‘Origins’ Review: An Expected Disappointment

'Origins' Review: An Expected Disappointment

William Geiger, Staff writer

The most defining aspect of a band or artist’s career is how they improve with their consecutive projects, whether by constant experimentation or the refinement of their signature sound. Imagine Dragons is one of the music industry’s biggest offenders of this quintessential benchmark, with Origins being no exception.

Their fourth studio album, at 15 tracks and 52 minutes, introduces absolutely nothing new to their discography; 90 percent of the content can be heard on previous albums. Difficult to listen to this entire album in one go, I had to take breaks between certain tracks to maintain sanity. Imagine Dragons maintains their signature chanting and shouting throughout this entire project.

Lyrical content in this album is shallow and meaningless, repeating the same fake deep observations of society and love that everyone else has so tiredly run into the ground. “Origins” is arena and radio music, with little more to offer than that.

However, “Natural” is a somewhat decent track, with enough replayability to stay on the radio for months to come. While it still fits the category of arena music, it is genuinely enjoyable, though only to a certain extent. Because the track was released almost five months ago, milked dry by radio stations, it seems to fall short as an introductory track for the album.

The album’s production is absolutely abysmal and unacceptable from top to bottom. There is no collective theme, cohesion, progression or anything that could resemble a well-made, full-length album. One standout track that really showcases how bad the music production is on this album is “Digital.” It attempts to replicate the experimental sound of hip hop band Death Grips but fails, without any understanding of what elements make a noisy and distorted track sound enjoyable.

Just like hip hop’s terrible trend of making as much music as possible, oversaturating the market in order to gain money, this album unfortunately sounds like a whole lot of nothing. “Origins,” at 15 tracks, could have easily been cut down to a polished seven-track EP. “Origins” gets a D- for terrible production and meaningless content. It will be played endlessly on the radio and in shopping malls until their next release, continuing to captivate their target audience until their eventual comeback.