Imagine Dragons “Mercury – Acts 1 & 2” (2021/2022)

     I am frequently reminded why I began this project.  The core purpose was to learn and expose myself to music I would never have listened to otherwise, and today is a shining example of why we should never stop searching for new music.  The albums “Mercury – Act 1 &2” were suggested by my friend Scott, who I have a lot more to say about in a moment, but I have to say, not knowing any of this material, I didn’t know if I would find it interesting.  There are songs I like by Imagine Dragons, especially “Whatever It Takes”, which I think is a great training song, and I have seen them live in concert before.  They have to be just about the only act I can ever recall not playing a single encore, so it was unique, but then so is this band. 

     Much to my surprise, I enjoyed almost this entire album.  There were about ten songs that I really liked, and two that were transformative and instant anthems for me, so I have to rate that as a major success.  I shouldn’t be that surprised, because this is just another thing that my friend Scott does so very well.

     I first met Scott in 3rd grade when I moved to Parker, so I have known him as long as any friend I have.  Scott was the guy we all wanted to be. The best looking, the best athlete, always good in school, he was a no-brainer for “Most Likely to Succeed”.  We didn’t always cross paths growing up, but we were always friends and shared a lot of laughs together through the years.  We were together for one of the most tragic and traumatic days an elementary school student could ever experience on terrible Friday in late May, and we both know what it truly meant to grow up in the open and seemingly limitless life that was our beautiful neighborhood.

     After high school, we chose our separate paths, and we didn’t see each other again until our 30th high school reunion, hosted in Jim’s punk rock bar, no less.  Scott remained everything I always saw in him, but most of all, he has proven since to be one of the most supportive, positive, and encouraging people in life, not only for me, but now for my son as well.  I love the times we get together to try a new brewery and catch up, and when I started this blog, he immediately became one of the dedicated few who encouraged me to keep going.  There were many times when I would hit a slow spot and I pressed on because I knew people like Scott were on my side.

     This all weaves together, as I found two of the tracks to have the same depth and emotional meaning that I get from friendships like I have with Scott.  Before I talk about those, I should also mention these other songs that I really liked: “Enemy (with JID)”, “My Life”, “Wrecked”, “Monday”, “#1”, “Follow You”, “Symphony”, “Sharks”, “Waves”, “Peace of Mind”, “Younger”, and the album closer “They Don’t Know You Like I Do”.  I guess I could have just said the entire two albums, as they released “Act 1” and “Act 2” about 6 months apart, but there were songs that stood out and were worthy of mention.

     One of my favorite things about “Imagine Dragons” is the person that is Dan Reynolds, the lead singer.  He has experienced a lot of battles with mental illness and depression and has taken a very vocal and powerful stance working to destigmatize that battle.  I know this is something most of us can relate to, and it is certainly very personal to me.  Coming from a religious background (Mormon faith), he has also taken an impactful stance on LGBTQ rights, another issue that means a lot to me.

     The two songs that are instant hits for me both speak to the struggles we all face feeling good about ourselves, and the challenges others present for us in this process.  Both are very catchy melodies as well, which seals the deal, but it is their message that makes these songs keepers for me. “It’s OK” and “No Time For Toxic People” are songs you all should give a listen to, especially on a day when it seems like nothing is going right or the world is conspiring against you.  I know someone who had a tough week, and I plan to send her both of these songs as soon as I hit “publish” on today’s blog.

“It’s OK to be not OK, It’s just fine to be out of your mind.  Breathe deep, just a day at a time, cause its ok to be out of your mind.”

     We are all going to have those moments in life that just hurt, but thankfully we have the best gift in the world… family and friends who love us and accept us for who we are, just was we embrace them in our lives.  Scott – Thank you for being one of the best people I know, and I truly appreciate your friendship and encouragement.  Thanks for helping me find meaningful music, and I look forward to many more shared moments together.  We have known each other for almost 50 years… and I’m grateful for every one of them.

Scott – Most Likely to be Awesome

Published by tacopepper

A music fan...

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