Album Reviews


By: Alex Bloom, Courtney Miller, Natasha Tar

Evolve by Imagine Dragons

This is an album that could have been so much more. Then again, I shouldn’t be too surprised. Imagine Dragons are, in my opinion, a fairly hit-and-miss group. Their frontman, Dan Reynolds, has always had a pretty powerful vocal quality, and this shows through in songs like “I Don’t Know Why.” But overall, the album isn’t their best work. Even that song has a repetitive pop chorus that undercuts the raw emotion of the rest of the song.

     Apart from “Believer,” “I Don’t Know Why,” and “Whatever It Takes,” Evolve is barely worth a listen. On this album, Imagine Dragons manages to be all over the place musically while still making every song sound the same. Even on the songs that retain some of the qualities that “Radioactive” and “Demons” had, ill-fitting choruses and boring instrumentals hold them back from truly shining. I know that Imagine Dragons can make good music, but right now it feels like they’ve forgotten their roots. Deeply mediocre. – AB

Abysmal Thoughts by The Drums

Filled with bouncy, summery tunes, the Drums dish out yet another brilliant album of surf rock. Jonny Pierce takes the reigns by himself in Abysmal Thoughts as band co-founder Jacob Graham leaves the Drums to pursue his puppetry career. Despite this, Pierce turns whatever ‘abysmal thoughts’ he might be having over his abandonment into catchy choruses with dark lyrics and upbeat synths.

     “Mirror” is a classic Drums’ song that kicks off the album with gentle vocals and sweet riffs. “Head of the Horse” and “If All We Share (Means Nothing)” temporarily eases the album into slow-dance pace while balancing out the head-boppers like “Blood Under My Belt.”

     Pierce seems to have brought the Drums back to their original sound, and it’s a return that might be a relief for fans who were displeased with Encyclopedia. Abysmal Thoughts is well-written and produced with something for everyone; it’s an album that will soundtrack your next road trip or bus ride. – NT

hopeless fountain kingdom by Halsey

If Halsey narrated every Shakespeare play, I’d appreciate the man more, I’m sure. She opens with the introduction to Romeo and Juliet, having based the album on that story, and it actually works. I’m just as surprised as you are.

     The thing I’ve loved about Halsey since her EP Room 93 and her debut, Badlands, is the strength of her songwriting. Lyrically, this thing has some very bright spots: “The good die young and so did this, so it must be better than I think it is,” from “Hopeless,” and “I’m not something to butter up and taste when you get bored,” from “100 Letters” are personal favourites.

     All that being said, there’s a lot more autotune on this record than previous, and it doesn’t add anything. Honestly, I was lukewarm on this album the first listen, but it steadily grows on you through replays. It’s gritty, sexually confident, simmering rebellious electro-pop, and it gets so, so good.