Imagine Dragons gifts fans with newest album, ‘Mercury, Act 2’

Imagine Dragons released the second ‘act’ of their two-part album, the first act releasing in 2021 — most noteworthy for its smash hit “Enemy.” The second act does not disappoint, exploring a wide variety of sounds and themes, including aging, regrets, and conflict.

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Melissa Majchrzak-USA TODAY Sports

May 14, 2022; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; singer Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons performs at the LoveLoud Festival.

Ariana Lessard, Arts Reporter


Imagine Dragons’ album, “Mercury, Act 1 & 2” reminded me why I consider Imagine Dragons one of my favorite bands. Bold and imaginative, this album is actually two albums in one — the first “act” consisting of fourteen songs and released back in September 2021, and the second consisting of eighteen, which was released on July 1.

Something I’ve always loved about Imagine Dragons is that they’re willing to experiment with a wide variety of sounds. Despite lead singer Dan Reynolds’ somewhat distinct voice, each song engages with different feelings using different sounds and approaches, so much so that one can wonder if they’re listening to an entirely different band as the album progresses.

The first half of “Mercury” was released back in 2021, with its smash hit “Enemy” from the Netflix series “Arcane: League of Legends,” featuring JID. “Enemy” and “My Life” are my favorites from the first act of “Mercury.”

From the second act of the album, the song “Sharks” seems to be doing the best commercially as it’s one of the most played tracks on Apple — which it should be. Upon hearing this song I wanted to get up and dance, even with its ominous lyrics. This is something I also appreciate about Imagine Dragons — their nuanced approach to conflict.

On one level, “Sharks” depicts somebody who is in over their head, who is “swimming with sharks,” as shown by the chorus’ main line, “Just you wait and you’ll see that you’re swimmin’ with sharks. Your blood is pumping (he’s comin’ to get you).”

Another layer within the song is that it breaks down the idea of insincere friendships. This song felt as though it called out my high school self with the lyric, “You think you’re better than them, better than them, you think they’re really your friends, really your friends.”

“Easy Come Easy Go” hurt. It describes the fluid state of friendships, and although it’s likely meant to console the listener, as someone who’s home for the first summer since leaving for college, this hit too close to home. The lyric, “I’m not gon’ lie to you, I miss you so much, tell me what I did wrong to lose touch?” was absolutely heart-wrenching.

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In the song, especially as it concludes, the tension between the final lyrics grows. This is partially because of the repetition, and though I often consider concluding a song with a fade-out of repeating lyrics to be lazy, in this instance, I think it worked phenomenally.

“Bones” was the first track from the second act, and a strong foot to start out on. The premise of the song is that “there’s magic in my bones.” I enjoyed the quick pace and shifts of the song, and felt like, for those reasons, this song would be well-suited for a gym workout or a nightclub.

“Take it Easy” is another face-paced song with heavy lyrics. This song was cryptic at points, such as the opening lyrics, “Last week, I came to you, I didn’t know what to do, yeah, man sometimes I lie, but sometimes I can tell the truth.” However, the message of this song is pretty straightforward, it’s the same plea Adele released in “Easy on Me” which is not to judge the band’s mistakes too harshly, because it’s a crazy world.

“Younger” is one of those songs that will grow with me as I age. It’s about wanting to be younger, and when I played the album for my parents, this song was my mom’s favorite. This song is heartbreaking, as Imagine Dragons discusses the tension between adulthood and youth, as well as the way that growing up impacts one’s viewpoint.

Personally, I found the lyrics, “I haven’t seen you since we lost all our innocence, you left me in the dark while you drink in the park, never be the same again” to be especially painful.

This album exceeded my expectations and showed how versatile Imagine Dragons’ sound is capable of being. I look forward to watching this band continue to stretch themselves musically.

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