"Demons" (CD Single)

Common Sense Media says

Emotional rock song deals with heavy themes in music video.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The lead singer sings, "I can't escape this now / Unless you show me how" because he "don't wanna let you down." No matter what demons you're facing, there are people you can turn to for help. 

Positive role models

Sometimes "the ones we hail / Are the worst of all" and they disappoint us when we need them the most. But you can find other role models such as cancer victim Tyler Robinson and his courage in the face of his demon, which inspired the band and reminds us to be strong when dealing with our own problems.


One scene in the music video depicts domestic violence -- a son with a bruised face being bullied by his dad -- and another shows a young man struggling with his body image.

Not applicable

One use of "hell."


Greed is one of the demons mentioned with lyrics such as "And the saints we see / Are all made of gold" and "No matter what we breed / We still are made of greed."


Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Music video shows an adult holding a beer bottle.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that "Demons" is the fifth single to be released from Imagine DragonsNight Visions album. It's an angsty, emotional tune with relatively clean lyrics -- there's one use of "hell" -- from the Las Vegas-based band, and the music video is dedicated to Tyler Robinson, a 17-year-old fan who lost his battle to cancer while the video was being edited. Although the visuals in the music video depicting some of the demons people face aren't graphic -- loss of loved ones, body-image issues, domestic violence, PTSD -- there's plenty of room for discussion.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

DEMONS intertwines live concert footage from The Joint in Las Vegas and a narrative story of demons. Lead singer Dan Reynolds warns, \"Don't get too close / It's dark inside,\" and yet the music video zooms in on certain fans in the audience and explores their lives -- and the personal demons they're battling -- outside the concert venue to show there's more to a person than meets the eye. At the end of the music video, the band encourages viewers to donate to the Tyler Robinson Foundation, which provides financial assistance for families with children battling cancer.

Is it any good?


Imagine Dragons have beautifully layered the keyboard, guitar, and drums on their mid-tempo single to sound like a build-up of emotions leading to the cathartic lyrics, "I can't escape this now / Unless you show me how." Their powerful music video also shows how music can be an important resource when dealing with one's problems, but it's important for teens to remember that as much as they "wanna hide the truth" or "wanna shelter you," they don't have to face their problems alone.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the demons in the music video. Why do you think they chose to present those demons? What other issues do teens face? What resources are available for teens and their families as they face these issues?

  • Boys and girls in today's society still struggle with body-image issues. How can you promote a positive, healthy body image?

  • Why do you think that some people feel they need to "hide the truth" or "shelter you" from their demons? What can you do to help others?

  • Do you think music helps people deal with their problems? How do you cope with issues? Who can you turn to for help? 

Music details

Artist:Imagine Dragons
Release date:October 22, 2013
Label:Interscope Records
Genre:Alternative Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "Demons" (CD Single) was written by

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  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byBenjamingreni December 15, 2013

Strong Reference to Smoking

The whole song is referencing smoking quite strongly. This may not be very evident at first listen, but when you listen to the line "breathing in the chemicals", you can understand why.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byJWilliams303 December 1, 2013

Imagine Dragons is one of those bands that have captured my attention

They really know how to make songs that will get stuck in your head. Ever since I heard their first single, It's Time, I fell in love with the band and their music. I bought their album and kept listening to it. This song, Demons, is by far one of my favorites that I have heard from them. It is a very emotional song and the music video itself is a tearjerker itself. If they keep making great songs like this, they'll definitely be around for a quite a while.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written bysisterwhocares January 22, 2014

Powerful, fantastic rock ballad explores inner demons

Imagine Dragons is proving itself to be quite a fantastic band, with "Demons" becoming an instant hit along with their chart-topping single "Radioactive". This song contains very heartfelt themes about facing one's inner demons and recognizing how they can destroy not only the person burdened with them, but also the people closest to the tormented individual. Candid and stark without being graphic (only one use of the word "hell", used in a religious context), this song is excellent for teens, teens, and adults all facing the pain of growing up and having to deal with their naturally conflicting natures.
What other families should know
Great messages


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