One Note Stand
Demons - Single (2014)
Review By Michael Marcus
April 21, 2014
This single is available for download from these vendors:
The Imagine Dragons power ballad Demons drips with more raw energy, desperation and sadness than you might expect from a four-chord pop song. One Note Stand's cover stays mostly faithful to the original, at least musically if not emotionally.
I say "mostly" because ONS has made one crucial departure: the group has cast the song as a male/female duet. This serves two purposes. First, it shakes up this otherwise repetitive song and makes it a much more interesting listen. And second, it presents a much more uplifting narrative; instead of one guy wailing away to an unseen lover, it's two people coming to terms with each other's worst selves. Kudos to ONS for taking such a creative risk with this song.
And yet, something about this track just doesn't click for me. Maybe it's the fact that these two soloists have such pretty voices; I don't buy for a second that either of these people has inner demons that need exorcising. Maybe it's the abrupt tempo change after the first chorus, from a plaintive ballad to a slightly more upbeat one. Maybe it's the mix, which can't quite decide where to put the soloists relative to the backing block.
With a bit more rawness from the leads, and a more seasoned hand at the mixing board, this Demons could have really packed an emotional punch; what we get instead is more like a firm love tap.