Review Summary: Shinedown's weakest album by far.
Shinedown has always stuck out when it comes to mainstream rock. They have, for the most part, avoided cliche lyrics and making idiots of themselves like most of their counterparts do (Nickleback). Now I have never been one to follow Shinedown's career, but they did strike a chord for me with their 2008 release "Sound Of Madness". That album was a hard hitter as far a rock goes. It combined nice catchy riffs with spectacular vocals provided by Brent Smith. So without a doubt I was expecting something good to come out of their newest release "Amaryllis". For starters this album is very much different from its former. This is a much softer album, and this is what hurts it the most. For most of the album there isn't anything but sappy ballads. Now I am not against ballads, but when an album is overflowing with them... then we might have a problem.
Of course, the album does have some fast paced and adrenaline pumping songs, for example: Adrenaline. This is one of three songs that are actually pretty decent, the other two songs being "Enemies" and "Nowhere Kids". The entire of the album should have been like these songs. If that was the case then "Amaryllis" could have easily been better then "Sound Of Madness".
One major complaint I have is the song "Bully". This is a cheap excuse for a song. As if the world of music didn't already have enough songs about being bullied, Shinedown had to add on to it. This is actually a very contradicting song. The first line of the chorus is "all you'll ever be is a fading memory of a bully". But then the last section of the chorus is "no one's gonna cry on the very day you die, you're a bully". First off, I think that crying about a bully and then basically telling the bully that everybody hates him so much that no one will cry when he dies is pretty much making the victim a bully. And I can't stand the "you're a bully" line. I guess Shinedown is so hardcore that they have to tell people that they're bullies.
Well, enough of my nitpicking, why not discuss the major problem with the album, the ballads. These are some monotonous compositions. For the most part all of these songs sound the same, and listening to this for forty-four minutes really grinds your brain muscles. I honestly had to force myself to listen to this album in its entirety. And the lyrics are just a bad as the music itself. Like I said before, Shinedown has somewhat tried to stay away from cliche lyrics such a relationships and such. But it seems as on this they were really running out of ideas for songs.
After hearing this I am not really looking forward to Shinedown's next album. They're going down the path that many other mainstreamers have gone. And that is the road to being forgotten. Sure people will say, "hey do you remember that song Second Chance?", but that is all. Unless Brent Smith and co. can pull off an amazing record, I really see no hope for Shinedown anymore at this point.