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2012 album from the Florida-based Hard Rockers, which finds them re-teaming with The Sound of Madness producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Kid Rock). Amaryllis, with unflinchingly honest, unrepentant songs like first single "Bully" and "I'm Not All Right, " as well as the deeply moving "Miracle" and the soulful love song "I'll Follow You, " delivers on its mission statement throughout its 12 tracks. From a thematic standpoint, Amaryllis is a record about vulnerability. It reveals the bruises and scars, but also their healing. Six songs on Amaryllis feature a 30-piece orchestra, including "I'm Not All Right" - Shinedown's first-ever song to incorporate horns, which drive home the manic intensity of its subject matter. Another highlight is "Bully, " which finds Smith addressing the tormentor in question in the strongest possible terms.
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While not as strong or hard hitting as their last "Sound of Madness" album, it still contains strong musical rhythms, hard guitar rips, and great vocals. The lyrics for this album also seemed to have a bit more thought than their last few, which gives their overall feel a bit more depth, which is something I definitely appreciate in the music industry today.
All in all, Shinedown continues to show their musical strength and deserving right in the history as a great band. If you've liked their previous work, this album won't through you any surprises.
Bottom line: If you like good harder rock that isn't pushing the borders of metal or screaming obscenities into your eardrums, then Shinedown is a great band to pick up and this album can be a great start. At the end, I highly recommend the album.
Keep it coming Shinedown!
"Leave a Whisper" is my favorite Shinedown album, hands down. It blended a lot of different styles of rock music together, such as nu-metal, radio rock, and even a little bit of classic rock. "Us and Them" portrayed a softer side of Shinedown, but in no way is this a bad sign. "The Sound of Madness" is what I like to call the band's breakthrough, displaying much more of the radio-rock sound than the previous two records combined.
So, now we're up to "Amaryllis", and while this does not level up to "Leave a Whisper", it's another diverse offering from the band. Shinedown continue to set themselves apart from the several radio rock bands that are dominating the airwaves these days. The songwriting is absolutely flawless and much more thought-provoking than even the best material from LAW. The vocals are improved more than on the previous records. Overall, the album is in fact their most adventurous to date.
Standout tracks on the record are as follows: "Nowhere Kids", "For My Sake", "Adrenaline", "Miracle", "I'll Follow You", lead-off single "Bully" and "Through the Ghost". "Nowhere Kids" is more of a political song, with lyrics such as, "Politicians, in condition dying for a curtain call", and "I know you're hanging onto zeros because you got nothing left." "For My Sake", is arguably one of the bigger highlights of the album, and showcases Brent Smith's amazing songwriting skills. "Adrenaline," the opening track, feels more like a song from "Sound of Madness", mostly similar to the song, "Devour", which happens to be the opening song from that album. And nearly every other song on this album is well-written and "epic".
So, it really comes to show that Shinedown has worked much harder on their sound and their songwriting skills than Nickelback. With all of this being said, I hope Shinedown has another platinum record with this album, and will continue to be pushing out great and cohesive records in the time to come.
I'm Not Alright (4/5)
Nowhere Kids (5/5)
I'll Follow You (4/5)
For My Sake (5/5)
My Name (Wearing Me Out) (4/5)
Through The Ghost (5/5)
ALBUM SCORE: (54/60)
Rating: 4.5 stars/5 stars
As a parent, I enjoy listening to appropriate rock music with my young kids. On this album, "Nowhere Kids" (track 7) and "My Name" (track 11) should probably be skipped with the kids around due to a bit of language--although they are killer tracks that I otherwise recommend. To these ears, in fact, there is not a dud on this album.
I highly recommend this album to rock fans of various generations. I enjoy this album with both my thirty-something wife and my teenage nephew. Excellent, rocking album from beginning to end from a band that has truly hit their stride.
9. I'll Follow You
10. For My Sake
12. Through the Ghost
I will go through a track by track review here:
1. Adrenaline (8/10)
Fast paced, very fun to listen to. A bit loud and repetitive.
2. Bully (9/10)
Fun, makes you want to sing along. A bit loud again, but I like the climax and ending.
3. Amaryllis (9.5/10)
Very musical. I really like it. Will make you want to sing along.
Great beat, engaging, this is a hit. Great melody.
5. Enemies (7.5/10)
Sweet guitar, but very loud and repetitive. I still really like it, but not my favorite.
6. I'm Not Alright (6/10)
Kind of dull, and just a bit "blah."
7. Nowhere Kids (?/10)
This song is EXPLICIT. I don't listen to it.
8. Miracle (8.5/10)
I like this song. Great lyrics and good sound.
9. I'll Follow You (10/10)
WOW! What a great song! This goes along the same idea as 'Call Me' from the Sound of Madness and this it is very musical and a good message.
10. For My Sake (9.5/10)
I don't think this is a very popular track, but I love it. The lyrics and everything is powerful and it is almost my favorite.
11. My Name (Wearing Me Out) (?/10)
EXPLICIT, so I don't listen to it. Sounded cool the first time I listened to it, but then BOOM! there's the 'f word...'
12. Through the Ghost (11/10)
I was blown away listening to this song. It is so musical and incredible, that this is my favorite song, right now at least.
You won't be disappointed by this album if you like Shinedown or Linkin Park or heavy rock, or anything, really. This is one of my prized albums.