Shinedown: Amaryllis

It’s only been four years since The Sound of Madness, but it’s felt  like an eternity, making this follow up album (the band’s fourth studio album) very highly anticipated. I’ll be honest, I did not think the band would be able to deliver. I figured that they wouldn’t come anywhere close with this new record, but they did a really good job. In my opinion, it’s not nearly as good as The Sound of Madness is, but it’s still a got  really good selection of songs that I would recommend to any fan.

The album starts off just like The Sound of Madness – top three radio singles out the gate and in front leading the record (“Adrenaline”, “Bully”, “Amaryllis”). These songs are classic Shinedown songs in the same vein as every song off of the last record. However, with the exception of a few other tracks like “I’m Not Alright” (which features a whole horn section, which sounded cool, but i’m not sure if it really compliments the band that well) and “Unity”, I kinda found the album dipping in the middle.

Some of the middle songs sounded a little much like a cookie-cutter Shinedown song and the thing I liked about the last record was that every song sounded completely different, but still sounding the same, and every song was worthy of the radio. This album I think tries to be a little too much like that album. The singles are really good and I imagine half of these songs will still get significant radio play no matter what, but I feel like I’m listening to the same album all over again. Disappointment would be a little too harsh to say, but I guess maybe with the high anticipation from the last album, nothing can really top it in my mind. Thats the case with a lot of albums. The album alone will be brilliant, but because it followed an album that was monumental, the follow up record is automatically diminished because of that.

I’m sure there are some people out there who will find this album to be their new favorite and that’s totally reasonable. If you loved the last Shinedown record, there’s no reason whatsoever to not love this record also. I personally, just wouldn’t want too too many of these songs in a live set if I were to see them live.

Overall, I’ve got mixed feelings towards this record. It’s really good. I’d be a fool to try and argue that. But I think I wanted a little more from the band. Something new maybe? A little more songs like “Crow and the Butterfly” or “Second Chance” would have been nice. My big problem with this record though is that the band have claimed that this is supposed to be a testament to their past and a window to their future. The thing is though that this album sounds just like The Sound of Madness (which sounds a lot different from their two albums prior to that) and doesn’t offer anything new. They can’t become a band that just does the same thing over and over again. Unless your a band like Slayer or AC/DC where people only want one thing from you and nothing more, then fine, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, is a perfect statement for those bands, but not Shinedown, so be careful of that. I also think the album art is hideous, but that’s another story.

Luke Helker

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