Evolve (Imagine Dragons album)

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Evolve
ImagineDragonsEvolve.jpg
Studio album by Imagine Dragons
Released June 23, 2017 (2017-06-23)
Studio Imagine Dragons (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Genre Pop rock
Length 43:02
Label
Producer
Imagine Dragons chronology
Smoke + Mirrors
(2015)
Evolve
(2017)
Live at AllSaints Studios
(2017)
Singles from Evolve
  1. "Believer"
    Released: February 1, 2017
  2. "Thunder"
    Released: April 27, 2017
  3. "Whatever It Takes"
    Released: October 6, 2017
  4. "Next to Me"
    Released: February 21, 2018

Evolve (stylized as ƎVOLVE) is the third studio album by American rock band Imagine Dragons, released on June 23, 2017 through Kidinakorner and Interscope Records. The album is the band's new material follow-up to their second studio album, Smoke + Mirrors.

After the release of Smoke + Mirrors and its respective world tour, a self-imposed hiatus for 2016 and cryptic messages from the band through their social media gained anticipation for their third album. The album was finally announced on May 9, with the initiation of the album's pre-order. In comparison to Night Visions and Smoke + Mirrors, frontman Dan Reynolds explained that the album would be an "evolution" for the band.

The album peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200, and received mixed reviews from critics. The album was promoted by four singles: "Believer", "Thunder", "Whatever It Takes" and "Next to Me", as well as a world tour produced by Live Nation and supported with Grouplove and K.Flay that started in September 2017.

The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.[1]

Background[edit]

In February 2016, after the success of their second album Smoke + Mirrors and a ten month long world tour, the members of Imagine Dragons vowed to take time off from the band. In an interview with Billboard, lead singer Dan Reynolds stated that the group would be on hiatus for the remainder of the year, explaining "We [Imagine Dragons] haven't stopped in, like, six years, so we've forced ourselves to at least take a year off."[2] Throughout 2016, the band contributed songs to the soundtracks for Me Before You, Suicide Squad and Passengers, as well as playing at several shows.

The band first began teasing their third album on September 13, 2016, with a picture of guitarist Wayne Sermon in the band's recording studio and continued releasing cryptic messages over the next four months. On January 24, 2017, the band tweeted "goodnight +",[3] effectively ending the Smoke + Mirrors album cycle.

Composition[edit]

Reynolds had noted that the album, compared to Night Visions and Smoke + Mirrors, is "an evolution for Imagine Dragons".[4] The album's sound has been described as pop rock[5] while containing elements of R&B, hip hop and EDM.[6][7]

Promotion[edit]

In the months leading up to the album's release, Imagine Dragons used the caption "ƎE" in multiple social media posts. The group announced the title of their third album on May 8, and started the album pre-order along with the release of "Whatever It Takes" at 9 PM PT.

Singles[edit]

Starting on January 28, 2017, the band tweeted a series of four videos to tease the album's first single. The time-lapse videos featured lead singer Dan Reynolds drawing surreal images on a drawing pad. Morse code was hidden in the videos and translated to "objects of same color". On February 1, 2017, "Believer" was released as the lead single. To promote the single, it was used in a Super Bowl LI commercial for the Nintendo Switch. It was also used in the trailer for the 2017 film Murder on the Orient Express. The song has since peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100.[8] Its music video starring Reynolds and actor Dolph Lundgren was released on March 7, 2017.[9]

On April 27, 2017, "Thunder" was released as the second single. It has so far peaked at number four on the Hot 100.[8] The music video was filmed in Dubai and directed by Joseph Kahn, and was released on May 2, 2017.[10]

On October 6, 2017, "Whatever It Takes" was released as the third single in UK and later in the US.[11] It has so far peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.[8] It was initially released as the album's first promotional single.

On February 21, 2018, "Next to Me" was released as the fourth single, alongside the announcement of extended summer tour dates.[12] A nearly 12 minute long music video was released on March 13, 2018[13].

