Shinedown
Amaryllis


3.0
good

Review

by Austin USER (41 Reviews)
March 24th, 2012 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A mixed bag that shows the start of a decline for one of the best mainstream rock bands.

When Bully was released as the first single, most of the expectations for Amaryllis were squashed. A band that had provided quality mainstream rock for three albums had released an immature, lyrically abysmal song that didn’t even provide the catchy hooks that were always in abundance in previous works. Lead singles are often misleading, but Shinedown never had a problem picking good singles in the past either. Follow-up single Unity was better but didn’t alleviate many concerns about Shinedown making a turn for the generic and forgettable.

So is Amaryllis as much of a regression as it initially seemed? In some ways it is. The lyrical side has regressed greatly since their last outing. While Shinedown was never known for brilliant lyrics, Brent Smith knew how to strike emotions with simple stories in songs like 45 and What a Shame, and there really isn’t very much of that on Amaryllis. Bully is the worst of the bunch with the hollow “take a stand” lyrics, and the rest of the lyrics range from fairly good to poor. Nowhere Kids and Wearing Me Out are ruined by more of those awkward F-bombs dropped in a la Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide. Again, lyrics were never the most important part of Shinedown’s music, but with such an inconsistent album they stand out more now.

However, despite its flaws, Amaryllis is still able to stand up as a decent outing from Shinedown. The musicianship is better than would be expected at this point and keeps the album from sounding like the band’s much derided simple power chord contemporaries. Decently technical riffs, an increase in solos from the last album, some quick drum fills here and there, and a return of the string section help make Amaryllis enjoyable from an instrumental perspective. For those who enjoyed the rockers on The Sound of Madness, Adrenaline and Enemies bring more of that fast-paced riffing and energy and are two of the band’s most headbangable tunes yet. I’m Not Alright is absolutely infectious largely thanks to its prominent horns, showing a more whimsical side to the band that we don’t usually get to see, and Through the Ghost makes excellent use of the strings to create a sweeping finale to the album.

Backed by a solid instrumental performance, Brent Smith is still the strongest asset to the band. His powerful voice is what made them stand apart in the first place, and he performs well throughout the entirety of the album. While the often clunky lyrics and hit and miss songwriting take away from this, the man’s voice certainly hasn’t worsened (For My Sake is proof of that). What’s missing is a powerhouse track to let his voice really shine that was present on all of the band’s previous albums. The power of his voice is sometimes lost because every ballad aims for sounding as big as possible. Although this approach sometimes works on Amaryllis, a couple of stripped-down songs that give more focus to Brent’s voice would do wonders for the band, since they’ve proved in the past that they can do these well.

Overall, Amaryllis is a decent continuation of what worked on The Sound of Madness. It’s far from a direct copy of that album, but it follows the template of more aggressive rockers and sweeping ballads, only this time around it’s not as consistent. So if you didn’t enjoy its predecessor, you probably won’t like Amaryllis. Otherwise, it’s perfectly enjoyable despite its flaws, and there’s still plenty of potential here for them to improve upon in the future. If they get rid of songs like Bully then they’ll be on the right track.

Top Tracks: I’m Not Alright, Enemies, Amaryllis, Through the Ghost



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user ratings (211)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2012


21964 Comments


A band that had provided quality mainstream rock for three albums had released an immature, lyrically abysmal song

bugs me that most critics aren't saying this. I guess they're probably told to try to look at the music from the point of view of their stereotypical audiences

pos

tiesthatbind
March 24th 2012


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah I love these guys but that song is easily the worst one they've put out.

Digging: xSPONGEXCOREx - How Tough Are Yah?

Ikarus14
March 24th 2012


537 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I liked The Sound of Madness a lot. But after the singles they put out from this album I simply couldn't care less to hear this record.
Review is good, though.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2012


21964 Comments


Yeah I love these guys but that song is easily the worst one they've put out.

I actually like the hook but the lyrics ruin it

pizzamachine
March 24th 2012


12571 Comments


Great review.

tiesthatbind
March 24th 2012


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks man.

peartnoy
March 24th 2012


1180 Comments


After a couple listens i'm able to forget Bully's lyrics. It's a good song IMO (but yes the lyrics suck big time).

mark1991
March 25th 2012


37 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The singles are the worst songs from the album. Most people are focusing on Bully, but Unity sucks too. Saying that i like the rest of the album quite a bit

Parallels
March 25th 2012


6641 Comments


I despise mainstream rock so much. Another good review you've done here though, Austin.

johnnydeking29
March 25th 2012


9083 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I really wanted this to be good; I guess I'll find out whether it sucks as much as Unity and Bully
Good review

Digging: Dark Tranquillity - Character

surjoysufi
March 25th 2012


73 Comments


i call bullshit! this band was never EVER immature, fly from the inside, 45. etc. how is those going to appeal to a young audience? this band had lots of potential and the singer is awesome and they threw it all away with this cock rock shit!!!!!!

always felt like they were a notch above other mainstream rock and i guess i was wrong! oh well STILL HAVE CHEVELLE!

tiesthatbind
March 25th 2012


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks guys.

If you like Shinedown it's definitely worth a listen as long as you don't set your expectations too high.

tiesthatbind
March 25th 2012


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

always felt like they were a notch above other mainstream rock and i guess i was wrong! oh well STILL HAVE CHEVELLE!

Alter Bridge, bro

surjoysufi
March 25th 2012


73 Comments


ive only heard the theme song they did for WWE superstar EDGE called ''metalingus'' sounded good but some other songs i heard were gay radio pop

surjoysufi
March 25th 2012


73 Comments


ew! these power metallers alter bridge arent that great!

surjoysufi
March 25th 2012


73 Comments


metal band shinedown beefen up their sound even more with harder riffs, tighter drums and vocals that are shat straight out of hell.

Like their power metal cousins Alter Bridge, the newest records each band has released has been the worst out of all their records..

probably too heavy for it's own good.

1.9/5


tiesthatbind
March 25th 2012


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

lol

johnnydeking29
March 26th 2012


9083 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Lol, but ABIII was probs their best
Needs moar powa metal

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2012


16008 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review ties, I mostly agree. Only thing I found myself disagreeing about was "I'm Not Alright." It's somewhat catchy, but it is pretty atrocious from a technical standpoint and it feels more like an All American Rejects song than a track on a hard rock album. Right now I'm absolutely in love with Amaryllis (the title track), it may even be my song of 2012 so far even though it is off an album I gave a 2.5

Oh, and pos'd of course

Digging: Yellowcard - Lift a Sail

iswimfast
March 26th 2012


1312 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good review ties. pos'd.

Digging: Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE



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