Imagine Dragons reflects on their journey with ‘Origins’

The cover for Imagine Dragon's new album that was released Nov. 9.

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The cover for Imagine Dragon’s new album that was released Nov. 9.

Shaye Holladay McCarthy, Magazine Editor

Following the release of Evolve in 2017, Origins marks the fourth studio album, released by Imagine Dragons. This album was released more than a year after Evolve, but holds a smaller time frame between albums compared to the two-year drought between Smoke and Mirrors and Evolve. Prior to the release of their new album, Imagine Dragons released four singles: “Natural,” “Zero,” “Machine” and “Bad Liar.”

Lead vocalist and frontman Dan Reynolds said that the meaning of Origins is to seek new ground, but to also appreciate your roots. It’s about creating, but not being restricted by boundaries and rules, he said.

“Zero” was released in September, and it was also the song used to help promote Ralph Breaks the Internet. The song itself  addresses issues relating to identity and loneliness that is unique to this internet generation, but it also reflects the emotional aspects of the film. Reynolds spoke of the aspects the song reflects. The song speaks to a struggle for self-acceptance that can resonate with the listeners.

The album has songs about love, relationships and being who you are. “Bad Liar” is a song that warns about relationships. “I’m a man of three fears: integrity, faith, and crocodile tears…” This refers to distrust and doubt that could be formed if a relationship isn’t made with the right person and when one partner is taken advantage of. There is a small reference back to “Demons” in this song where he talks about a “Perfect paradise” which is a facade, while the metaphor in “Demons” comes forth as getting too close and the “demons” will be found.

A song like “Natural” has a melancholic vibe and holds a warning about making your way through life. It’s about being able to find yourself and standing to face whatever adversity comes into life. The lines, “A beating heart of stone, you gotta be so cold, to make it in this world,” could allude to the fact that being cold-hearted is also a defense mechanism to keep control over your life and protect yourself from adversities.

Reynolds has referred to Origins a sister album to Evolve, which is why the album was released the year following the release of Evolve and not a couple years later. He also explained it as the band would be in a different place than they were coming off of Evolve. The two albums work as a link to complete each other. “Evolve is like: where am I going? I know there’s colour and Origins is: this is where you’re going, and it’s a great future. And to be 10 years into our band, that feels right.”

Origins is a beautiful, but meaningful album where Reynolds uses his life experiences to form lyrics for certain tracks. When songs are written and influenced by the life of a band member they reflect an experience, but also provide advice. The songs are melancholic and this album is about staying to stay true to yourself.  

It’s a gift that with the release of Evolve and Origins, the fans are able to hear what Reynolds has suffering through and how he chooses to express the issues through music with his band. While some of what is subtly mentioned in his songs the audience knows, he provides the listeners with more from his life with the band.