Night Visions Music Poster Image

Night Visions

Catchy, clean rock with serious themes, uplifting messages.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Though some of the themes on the album are a bit dark -- about uncertainty, loneliness, battling personal demons, etc. -- there are some uplifting messages about perseverance and not being apathetic: "These doors won't open while you stand and watch them" ("On Top of the Word").

Positive role models

The band's music and videos present a positive image, and while some of their songs have some edge, they're profanity-free.


In a song called "Bleeding Out" the singer says, "I'm bleeding out for you," but it's clearly a metaphorical reference in a song that's actually about hopelessness and emptiness.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Night Visions showcases Imagine Dragons' catchy but moody alt-pop/rock. It contains some dark themes (confusion, despair, loneliness, relationship problems), and the lyrics are occasionally a bit cryptic, but not annoyingly so, and they're profanity-free. The album's anthemic choruses and sometimes glossy pop veneer give it teen appeal. One song, "Radioactive," references an apocalypse, but it's quite vague, and the popular video for the song is strange and funny -- it depicts an illegal cockfighting pit, but the combatants, rather than being roosters, are various puppets. What that has to do with the song's lyrics isn't clear.

What's the story?

Hailing from Las Vegas, Imagine Dragons has a big, keyboard-heavy alt-pop/rock sound that somewhat resembles fellow Vegas rockers the Killers, and to a lesser extent, popular arena bands such My Chemical Romance and Coldplay. Like those other bands, they have a knack for writing strong melodies and catchy choruses that are easy to sing along to. Night Visions is the group's first full-length album (after a couple of EPs) and it's very well-crafted, with a good blend of ballads and rock tunes. The first single from the album, "It's Time," was a Top 20 hit and also a hugely popular video, which was nominated for an MTV award. Lead singer Dan Reynolds is considered a heartthrob by many teenage girls. Night Visions made it to No. 2 on the Billboard albums chart.

Is it any good?


Although the band is not particularly original (they're not as charismatic nor as deep as the Killers, whom they occasionally sound like), they are fine players with a solid lead singer, Dan Reynolds. The production on the album (by Alex da Kid) uses electronics effectively to give the project a modern sheen, and it's easy to picture teens singing along with any number of the catchy choruses that are all over the album. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Imagine Dragons write songs about personal pain but try to put across an uplifting message about going through tough times.

  • How, if at all, do the popular videos for "It's Time" and "Radioactive" reflect the lyrics in each song?

  • Do Imagine Dragons remind you of other groups that you like? What sets them apart and makes them different?

Music details

Artist:Imagine Dragons
Release date:September 4, 2012
Label:Interscope Records
Genre:Alternative Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byastronomic June 9, 2013

no complaints

Some of the lyrics do portray sadness and other somewhat negative emotions, but that's not a bad thing. What I like about Imagine Dragons is that nearly every song sounds entirely different. On Top Of The World is very calypso, Radioactive is very alt-rock, It's Time is uplifting and catchy, Lay Me Down (30 Lives) is a slow, thoughtful ballad - and on it goes. There's no profanity in their songs, which means I can blast their EPs and album in the car without my mother frowning or my brother squealing about how it's not okay to swear. All the band members have very positive, clean images as portrayed in the media, and they don't ever seem to have negative press coverage. I know people my age (a few of us are going to their concert together 7/30/13), little kids (have you heard that adorable 5 year old angel singing It's Time on YouTube? he's absolutely precious), adults (my parents and many other who approve of the thoughtful lyrics), and grandparents, who all like Imagine Dragons' sound and image. They come off as a slightly intimidating alternative rock group set to sing about love, death, sex, and drugs, but they sing about hopelessness and having bad days, and feeling down, and determination, and getting through all of it. Even if you don't like how their music sounds, look up the lyrics to any of their songs and I'm sure you won't be disappointed in the morals they exude or the words that sprout from their mouths. (On my rating: I think it's on for kids 8 and up because my little brother is 8, turning 9, and he loves the band. He has very high morals and knows which pop-culture references and lyrics are bad, meaning that Imagine Dragons' is okay for him. My parents are also very strict about language and references [no to some of the songs I listen to for their sexual innuendos and drug references] and they don't see any of the music as bad.) So if you were on the fence about listening to this album or letting your kids listen to it, I recommend you give it a chance. At this rate, I do believe that the worst to happen is a dislike of the apocalyptic references in Radioactive, or the melody and rhythm of the songs.
Adult Written byKitKatKaity April 29, 2013

Clean and Catchy

Imagine Dragons is a great rock band and truly original. They offer something rare in today's music with unique lyrics that actually hold meaning, melodies that are not overly done or repetitive, and vocals that are both talented and not over produced. I've been a fan of Imagine Dragons for years and am so excited they're finally getting the recognition they deserve. Every single song on this Night Visions CD is worth listening to. I love to play this music for my students because they enjoy it and I know it's clean, profanity free, and something that can be mellow or exciting depending on the track.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old June 4, 2013

Imagine this... GOOD MUSIC!

This album has some deep stuff in it. It's a GREAT album. Slightly violent on Radioactive, but Demons and It's Time are great songs.
What other families should know
Too much violence