CERTAIN to be a big seller, this is the follow-up to the Las Vegas outfit’s 2013 debut Night Visions - a huge hit among adolescents, particularly stateside, where it’s shifted over two million units.
As you’d expect, Smoke + Mirrors is a cauldron of slick, wafting pop rock; not exactly high on substance, but still maddeningly catchy, with a clutch of successful singles-in-waiting.
In Friction, there’s even a moment where this schtick is granted a darker, more combative edge, though this standout is precisely that amongst a collection otherwise governed by safety.
It’s an approach that’ll reap commercial rewards, yet burdens the record with a sack of filler, not least latter tracks Trouble and The Fall, which draw proceedings to a rather nondescript close. 6/10. AW