Album Review: Shinedown – Attention Attention

Unknown-1.jpegRelease Date: May 4th 2018

Record Label: Atlantic Records

Genre: Rock

As a massive Shinedown fan this record has been very long awaited especially after the success of Threat To Survival. The Jacksonville quartet have just released their 6th studio album and are currently on a US co-headline tour with Five Finger Death Punch with support from Starset and Bad Wolves. Attention Attention draws on influences from other musical styles such as more popular influences as well as giving off strong 80s vibes with more electronic elements. The blend however, works incredibly and proves that Shinedown know how to create an interesting record which can provide a different mood with each track.

The record opens with an atmospheric introductory track titled ‘The Entrance’ which sets up tension and readiness for the rest of the record with sounds of footsteps, doors opening and a sharp intake of breath which leads seamlessly into the first single off of Attention Attention, ‘Devil’. The track really sets the tone for the rest of the record with energetic riffs and strong vocals from Brent Smith, this song screams that this record is not to be slept on. The chorus resonates power and confidence with a strong drum beat and use of power chords, the pre-chorus focuses heavily on Eric Bass’ bass line which instantly encompases the whole band into this wealth of power and strength.

Next up is ‘Black Soul’ which has quite quickly become a fan favourite. Opening with a synth riff this track instantly creates a different tone altogether, the lighter texture within the verse allows you to focus on Smith’s vocals some more however, once the pre-chorus and chorus kick in this song becomes this heavily riffed rock anthem. The transition between these heavy riffs and light electronic melodic lines is seamless and shows that Shinedown have outdone themselves once again. Title track ‘Attention Attention’ gives off a completely different vibe altogether, opening with a deep riff and flinging you into a verse with spoken vocals, this is something completely new from Shinedown. The chorus has this upbeat and lighter feel to it which once more shows so much versatility and talent within the band. This song sums up the album with the lyric ‘Nothing about me is ordinary,’ as there is no other band a record this powerful and unique could belong to.

‘Kill Your Conscience’ once more carries on with this electronic feel and once again has a lighter verse. Even the pre-chorus is just drums and vocals however, it’s different and works so well especially when it flings you into this powerful and paced chorus. It’s just a cool song and the use of electronics within the instrumental bridge really makes it stand out. ‘Pyro’ is another one of my favourites, it has a dark feel to it as well as a high energy riff which is headbangingly cool. It’s fast with driving drum beats and a good bassline which cut out for a moment in the pre-chorus only to come back in bigger and stronger in the chorus. ‘Pyro’ has incredibly catchy lyrics and it’s so incredibly hard not to dance to this would be absolutely brilliant live.

After the highly energised feel from ‘Pyro’ we are presented with ‘Monsters’ which is one of the slower and more powerful songs on the record. Sung in a typical Shinedown manner this is encompasses their whole style, with a chilling verse and extremely powerful and beautiful chorus this song is just brilliant. Following on from this we have ‘Darkside’ which I absolutely adore, with a light guitar riff which leads into this eq effected verse it brings the mood up from the sombre one presented in ‘Monsters’. The chorus is very upbeat and full of energy and the contrast between the heaviness of the chorus and the slower post chorus once more shows so much versatility within the band.

‘Creatures’ is another one of the slower songs off of the record, with a light verse and chorus this is a very powerful song which would sound amazing with a massive crowd of people screaming back the words. ‘Evolve’ moves on dramatically from this with a heavy and driving riff especially within the verse which once more ecompasses a style which is quintessentially Shinedown, especially with the chorus that couldn’t be anymore suited to Smith’s voice if they tried, even the bridge section is so dramatic and really makes it stand out.

‘Get up’ is next and opens with a slower feel and has a verse accompanied by piano which we haven’t seen in this record yet. It’s a pretty song and sounds similar to ‘Misfits’ off of Threat to Survival. The chorus is uplifting and makes it an inspiring and epic track. Followed by yet another piano accompanied song we are presented with ‘Special’ which gradually builds into this beautiful little ballad which is evolving all of the way through song, which includes a gorgeous string melody line behind the chorus. We then reach the penultimate song ‘The Human Radio’ which was Shinedown’s second single off of Attention Attention with the rockiest of riffs and a loud chorus as well as a choir led bridge section which is impossible not to sing along to ‘The Human Radio’ is the perfect song to sum up this record. It’s just epic. The record ends with ‘Brilliant’ which opens slightly slower and quieter than the other songs however this very quickly changes into a rock anthem once the guitar riff comes in. The chorus contains driving drum rhythms as well as catchy and uplifting lyrics, it’s honestly the perfect song to end the record on as it contains features of everything that makes Attention Attention so unique; such as stunning solos, slower sections, amazing riffs and the sheer talent of Shinedown.

So should you buy Attention Attention? Yes. Without question. If you love Shinedown or if you’ve never heard of them before I can almost guarantee that you will find a song on this album that will change your perception about rock forever, it’s always evolving and Shinedown evolve seamlessly with it adding their own style to this modern and incredible rock album.

Rating: 9.5/10

Recommended Tracks: Devil, Black Soul, Brilliant

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