Promotional singles[edit]

On June 15, "Walking the Wire" was made available for download with any purchase from the band's online shop.[14]

Tour[edit]

On May 9, 2017, the band announced on Twitter the Evolve World Tour,[15] which started on September 26, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The tour was produced by Live Nation, with Grouplove and K.Flay as special guests.[16]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?4.6/10[17]
Metacritic47/100[18]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[7]
The Guardian2/5 stars[19]
The Independent2/5 stars[20]
The Irish Times3/5 stars[5]
London Evening Standard3/5 stars[21]
NewsdayB+[6]
NME3/5 stars[22]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[23]
State2/5 stars[24]
The Times2/5 stars[25]

Evolve received mixed reviews from critics upon release. On Metacritic, the album received a weighted average score of 47/100 based on seven reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[18] The album received a few positive-leaning reviews. Glenn Gamboa from Newsday gave the album a score of B+, stating that the group, "seem ready to transcend genre labels — they just want to make good music that interests them."[6] In a three-out-of-five-star review from NME, Alex Flood wrote, "This latest effort might represent a small progression, but it's far from an evolution."[22] AllMusic also gave a three-out-of-five review on the album, with Stephen Thomas Erlewine saying, "its bold, colorful textures elbow aside any notions of introspection or reflection."[7] Rob Harvilla from The Ringer gave the album a mixed review, concluding:"All of which is to say that Evolve isn’t great by any means, but it’s awfully shrewd, and you might end up rooting for it if only because there’s nobody else to root for. It’s probably the band’s best album: It is definitely their slickest, their deftest, their shortest."[26]

The album also garnered some negative reviews. In a more negative review, Classic Rock Magazine gave the album one and a half stars out of five, commenting that the band aims for more rock noise, although, "it [Evolve] just comes off like Michael Bolton daddancing to Justin Timberlake at a family wedding."[27] Hannah J. Davies of The Guardian gave the album two stars out of five, calling the album, "lifeless electronic-tinged arena rock."[19] The Independent gave Evolve two-out-of-five stars, describing it as, "mostly devolving back into the hoariest of tired rock cliches (including what sounds like roto-toms), and plodding grimly towards the summer’s festivals."[20]

On Metacritic, Evolve is one of the lowest ranking albums of 2017.[28]

Commercial performance[edit]

Evolve debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 with 147,000 album-equivalent units, of which 109,000 were pure album sales.[29] It is Imagine Dragons' third top five album.[29] On October 31, 2017, the album was certified Platinum by the RIAA.[30]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."I Don't Know Why"Mattman & Robin3:10
2."Whatever It Takes"
Little3:21
3."Believer"
  • Reynolds
  • Sermon
  • McKee
  • Platzman
  • Fredriksson
  • Larsson
  • Tranter
Mattman & Robin3:24
4."Walking the Wire"
  • Reynolds
  • Sermon
  • McKee
  • Platzman
  • Fredriksson
  • Larsson
  • Tranter
Mattman & Robin3:52
5."Rise Up"
Hill3:51
6."I'll Make It Up to You"
  • Reynolds
  • Sermon
  • McKee
  • Platzman
  • Tim Randolph
Randolph4:22
7."Yesterday"
3:25
8."Mouth of the River"
  • Reynolds
  • Sermon
  • McKee
  • Platzman
  • Tim Randolph
Randolph3:41
9."Thunder"
  • Reynolds
  • Sermon
  • McKee
  • Platzman
  • Grant
  • DeZuzio
  • Alex da Kid
  • DeZuzio
3:07
10."Start Over"
  • Reynolds
  • Sermon
  • McKee
  • Platzman
  • Fredriksson
  • Larsson
  • Tranter
Mattman & Robin3:06
11."Dancing in the Dark"
  • Reynolds
  • Sermon
  • McKee
  • Platzman
  • Grant
Alex da Kid3:53
Total length:39:12

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Austria (IFPI Austria)[77] Platinum 15,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[78] Gold 10,000^
France (SNEP)[79] Platinum 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[80] Gold 100,000^
Italy (FIMI)[81] Platinum 50,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[82] 2× Platinum 120,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[83] Platinum 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[84] 2× Platinum 30,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[85] 2× Platinum 60,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[86] Platinum 20,000*
Sweden (GLF)[87] Platinum 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[88] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[89] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  88. ^ "British album certifications – Imagine Dragons – Evolve". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 12, 2018.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter Evolve in the search field and then press Enter.
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