I’ve been a huge Shinedown fan since the beginning. I love seeing bands evolve, and this album is definitly something different, a very good different. I can’t stand reading reviews from people who say “ohhhh they changed their sound, they’re going to hell, they kick puppies.” Good bands are creative bands, and creative bands don’t produce the same old stuff over and over and over again for mindless freaks whose favorite band is Menudo.
Shinedown’s highly anticipated third album, The Sound Of Madness, is due out on Atlantic Records on June 24, 2008. The record opens with lead single ”Devour.” Its heavy onslaught of ripping guitars and relentless drums would not sound out of place on a Guitar Hero soundtrack. Of the album, frontman Brent Smith says ”In the seven years of this thing called Shinedown, I’ve seen a lot of different things – what we’ve all gone through on the road, things in our personal lives or witnessed firsthand through the fans that we’ve made and the relationships we’ve built with our audience. I think the biggest thing was I didn’t want to sugarcoat the way life can be sometimes.” Their face-melting rock comes as no surprise, considering that the band hails from sultry Jacksonville, Florida. Their 2003 debut album, Leave A Whisper, and sophomore follow-up, Us And Them, have been RIAA-certified platinum and gold respectively and they have had songs featured on the WWE, ESPN and in various video games. Shinedown will be out on the road this spring and summer, playing a handful of radio shows and outdoor festivals including Rock On The Range before setting out on their own headlining tour.
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This is another great production by Shinedown. I’m curious why this band isn’t bigger. This album gives great songs and s a nother step in the bands progression. “Call Me”, “The Crow And The Butterfly”, “Second Chance”, “If You Only Knew” are all great, but really the album is perfect.
I’ve heard the song “Sound of Madness” on the radio the other day and had decided to check out the cd when I get home. Thanks to amazon.com cd sampler, I realized that I knew quite a few songs on it. Now that I’ve got the cd in my car cd player, it can repeat itself and I don’t even have to skip a song. I sometimes rotate my cd selection in the car, but this one is being added to my permanent stock.
This album is easily my favorite of the three Shinedown releases. I really liked Leave a Whisper, I accepted Us and Them for what it was, but THIS…..THIS is what I hoped for from Shinedown. The musicianship, the lyrics, the passion with which they’re sung….it’s all here. And, the more I listen to it, the more I like it. If you even only partly liked Leave a Whisper, you will LOVE this album. I’ve not taken it out of the player since I got it, and I get bored with music pretty easily.
I missed them when they were on tour last time….and I’m not going to make that same mistake again.
I have been a huge fan of this band since I first heard “Fly From the Inside” on the radio, and still hope that “Us and Them” goes platinum one day like “Leave a Whisper” did. I have been highly anticipating this album since I heard Devour for the first time on the radio. The whole time I was listening to it, the thought “This band seems familiar” kept running through my head. I googled the lyrics and thought, “Yeah, that makes sense…it was a great song.”
This album is phenomenal. I don’t know why I was surprised, Shinedown has never disappointed. True, “Us and Them” has some songs I tend to skip over (What were they thinking with “Atmosphere”?), but all in all it’s an awesome album that I’ve listened to hundreds of times through.
Once again, they have changed their sound. While their first album was calculated with meticulous attention to detail, chord progressions, lyrical content, and a passionate singing style, and heavy overall, and their second album was much more radio friendly while still maintaining a truth and vitality that is lacking in much of today’s music, with several ballads that blow you away whenever you hear them, this album breaks through new boundaries.
It is true that much of the album is radio friendly, but in this case that’s a positive thing. They aren’t going anywhere for a while, which is good. However, they’ve brought back much of the musical aptitude that was missing on their second album and combined it with some interesting choices as far as melody are concerned. Let’s break down the songs, one by one.
1 – Devour (9/10): This song kicks off the album with intensity. It is unlike anything they’ve ever done, and while it’s similar to the style of other modern bands out there, it still seems to have some signature Shinedown flare to it. That may be Brent’s singing, or the intricate guitar work. Either way, it’s a great song.
2 – Sound of Madness (10/10): One of my favorites on the album, the chorus is like a lesson in lyrical creativity, and the guitar riff is, how shall I say…”rollicking”, to say the least. It’s hard not to bob your head to this song when it’s on, and I love singing along.
3 – Second Chance (8/10): While it’s lyrically interesting, it sounds to me like a throwback to “Us and Them”, which had several songs with similar chord progressions and verse-chorus formulas. That either makes it signature Shinedown, or a disappointment, and on an album of this caliber I tend to lean toward the latter. That’s not to say I don’t love it, which I do (8 out of 10 is a great score from me), but it’s sounds like “been there, done that.”
4 – Cry For Help (8/10): When I first heard this song, I thought back to Oleander’s “Joyride”, which this is reminiscent of. Another rocker, that is great on this album, but not the best one on here. Still, I’m very glad to see Shinedown embrace this type of music. They’ve never really done anything like this. All the songs on their first album that were “rockers” were hard rockers, more like Nu-Metal, not like this. This is true rock, which is awesome.
5 – The Crow and the Butterfly (9/10): I love this song. Another song that sounds like it’s from “Us and Them”, but it’s just so good I don’t care. The lyrics are good, too, and I can almost visualize the girl slowly moving away from Brent’s outstretched hands when he’s singing. It’s just a powerful song with some really cool chords thrown in.
6 – If You Only Knew (9/10): This is another song that’s pretty much awesome. However, I do like the verses better than the chorus, which gets kind of generic as far as lost love songs go. The beginning is my favorite part, though, along with the part at the end of the chorus that goes, “The only thing that I still believe in is you.” It’s another lyric that is sung with meaning behind it, and it makes the song for me.
7 – Sin With a Grin (10/10): Another favorite on the album, another rocker that I love to sing along to as it blasts in my car. I also love the message of just getting pissed off. The bridge is also an interesting musical turn for the band, trying something new with new and interesting ways of singing and playing their instruments. This is an example of the thing I find everywhere on this album, musical experimentation which is new to them, but not necessarily new in general.
8 – What a Shame (9/10): Another great signature Shinedown ballad. The chorus just grabs you, both lyrically and musically, and again Brent’s voice makes me weep when he start belting out his true feelings. Just a great overall song.
9 – Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide (8/10): Another rocker. I feel that a lot of bands write songs with “suicide” in the title for no real reason, so I have a hard time liking them. This one is pretty good, as they go, but at the end of the album it seems to lose the steam gathered by the other rockers.
10 – Breaking Inside (8/10): The first few times I listened to this song, I really thought it was pretty generic. However, just like their first album, the more I listen to it the more I like it. It’s got a very cool sounding melody behind the verses, and the chorus, though generic, is catchy as hell, and once again Brent’s voice makes it stand out as amazing. Man I love this band.
11 – Call Me (9/10): I absolutely love this song. It’s so simple, and yet the violin, the piano, and Brent’s voice just take you away, and you really feel what he is feeling the whole time. There are no words to describe the song, except to say that it’s pretty, very pretty. Remember the first time you heard “.45″? That’s what this song feels like.
Overall, it’s a fantastic album with no filler tracks. I can definitely start at the beginning and listen all the way through without skipping any tracks, which is a rarity these days. The only album to rival it so far this year would be Disturbed’s “Indestructible”, which is also awesome (see my review).