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Rotorua Daily Post - - Entertainment -

Imag­ine Drag­ons Ori­gins

Do Imag­ine Drag­ons ever sleep? Not ap­par­ently.

Less than a year and a half af­ter re­leas­ing the dou­ble-plat­inum al­bum Evolve and criss­cross­ing the globe on a 100-date tour, the band is back with a dozen new songs. Whew. Ori­gins is sup­posed to be a sis­ter com­pan­ion to last year’s mon­ster Evolve and it’s an in­trigu­ing fol­low-up, of­fer­ing more tex­tures and sonic ex­per­i­ments.

Don’t let the first sin­gle, Nat­u­ral, fool you. That slice of bom­bas­tic, fist-pump­ing bravado seems to in­di­cate more of the same on Ori­gins, but they drift into other ar­eas, like the blissed-out sum­mer jam Cool Out that could be on a DNCE al­bum, and the glo­ri­ously an­ar­chic, dis­rup­tive Dig­i­tal, which plays with dub step and chops it­self into pieces.

The al­bum sees the Drag­ons again reteam­ing with pro­duc­ers Alex da Kid and Mattman & Robin — folks who have de­liv­ered some of the band’s big­gest hits — but not do­ing more of the same.

Bul­let in a Gun is fresh with un­pre­dictable elec­tronic flour­ishes, and the club-ready Only has in­ter­est­ing temp shifts and un­ex­pected lay­ered parts, as if the Drag­ons are fight­ing monotony this time. West Coast is ba­si­cally a folky tune that could hap­pily sit in a Lu­m­i­neers al­bum.

Lyri­cally, Ori­gins dwells on modern-day alien­ation and the band’s own un­com­fort­able re­la­tion­ship to its own fame. The Drag­ons also ex­plore a de­hu­man­is­ing dig­i­tal world, like in their plea for Love, where Reynolds notes ev­ery­one tones out shock­ing news: “We put on our head­phones.”

The new al­bum ex­tends the band’s flir­ta­tion with Charles Dar­win — tak­ing its name from On the Ori­gin of Species and com­ing right af­ter Evolve. In some ways, the names should be re­versed: Ori­gins shows their sound re­ally evolv­ing. — Mark Kennedy, AP

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