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Imagine Dragons|Mercury - Act 1

Mercury - Act 1

Imagine Dragons

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For album number five, Las Vegas quartet Imagine Dragons recruited executive producer Rick Rubin and dug deep into the emotional well with Mercury: Act 1. While containing just enough of their typical hallmarks -- booming percussion, emotive delivery, and the ability to command full attention with their in-your-face approach -- to make this an unmistakable Imagine Dragons record, the Dan Reynolds-led group takes a big risk on their grandest bid yet for maturity and authenticity. The results come close enough to the mark, showcasing some of the most soul-baring and cathartic moments of their careers. Unlike the bulk of the music for which the band is known, there aren't any arena-sized neo-Jock Jams or immediate radio hits present on the album (the tender, lovelorn ode "Follow You" and gleeful kiss-off anthem "No Time for Toxic People" are as close as it gets). Dealing with mental health, death, and fractured relationships, Mercury pushes the listener to process pain and inner turmoil, embracing the darkness to find hope and acceptance. To achieve that cathartic release, Reynolds delivers his most intense performances to date, pushing his vocals to the breaking point on several occasions ("Giants," "Dull Knives," and "Cutthroat" are almost painful to listen to, purely because fans might wonder if he actually burst a vocal cord during recording) and dropping his guard to reveal uncomfortably vulnerable confessions (the devastating "Wrecked" is a beautiful standout, written about his late sister-in-law). Despite the seriousness, the band balances the set with some relatively upbeat tracks that at least resemble "classic" Imagine Dragons, like the bouncy plea to the heavens "Lonely," the synthy Muse-like "Monday," and the sparkling "Easy Come Easy Go," which offer much-needed breaks from the intensity. On the affirmative "It's OK," Reynolds sings, "It's OK to be not OK/It's just fine to be out of your mind" before beseeching, "Just let me live my truth." This is the essence of the entire album. No matter how ugly and tough life can be, some acceptance and resignation can go a long way toward healing and happiness. For a band that usually goes overboard with hyperbolic, repetitive slogans (whether it's "Feel the thunder!" and "Whatever it takes!" or "Radioactive, radioactive!"), it's refreshing to hear them push themselves into such unpleasant yet absolutely human corners. While the overall tone and narrative could use a little polishing, Mercury: Act 1 is a huge step forward in their maturation process.
© Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo

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Mercury - Act 1

Imagine Dragons

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1
My Life
00:03:44

John Hanes, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brandon Darner, Producer - Mattias Larsson, ComposerLyricist - Robin Fredriksson, ComposerLyricist - Imagine Dragons, Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel - Dan Reynolds, Vocals, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Sermon, Guitar, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ben McKee, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Platzman, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mattman & Robin, Producer, Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Tranter, ComposerLyricist - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Micah Natera, Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

2
Lonely
00:02:39

John Hanes, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mattias Larsson, ComposerLyricist - Robin Fredriksson, ComposerLyricist - Imagine Dragons, Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel - Dan Reynolds, Vocals, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Sermon, Guitar, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ben McKee, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Platzman, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mattman & Robin, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Tranter, ComposerLyricist - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

3
Wrecked
00:04:04

John Hanes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jason Lader, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Imagine Dragons, Producer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel - Dan Reynolds, Vocals, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Sermon, Guitar, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ben McKee, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Platzman, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dylan Neustadter, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jonathan Pfarr, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

4
Monday
00:03:07

John Hanes, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Imagine Dragons, Producer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel - Dan Reynolds, Vocals, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Sermon, Guitar, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ben McKee, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Platzman, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Tolman, ComposerLyricist - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Goldwiing, Producer

℗ 2021 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

5
#1
00:03:25

John Hanes, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kaelyn Behr, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Imagine Dragons, Engineer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel - Dan Reynolds, Vocals, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Sermon, Guitar, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ben McKee, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Styalz Fuego, Producer - Mark Benedicto, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Platzman, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - New Haven, Producer - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

6
Easy Come Easy Go
00:02:59

John Hanes, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jayson DeZuzio, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Imagine Dragons, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel - Dan Reynolds, Vocals, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Sermon, Guitar, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ben McKee, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Platzman, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

