By now you've almost definitely heard "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons. The song topped the rock charts earlier this month and currently sits at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. Many people seem to like the vaguely revolutionary vibe of the Las Vegas band's hit single. Many people are not Carles from tastemaking blog Hipster Runoff. The mysterious text-speak aficionado recently posed the question "Is 'Radioactive' by Imagine Dragons the worst song ever written?"
Carles goes on to make his point by comparing the band's carefully calculated dub-grunge to Nickelback and pointing out the lead singer's questionable mullet.
A few highlights:
The song keeps repeating the lyrics, "Welcome to the new age." However, we've been hearing terrible music for ages already.
From what I understand, it is supposed to be some sort of modern revolutionary anthem. However, I would consider it one of the worst songs ever written.
Carles frequently points on the (seemingly) meticously constructed image of the band with points like:
Something that entire crowds of people can bang their fists to while feeling as though they are rebelling against society. From what I understand, government & media distrust are mainstream issues that appeal to mass markets.
[The lead singer] bangs on a huge drum on stage to make the performance seem 'more emotional.' As we all know, 'banging on a huge drum' is meant to appeal to festival-core crowds.
Carles also compares the band's output to several other maligned genres/bands.
Are Imagine Dragons 'the modern Nickelback/Linkin Park/Dubstep DJ'?
Do you yearn for the days of authentic nu-metal [via Korn & Limp Bizkit]?
Are Imagine Dragons 'the new Nickelback'?
Will Avril Lavigne eventually marry the lead singer of Imagine Dragons?
The post has sparked a reaction, even among typically loyal HR readers.
A few selections from the comments.
does this article make you feel your music taste is better than that of "the masses"?
is writing whiny articles about pop music a more effective rebellion than writing pop music?
do you ever just listen to music and not think about how cool it makes you?
This article reeks of your classic self conscious "hipster". "Hey, I'm gonna be really cool and hate on something that's actually good because its "popular" and I'm way too cool to listen to popular music". The writers pretentiousness is nauseating. Imagine Dragons are actually a pretty great band with a great live show. They sound nothing like nickleback and are bringing a breath of fresh air to radio. This article is embarrassing. You lost a reader.
this is exactly why I fucking hate hipsters. Overanalyzing music. IF IT SOUNDS GOOD What the FUCK is the big deal. God just stfu. I'm not even defending the song. i'm attacking you fucking hipsters who think your so goddamn above everyone else.
I, for one, have to agree with Carles. The song seems cynical in a way that was not intended by the band (i.e. it sounds like it was made via focus group to capitalize on modern trends like dubstep and what remains of alternative rock radio. The majority of incredibly popular rock songs in the last several years have all had a vague revolution at their core to allow teenagers and pop fans to think they are being rebellious by listening to a song that's sold millions and isn't actually about anything.) It's just kinda lame is all.
Here's the song if you want to form your own opinion.
Sound off in the comments.