Shinedown Crafts Heavy, Hopeful Rock on ‘Attention Attention’ – Review

2018-04-23

Review by Anne Erickson, photo by Jimmy Fontaine

Album Review: ‘ATTENTION ATTENTION’ from Shinedown delivers heavy music with an uplifting message

The sixth studio album from Jacksonville, Florida-based rock outfit Shinedown shows the guys haven’t lost their edge or charm. Brimming with some of the band’s most heavy and hard-hitting music to date, “ATTENTION ATTENTION” demands, well, attention with hefty riffs and rhythms, while still staying true to Shinedown’s trademark melodic sound and inspiring themes.

“ATTENTION ATTENTION” kicks off with a 37-second overture of sorts before launching into the main tracks. Songs such as “PYRO” and “DEVIL” get heavy with Zach Myers’ loud, intense guitars and singer Brent Smith’s thick, powerful vocals, while “THE HUMAN RADIO” and “BLACK SOUL” have an almost electronic, industrial feel. “DARKSIDE” sets off with fist-pumping guitars and vocals and breaks down into a dance-y beat, a la bass player Eric Bass and drummer Barry Kerch, while “GET UP” and “special” offer piano-based instrumentals that blend seamlessly with Smith’s pristine vocals.

An album standout – and my personal favorite song on the set – is “MONSTERS,” which starts out with an eerie, dark, hollow-sounding instrumental and crescendos into a fiery, anthemic chorus, with Smith proclaiming, “My monsters are real!” This track is classic Shinedown, in the vein of rock radio staples such as “Fly From the Inside,” “Burning Bright” and “If You Only Knew.” In fact, this song is one that recalls the sound and feel of Shinedown’s 2003 debut studio album and breakout release, “Leave a Whisper.” It’s moments like these that show “ATTENTION ATTENTION” stays true to Shinedown’s signature sound, while venturing into new music territory and continuing the evolution of all that is Shinedown.

With a penchant for the inspiring, Shinedown presents a heavy collection of songs on “ATTENTION ATTENTION” with an uplifting, positive aura. It’s combination that has always been a staple of their charm. While the album still has fist-pumping hard rock and angst-y passages, there’s something hopeful in their messages, and it’s a package that’s sure to keep listeners begging for more, more, more Shinedown.

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