Shinedown – Amaryllis – Album Review
|Fans Of:||Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Nickleback|
|Download This:||Miracle, Adrenaline|
Amaryllis is the fourth album from, and also about the fourth incarnation of Florida rock band Shinedown. Shinedown have always struck me as one of those more main-stream, radio-friendly rock bands who produce a few good singles, but generally I’ve found their albums somewhat uninspiring.
The opening three tracks make a really strong trio of songs, despite showing very different sides to the band. ‘Adrenaline’ is a catchy, up-tempo, sing-along rock song, a great opener to Amaryllis. Immediately followed by ‘Bully’, the first single release from Amaryllis, a much heavier side to Shinedown is shown, with an angrier tone, a constant menacing presence from the drums and emotive lyrics all blend together to create a song with real emotional resonance. Again, title track ‘Amaryllis’ has a very different sound, a melodic and wistful rock ballad, reminiscent of arguably one of the bands finest releases, ‘Second Chance’.
Full of uninspring and whiny lyrics, ‘Unity’ is one of the weaker tracks on Amaryllis, but thankfully, one of the heavier songs on the album, ‘Enemies’ redeems this weaker moment. The grimier guitar sound is complemented by a harsher vocal performance, which reminded me a little of Disturbed. ‘I’m Not Alright’ and ‘Nowhere Kids’ are pretty interchangeable to be honest, standard rock filler songs, and ‘Miracle’ for some reason reminded me of nothing more than Nickelback, which is probably all that needs to be said. ‘I’ll Follow You’ is more of a romantic ballad with some excellent ‘In the Air Tonight’ style drum kicks on the chorus.
‘For My Sake’ is sadly yet another quite dull filler song but fortunately ‘My Name (Wearing Me Out)’ places us firmly back in heavier territory, with cycling drums and a swearily angry chorus. By contrast ‘Through the Ghost’ brings it all back down again, closing the album with a slightly gothic feeling ballad, complete with thunder and chiming bells.
I have two problems with Amaryllis: firstly that it could have done with cutting a few of the more generic rock numbers out, as they seriously detract from the better songs on the album. Secondly, is the fact that even on my first listen I felt like I’d heard all these songs before. This didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the album particularly – I like Shinedown and I’d happily listen to this album if I needed some undemanding background music. I would struggle however to persuade anyone that this is a seminal album or that the band are in any way different from the hundreds of post-grunge rock bands kicking around.
6. I’m Not Alright
7. Nowhere Kids
9. I’ll Follow You
10. For My Sake
11. My Name (Wearing Me Out)
12. Through The Ghost