7
Giants
00:03:30

John Hanes, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Imagine Dragons, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel - Dan Reynolds, Vocals, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Sermon, Guitar, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ben McKee, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Platzman, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Tolman, ComposerLyricist - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Goldwiing, Producer

℗ 2021 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

8
It's Ok
00:03:22

John Hanes, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Imagine Dragons, Producer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel - Dan Reynolds, Vocals, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Sermon, Guitar, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ben McKee, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Platzman, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Andrew Tolman, ComposerLyricist - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Goldwiing, Producer

℗ 2021 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

9
Dull Knives
00:03:33

John Hanes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Imagine Dragons, Producer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel - Dan Reynolds, Vocals, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Sermon, Mixer, Guitar, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ben McKee, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Aja Volkman, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Platzman, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

10
Follow You
00:02:55

John Hanes, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joel Little, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Imagine Dragons, MainArtist - Dan Reynolds, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Sermon, ComposerLyricist - Ben McKee, ComposerLyricist - Fran Hall, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Platzman, ComposerLyricist - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elley Duhe, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2021 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

11
Cutthroat
00:02:49

Rick Rubin, Producer - John Hanes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jason Lader, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Imagine Dragons, Producer, MainArtist - Dan Reynolds, Vocals, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Sermon, Piano, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ben McKee, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Platzman, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cory Henry, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Dylan Neustadter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jonathan Pfarr, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sam Riback, A&R - Jenna Singer, A&R Coordinator

℗ 2021 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

12
No Time For Toxic People
00:03:27

John Hanes, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Imagine Dragons, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel - Dan Reynolds, Vocals, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Sermon, Guitar, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ben McKee, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jason Suwito, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Platzman, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

13
One Day
00:02:31

John Hanes, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Serban Ghenea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jesse Shatkin, Producer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Imagine Dragons, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel - Dan Reynolds, Vocals, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Sermon, Guitar, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ben McKee, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Platzman, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Dylan Wiggins, Producer, Co-Producer, ComposerLyricist - Randy Merrill, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Samuel Dent, Additional Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records

Album Description

For album number five, Las Vegas quartet Imagine Dragons recruited executive producer Rick Rubin and dug deep into the emotional well with Mercury: Act 1. While containing just enough of their typical hallmarks -- booming percussion, emotive delivery, and the ability to command full attention with their in-your-face approach -- to make this an unmistakable Imagine Dragons record, the Dan Reynolds-led group takes a big risk on their grandest bid yet for maturity and authenticity. The results come close enough to the mark, showcasing some of the most soul-baring and cathartic moments of their careers. Unlike the bulk of the music for which the band is known, there aren't any arena-sized neo-Jock Jams or immediate radio hits present on the album (the tender, lovelorn ode "Follow You" and gleeful kiss-off anthem "No Time for Toxic People" are as close as it gets). Dealing with mental health, death, and fractured relationships, Mercury pushes the listener to process pain and inner turmoil, embracing the darkness to find hope and acceptance. To achieve that cathartic release, Reynolds delivers his most intense performances to date, pushing his vocals to the breaking point on several occasions ("Giants," "Dull Knives," and "Cutthroat" are almost painful to listen to, purely because fans might wonder if he actually burst a vocal cord during recording) and dropping his guard to reveal uncomfortably vulnerable confessions (the devastating "Wrecked" is a beautiful standout, written about his late sister-in-law). Despite the seriousness, the band balances the set with some relatively upbeat tracks that at least resemble "classic" Imagine Dragons, like the bouncy plea to the heavens "Lonely," the synthy Muse-like "Monday," and the sparkling "Easy Come Easy Go," which offer much-needed breaks from the intensity. On the affirmative "It's OK," Reynolds sings, "It's OK to be not OK/It's just fine to be out of your mind" before beseeching, "Just let me live my truth." This is the essence of the entire album. No matter how ugly and tough life can be, some acceptance and resignation can go a long way toward healing and happiness. For a band that usually goes overboard with hyperbolic, repetitive slogans (whether it's "Feel the thunder!" and "Whatever it takes!" or "Radioactive, radioactive!"), it's refreshing to hear them push themselves into such unpleasant yet absolutely human corners. While the overall tone and narrative could use a little polishing, Mercury: Act 1 is a huge step forward in their maturation process.
© Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo

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