Jacksonville based rockers Shinedown’s fourth studio album ‘Amaryllis’ is a collection of high energy, radio-friendly rock tracks that you can listen to whatever mood you’re in. In my opinion, that’s a good thing, because you don’t always want to listen to intense, complex music that requires your full concentration. The album contains a mixture of gutsy head-bangers and pensive ballads.
‘Adrenaline’ and ‘Enemies’ are two great examples of the heavy tracks that Shinedown are best known for; packed with infectious melodies, surging riffs and explosive choruses that really suit front-man Brent Smith’s gravely vocals.
‘Unity’ and ‘Through The Ghost’ show that Shinedown can deliver convincing ballads, with the addition of a whimsical piano and sweeping string section that creates an extra depth to the tracks, before Brent’s crescendoing vocals burst into an anthemic and soulful chorus.
Stand out songs for me include ‘I’m Not Alright’ because of the prominent horn section, which adds diversity and musical interest to an already catchy song and ‘For My Sake’ because it sounds slightly different to the other songs and hints at a more experimental side to the band.
However ‘Amaryllis’ does seem lyrically and emotionally sparse compared to previous albums such as ‘The Sound Of Madness’, tracks like ‘Bully’ let the album down with generic, bland and clichéd lyrics that fail to strike the emotional chords that Brent was hoping for.
‘Amaryllis’ is well produced with a precise and high gloss finish. It shows the bands tight musicianship and ability to create consistently pleasing mainstream rock albums. It may not be their best album to date, but it’s more than ample to guarantee that we won’t have heard the last of Shinedown.