds’ personal life, as an expression of his emotions after his divorce in 2022.

With a surprising hip-hop techno mix, ‘Gods Don’t Pray’ carries on the eerie tone from the previous track.

With the ever-persistent culture of social media today, the sixth song on the album criticizes the idolization of “larger than life” figures. The song takes a first-person perspective, the narrator given the role of a god, encouraging people away from pointless worship.

“We ain’t never comin’ downstairs/ Gods don’t pray, Gods don’t pray/ Save it for somebody that cares/ Gods don’t pray, Gods don’t pray/ Love me, hate me and make me ugly/ Break me and shame me/ You should see the view up here,” Reynolds songs.

With its unique musical sound, cohesive story and poignant messaging, this song is one of the most stand-out pieces on the album.

‘Don’t Forget Me’ is a sharp contrast, opening with piano and totally lacking the techno sound the band is famous for.

The song follows the emotional set experienced after the end of a relationship, channeling a strong sense of regret. Reynolds sings the line, “don’t forget me” 10 times in the three-minute song.

While the messaging may seem repetitive, with a similar story only two tracks prior, ‘Don’t Forget Me’ stands out as a uniquely human ballad.

‘Kid’ picks the pace back up, featuring drums and bass guitar. With a sound resembling 90s music, the band Gorillaz in particular, this song is a contrast to the rest of the album while still keeping in theme.

It’s an anthem that encourages the listener to preserve. The main portion of the song is a repetition of the lyric, “You gotta get yourself together kid,” with bits of advice and encouragement sprinkled throughout.

“You think you’re born to be the better/ You gotta take your losses as a win,” Reynolds sings. “I’m chasin’ dreams dreams since I left the womb/ You gotta keep that chin up, young one, you’ll bloom.”

‘Fire in These Hills’ is the ninth track, repeating the same sentiment from previous songs about lost love.

Like other songs from the album, the lyrics recount a relationship’s end and regret of the actions taken up to that point.

The instrumentals begin with a ballad-esque piano, and a jazz trumpet cutting in about 20 seconds in. Around one minute a techno beat becomes evident in the background, colliding with the piano and trumpet. The instruments manage to work together, but they don’t blend well enough to sound natural.

Along with the repetitive lyrics, and reused storyline, this song doesn’t stand out against the other tracks.

The album ends with another version of ‘Eyes Closed,’ featuring popular reggaeton artist J. Balvin.

Balvin contributes to the verses and choruses alongside Reynolds before he sings his own verse in Spanish.

The addition of another singer gives this song a new power, making it perfect to close the album.

‘Loom’ offers listeners the sound of Imagine Dragons classic discography, with a modern twist. With different stories and sounds, this album is easy to listen to and follow, each song standing out as its own.


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