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Review: Imagine Dragons Meet Swedish Pop Gurus, Self-Flagellation Ensues

With their can’t beat ’em,join ’em approach to mass market rock anthems, Las Vegas stadium rulers ImagineDragons build their third LP with Swedish minimalist-pop mechanics Mattman& Robin, who gave the rock-ish personas of Tove Lo and Gwen Stefani sexyshine. But their spacious productions are an odd fit for Dan Reynolds’ tortureddude-isms; the single “Believer” turned his “pain!” howlinto a Roman coliseum-scale blood chant. His demand “Whip, whip, run melike a racehorse” on the Joel Little-produced “Whatever it Takes,”meanwhile, is more spring training than “Venus In Furs.” Redeemingmoments come via Alex Da Kid, producer of the Dragons’ mega-hit “Radioactive.”See “Yesterday,” a sulk-fest whose boozy stomp and goofy guitar soloactually sound like a band having fun, rather than stoic engineers of contentdelivery systems.

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