Overall Score: 8.5/10 Lyrics: 8/10 Songs: 9/10 Replay Value: 8/10 Pros: songs have weight and emotional resonance Cons: It feels a little long in places
Shinedown have become one of the premier rock bands over the course of the last 10 years. Through sheer will and determination, they keep raising their game, and knocking out album after album of increasing quality.
Their latest Attention Attention may be their best and most varied album yet. Picking up the threads left behind by 2015’s Threat to Survival, Shinedown have turned turmoil into gold, with a concept album about the weight of human emotion. Make no mistake when Brent Smith says ‘It’s about to get heavy’ in the middle of Devil, he isn’t necessarily talking about the music, but the themes on show. This is audibly a journey about self discovery, acceptance and recovery.
This is an album that is about facing who you are and accepting who you are for better or worse. Devil has a hard edged riff to it that really digs into your brain, and does the loud-to-quiet thing really well and has a really explosive chorus. It’s like having someone sit you down and get right into your face and ask you what are you going to do?
Black Soul is another heavy track with a canyon sized chorus designed to level stadiums. The power of the song is in the lyrics,all about standing up for yourself and putting yourself back together after some potentially poor decision making. Monsters and Pyro are trademark Shinedown numbers and will please the older fans as they hark back to the bands earlier work. On the flip side, Darkside has a vein of Imagine Dragons running through it, which is no bad thing at all. Special slows the pace right down and is a lovely piano and strings lead track. It’s one of the more goosebump raising moments on the album. its stark, honest and will stand as one of the bands most defining moments. Its a real highlight of the album.
Attention Attention is an album of moods and layers from a band that has been steadily defining themselves album after album and has reached a point where writing massive emotional arena rock is second nature to them. This is everything they done up until now taken and distilled into its purest form. There are epic sing-a-longs, gut punching lyrics and a sense of purpose here that will leave you uplifted, and reaching for the replay button the moment it ends.
Attention Attention is released tomorrow (May 4th 2018) through Atlantic Records.