Good MusicNote 8.20 demons IMAGINE DRAGONS

We get it… dangerous imagery sells records.

single: “Demons”

artist: Imagine Dragons

Fast on the heels of the poisonously catchy “Radioactive,” the mythically fiery Dragons now bring us the evil follow-up “Demons.”

There’s nothing particularly foreboding about the Dragons or their songs, but they are taking the appropriate cues from heavy metal and breading their innocuous songs with panko death crumbs. (Yeah, I made that up.)

The sound is a more mainstream rock, less electronic iteration of the sound most of us were introduced to on “Radioactive.” In terms of melody and arrangement, it resembles nothing more than Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.” The verses begin with only keyboard accompaniment, then explode into a fully orchestrated chorus. The cadence of the chorus might actually cause Madge to consider a call to her attorneys.

Then maybe they would have a reason to sing about demons…

Good MusicNote 2.9 radioactive IMAGINE DRAGONS

A remarkable half-life

single: Radioactive

artist: Imagine Dragons

Over a year after entering the pop charts, these Dragons keep burning them up. And since this record has been hanging out on the media radar for so long, I doubt there’s little new I can add.

But I’ll try. The inspired rock tune has increasingly become an anomaly in the 21st century. Many can be dubbed exciting, creative, solid, powerful, or rockin’, Few have been able to generate the visceral I-dig-that-melody response that catapults a record into the pop stratosphere.

And when a band does find that sweet spot, it can quickly be pelted with ridicule from so-called rock purists (ask Kings of Leon). Were it not for this anti-pop bias in the rock crowd, I’m quite sure P!nk would be a mainstay on all the modern rock stations.

“Radioactive,” with its simmering, slow-motion groove, claims that pop-rock middle ground with authority. And that’s why the Dragons have been blessed with such a monster hit. The electronic elements don’t hurt, either.