Whatever It Takes by Imagine Dragons

Track: Whatever It Takes
Artist: Imagine Dragons
Genre: alternative, pop, rock
Music Rating: 9/10
Lyrics Rating: 9/10
Overall: 9/10
Sounds Like: Awolnation, Bastille, OneRepublic
Interesting Fact: The first time I heard this track, I thought that I had left my iPhone set to 45, and went to adjust it to 33rpm. I couldn’t figure out how to do it. It took me a few seconds to realize that I was listening to a digital audio file and Dan was just singing quickly with no bass in the beginning of the track. 😬 Why do I own up to my own idiocy? For your amusement. You’re welcome.
Best thing about this track: That bridge, tho.
One thing I wish was different: The second half of the first verse could use a bit of tightening up, structurally, but that’s stupidly picky. If I’m being totally honest, it does slightly bother me that it’s marginally skewed from the parallelism in the second verse. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Website: Imagine Dragons

So, my Monday morning was spent bouncing around and waiting for the Imagine Dragons tour presale to begin. Why? Because I definitely need to be in attendance for the Evolve tour. Why? Primarily for three reasons.

1) Loyalty. After the first two albums, I’d stick around for almost anything — purely out of personalized historical sentimentalism and a shared journey.
(If anyone wants to hate on Smoke + Mirrors, I will fight you. (ง •̀_•́)ง )

2) Grouplove and K Flay! 😍 That’s right. That’s happening. They’re excellent writers, and they’re opening!

3) This track, y’alll.

I’m not going to sugarcoat this: the release of “Thunder” had me momentarily concerned/dubious about the upcoming album release. I’m not trying to throw shade or downplay the validity of that song. There’s nothing wrong with it, and I know a lot of people really love it. But here’s the thing: it’s all flash and no burn. It’s all potential with no follow-through. It’s a set-up with no substance. It’s the lightning with no thunder. I ought to have had faith and foreseen what was coming, but I will admit that I had some reservations and worried that the upcoming album might become lazy, relying on previously proven merit rather than exerting itself to reach new vistas and add to the ongoing narrative.

Yeah, I was dead wrong. I only had to wait for the next single to add another puzzle piece, revealing the bigger picture. If “Thunder” is the lightning, then this track is the thunder.

That might’ve been a confusing way to express it, but the point still stands that this track was a brilliant selection for a single (particularly as a follow-up to the last one), because we get to see a lot of the meat and bones of the album. I like to be dazzled just as much as the next music-obsessed rando on the internet, but don’t leave me feeling anemic or faint from a sonic sugar-crash when all is said and done, ya know?

This track will do no such thing with its quick wit, writ, and rhymes giving enough of a foundation to bolster the weight of allegorical worlds. It’s a clever yet complex mix of veiled intelligence and blatant ear-bait, and I love every second of it.

Sidebar: I’m up to at least two Springsteen references on this album. What’s your count at?

If you’re privy to Imagine Dragon’s previous work, I don’t have to point out the thematic religious references building off their previous album, but there’s definitely a clear evolution happening in the exploration of those themes across all three albums so far which is an absolute delight to watch unfold.

With the expanded vision that this song provides, it’s shaping up to be a fantastic album, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next!

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Lyrics:

Falling too fast to prepare for this
Tripping in the world could be dangerous
Everybody’s circling is vulturous
Negative, nepotist

Everybody waiting for the fall of man
Everybody praying for the end of times
Everybody hoping they could be the one
I was born to run. I was born to for this

Whip, whip
Run me like a racehorse
Pull me like a ripcord
Break me down and build me up
I wanna be the slip, slip
Word upon your lip, lip
Letter that you rip, rip
Break me down and build me up

Whatever it takes
Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I’ll do whatever it takes
Cause I love how it feels when I break the chains
Whatever it takes
Yeah, take me to the top. I’m ready for
Whatever it takes
Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I’ll do what it takes

I’ve always had a fear of being typical
Looking at my body, feeling miserable
Always hanging on to the visual
I wanna be invisible

Looking at my years like a martyrdom
Everybody needs to be a part of ‘em
Never be enough. I’m the prodigal son
I was born to run. I was born to for this

Whip, whip
Run me like a racehorse
Pull me like a ripcord
Break me down and build me up
I wanna be the slip, slip
Word upon your lip, lip
Letter that you rip, rip
Break me down and build me up

Whatever it takes
Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I’ll do whatever it takes
Cause I love how it feels when I break the chains
Whatever it takes
Yeah, take me to the top. I’m ready for
Whatever it takes
Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I’ll do what it takes

Hypocritical, egotistical
Don’t wanna be the parenthetical hypothetical
Working on to something that I’m proud of, out of the box
An epoxy to the world, and the vision we’ve lost

I’m an apostrophe
I’m just a symbol to remind you that there’s more to see
I’m just a product of the system, a catastrophe
And yet a masterpiece
And yet I’m half-diseased
And when I am deceased,
At least I go down to the grave and die happily
And leave the body of my soul to be a part of thee
I’ll do what it takes

Whatever it takes
Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I’ll do whatever it takes
Cause I love how it feels when I break the chains
Whatever it takes
Yeah, take me to the top. I’m ready for
Whatever it takes
Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I’ll do what it takes

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