On Top of the World
Round and Round
Las Vegas quartet Imagine Dragons’ first major-label recording finds them working with English hip-hop producer and songwriter Alex da Kid. “Radioactive” opens their Continued Silence EP with an impressive arsenal of bells and whistles. Over a contemporary folk-rock foundation on par with the band Train, Alex da Kid layer a huge rumbling bass and equally gigantic beats. It’s the grappling melody that stands out here—especially in the song’s chorus, where Dan Reynolds’ vocal parts are overlapped to sound like he’s singing with himself. The following song, “Demons”, takes on darker characteristics that have more in common with Coldplay. It starts with Reynolds singing over delicate keyboard parts before the bombastic beats return alongside self-accompanying vocal tracks and subtly trippy electric guitar effects. “On Top of the World” tones down the rhythmic explosions for a skittering beat built on handclaps and finger snaps, over which Imagine Dragons play an uplifting tune infused with world-beat accoutrements. “My Fault” closes on a ballad where Reynolds sings self-scrutinizing lyrics.