John J. Thompson
February 19, 2015
Imagine Dragons' Smoke + Mirrors sounds like uplift, but lyrically front man Dan Reynolds seems to be pushing away from his Mormon faith.
Your offhanded reference to Mumford & Sons made me wonder: how would you compare that band's combination of "congregational anthems" and spiritual angst with that of Imagine Dragons? I know you're a fan of Mumford, so I'd be curious to hear what the distinction is for you. (Beyond the folk/arena distinction, of course.)
Good question. Simply put I guess I can just say that Mumford does it better. Maybe it's because they stick to the folk idiom instead of trying to be all things to all people. Folk music is the music of the people - it's right there in the name! It has a long history of including elements of protest, celebration, love, anger, remorse, and so on. The Dragons borrow the congregationalism of folk, without the rest of the package. They are a pop band - heavily driven by producers and radio. Unlike the greats in that genre, though, like U2, Coldplay, Peter Gabriel, Sting, etc, they don't seem to add anything unique or particularly passionate to the mix.
I do suppose, though, that I would probably be more forgiving of an angsty anthem from Mumford because, frankly, I would believe it more. They are dented Gospel band after all. In my opinion Imagine Dragons is long on the "boom," and short on the "hmmm."
Plus I wanted to be the first person to use "Mumford" as a verb. You're welcome.
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