Shinedown is back with a new album! Besides that ATTENTION ATTENTION is the band’s sixth album, it’s also a concept album that tells the story of an individual coming from a bad mental and emotional place. Through the course of the album, the individual deals with his issues and thus the tone of the album also changes gradually. The album deals with multiple music themes, a mix that goes from heavy rock music to a mellow ‘feel good’ vibe. But those who know Shinedown from earlier works will know that even the less heavy songs are worth listening to. It’s the Brent Smith effect.
Zach Myers (Guitars)
Eric Bass (Bass)
Brent Smith (Vocals)
Barry Kerch (Drums)
As the album starts from a deep, dark place, DEVIL immediately brings forth the heavy Shinedown feel. It’s no surprise that this song was the first to receive a music video. It serves as both an introduction to the (concept) album and it’s simply a good, heavy song. Considering the album also has songs with a more easy listening, pop-rock feel, I’m very pleased the focus remained on showcasing the Shinedown we all know and love.
At the start of KILL YOUR CONSCIENCE I had to focus on not thinking about AWOLNATION’s Sail. Luckily as soon as the vocals and the drums kicked in, that became a lot easier. Sadly KILL YOUR CONSCIENCE is rather light on guitars, and where guitars are part of the song, their volume is often quite a bit lower than that of the other instruments.
The slight disappointment awakened by the previously discussed song is hugely uplifted by PYRO and MONSTERS. PYRO has an ominous intro and then converts into a heavy rock song about family issues. MONSTERS discusses the ‘inner demons’ we all face, some more than others. MONSTERS can hit close to home or just be another good Shinedown song, which is something I really like about this concept album. The usage of an entire album as a means to tell a story instead of limiting it to just one song allows for a much broader approach to the subject. Though you might not like every part of the album, even the ‘less interesting’ songs are part of a bigger picture and that’s what makes them good even if they don’t match your precise music preferences.
What can you do when your mother is a burnout and your daddy is a pyro? You set fire to the family tree!
Shinedown wouldn’t be Shinedown if we didn’t get a song that includes the combination of piano and Brent Smith’s vocals and thus we end up with GET UP, the point in the album where the individual is getting on top of things again. This song means to inspire and give you the energy to “get up and get a move on”. SPECIAL brings forth a much needed wake-up call. It’s a message that is often difficult to say without sounding condescending. It conveys the message that we all need to get real and realize we’re not as special as we perceive ourselves to be, a message that I can get behind, especially in this day and age.
Nearing the end of the album, THE HUMAN RADIO brings forth a mix of pop-elements, a good bass groove and a heavy rock sound. The pop-elements are catchy and infectious, the focus on the bass is refreshing to hear and the overall sound of the song is just well built. Perhaps a bit heavy on instruments, but when it comes to the thought behind the album it makes sense. Our own human radio, our mindset, is never really clear. It’s often a little chaotic with random small thoughts slipping between your main thoughts, some more distracting than others, which makes it logical for all these instruments to be part of the song in the way they are.
All in all, I would definitely recommend ATTENTION ATTENTION. Not just for the music, but also for the story it tells as a whole and the many different smaller parts of the story as told through the individual songs.
Release date: May 4th, 2018
Label: Atlantic Records
1. THE ENTRANCE
3. BLACK SOUL
4. ATTENTION ATTENTION
5. KILL YOUR CONSCIENCE
11. GET UP
13. THE HUMAN RADIO