There are a lot of songs out there that I don't want to like. This is one of them. I mean, it's over the top, preachy, and somewhat annoying.
And yet, these very aspects that make the song one that I don't want to like are exactly what make it likeable. The over-the-top nature of the song gives it an epic feel, different than a lot of other stuff on pop radio. For sure, it's percussion-heavy, and Dan Reynolds needs to have a big enough voice to overcome that, which he does successfully. It's preachy, sure, but it does so in such a way that is catchy.
OK, I can't explain away annoying. I guess it just grew on me. Either that, or I'm a sucker for a music video with Lou Diamond Phillips and stuffed animals.
Still not convinced? I urge you to check out this live version of the song. First of all, it's in a slightly different key and it still works. Second of all, the big arena environment really lends itself well for such a huge, epic song. Finally, the band added both dubstep-y elements and a strings solo to the song, which, in my opinion, really enhance it.