Imagine Dragons – LOOM

A succinct if somewhat unfulfilling return...

Imagine Dragons are a true pop landmark. Times and trends change, fashions come and go, but the Las Vegas group remain stock and still, like a lighthouse beaming across streaming platforms. 2022 album ‘Mercury Acts 1 & 2’ was a real colossus, a helter-skelter ride across a mammoth 32 tracks. The pared back ‘LOOM’ by contrast is tiny – 32 minutes, barely enough time for an out-of-shape music hack to run a 5k.

Compact but varied, it opens with ‘Nice To Meet You’, a cute house-pop track that boasts an early 90s feel to the beat. Infectious if inoffensive, it leads into the largesse of ‘Eyes Closed’, with the syrupy production redolent of mid-period Kanye.

‘Take Me To The Beach’ is guitar-propelled summer ode, a refreshing piece of songwriting that also feels quite old school in an intangible way. The luminous 80s synths that permeate ‘In Your Corner’ are fuelled by a day-glo colour palette, while the boom-bap beat anchors a soothing arrangement that contains choral backing. The lyrics don’t carry a lot of weight, however: “How can it feel so good / And feel so bad?” for example.

In spite of its tiny running time, ‘LOOM’ still finds space for the odd bizarre creative decision. The curious reggae-adjacent skanker ‘Gods Don’t Pray’ feels out of place, the sort of thing The Police are / were pilloried for, but somehow recorded in 2024.

When Imagine Dragons dial into their pop instincts, though, few can beat them. ‘Don’t Forget Me’ is a heart-on-sleeve stadium-sized mega-ballad, while the glossy chords of ‘Fire In These Hills’ leading to a touching salute to a long-term partner.

There’s no denying, though, that ‘LOOM’ does feel slight. In the era of weighty releases profiled for streaming audiences a mere 10 tracks does seem underwhelming – one song is actually repeated twice, but with added J Balvin for more impact. Far from a disaster, it’s an album that dares to be succinct, but also feels blunt.


Words: Robin Murray

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