Amaryllis review by Shinedown

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  • Released: Mar 27, 2012
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (77 votes)
Shinedown: Amaryllis

Sound — 9
Jacksonville, Florida hard rockers Shinedown titled their new album "Amaryllis" after a species of flowering bulbs, and on "Amaryllis", Shinedown have constructed a modern rock masterpiece. I'm sure people will bitch about the softer songs on this album, but ironically softness is Shinedown's strength. When Brent Smith and co. Get heavy on "Amaryllis" ("Adrenaline", "Enemies", "Nowhere Kids", "My Name") they sound like a modern rock band, albeit an extremely good one. However, when Shinedown expands their sound into power ballads laced with pianos ("Unity", "I'll Follow You"), horns ("I'm Not Alright"), and even orchestras ("Through The Ghost"), Brent Smith is given a chance to shine. To better explain what I'm saying, I'll review every track individually. 01. "Adrenaline" - A nice aggressive way to open the album. I'm already predicting that Shinedown will open with this song when I see them live on May 13. 02. "Bully" - The first single from "Amaryllis", "Bully" is just screaming anthem for the oppressed and picked-on. It's not a straight rock song, but it's rock enough to pass as the first single. I personally wouldn't have chosen this as the first single, but considering that this song is everywhere on the radio, what do I know? 03. "Amaryllis" - The first ballad on "Amaryllis", the title track features acoustic guitars in the verses before exploding in the chorus. For some reason, this song reminds me a lot of "Life Won't Wait" by Ozzy Osbourne. 04. "Unity" - The first song on "Amaryllis" to feature piano, this song gives off a U2 feeling throughout the verses. The chorus isn't quite as powerful as I hoped, but it's still decent. I believe it will probably become a live anthem though. 05. "Enemies" - Without a doubt, "Enemies" is the heaviest Shinedown song ever. Brent Smith described "Enemies" in an interview as being a sort of "metal boogie" and it definitely delivers. I love the riff with the little squeals in the verses (I don't think it's pinch harmonics, but it definitely sounds like it). 06. "I'm Not Alright" - This song isn't a ballad, nor is it a rock song. "I'm Not Alright" features a horn section, and that combined with the rhythm seems to give off a Celtic feel, at least that's what I hear. 07. "Nowhere Kids" - Another heavy rocker, with interesting lyrics. Not too special, but it'll probably be a single at some point. 08. "Miracle" - A ballad. This is probably my least favorite song on "Amaryllis". It's kinda bland. 09. "I'll Follow You" - My favorite song on the album. I love how the piano driven verses combined with Brent's voice gives it a soul-ballad feel. The chorus is my favorite one on "Amaryllis". I absolutely love Zach Myer's guitar solo on it. This is the song I would've released as the first single. 10. "For My Sake" - A melodic rock song, it sounds like something from "Leave A Whisper". Not anything special. 11. "My Name (Wearing Me Out)" - A very interesting heavy rock song. I swear there is a sitar in the intro/1st verse. Other than the sitar, "My Name" isn't very notable. 12. "Through The Ghost" - According to Brent Smith, "Through The Ghost" features a 30 piece orchestra. I love this song.

Lyrics — 9
I've never been hesitant to admit my admiration for Brent Smith's voice. Besides Myles Kennedy, Brent is my favorite voice in rock. But having a great natural voice doesn't mean anything if you can't harness and use it to serve the song. And on Amaryllis, Brent Smith wields his voice perfectly. As for the lyrics, "Amaryllis" is my favorite Shinedown album lyrically. Brent uses great metatphors that I've never really heard before. Brent told Revolver Magazine that he acted as the "story police", banning vague metaphors and commonly used words such as "sky" and "away". That tactic appears to have paid off. "Bully" is self-explanatory as Brent tells off a bully (I suspect this was written in response to the rash of bullying-related suicides recently). "Unity" is also self-explanatory as Brent essentially sends out a message of hope. Elsewhere, Brent sings about being addicted to "Adrenaline", then crooning "I'll Follow You" down into the eye of the storm, and asking if you hid "Through The Ghost", and rails against celebrity obsession on "Nowhere Kids".

Overall Impression — 9
On "Amaryllis", Shinedown have combined their hard rock side with the ballads of "Sound Of Madness". Brent Smith and co. are on the top of their game. Zach Myers's guitar solos are short and sweet, Brent's voice carries every song, and Eric Bass adds piano flourishes on several songs. I love how Shinedown experimented on "Amaryllis", and I believe it paid off. Of course, this is all just my humble opinion, and if you disagree, feel free to flame me. I don't give a f--k.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    MyUserName777 wrote: Don't spend half the review complaining Bully is getting too much radio play. I agree but that isn't what the review is about. Take the album as a whole and judge it rather than complain about 1 song.
    I was thinking the same man. If he were to complain about it, honestly i think theres more important reasons on why to not like the song. In my opinion, i dont like it at all, since it sounds like a 12 yr old had written it. im seriously, and all brent does is whine about a bully.
    personaly i thought the album was great it shows shinedown versatility able switch music range soft to hard some bands never do that and it gets boring its better than korns new albulm which was repeative as hell. all bands go through personal changes its the way it is in music im sure there was reason for Todd Bass departure hats off to Zac M
    HaveSomeGlue wrote: Everyone is saying it sucks by judging the whole album because of Bully's lyrics. If you listen to the other songs its really a solid album whole way through.
    agreed man. this really isnt a bad album, fairly solid. not awesome, but i am pretty used to tht since shinedown nvr really puts out anything overly groundbreaking or amazing. my favorite tracks r probly the softer ones like "unity", "miracle", and "through the ghost"
    K.i.S.A. wrote: LTDman90 wrote: I don't know what it is man, I just can't do it. I want to like this album so bad because I LOVED leave a whisper and Us and Them, but these past two albums, I just can't. Ever since their original lineup disbanded, they haven't been the same. This man speaks the truth. There is no other way to put it. They used to be my alltime favorite band. Now I hate them..
    I guess I can see why. From the old ones Ive heard I never cared for old Shinedown. I liked Save Me and thats the only one that's memorable in my mind. The past two Releases have broken ground for this band and the world's eyes are now on this band. Don't get me wrong, that's not why I like bands, I mean the past two albums have been just simply amazing IMO. Like most bands, they've found their sound as they said in an XM Octane interview and it just resonates with me.
    I wish they would play music like that on the radio over here in Germany. Instead, all we hear is goddamn pop music. I haven't heard Shinedown once...
    A few garbage songs, a few songs that are okay, a few kickass songs that get stuck in my head and are fun to rock out to. It's true they are too commercialized now. Not trying to sound like a hipster that doesn't like them just because they're famous...but they became more famous for a reason. Because they started writing songs like Bully. Ugh I really can't stand that one song. But I do love Adrenaline, My Name, and Enemies. Leave a Whisper will always be my fav by them.
    If everyone actually knew the band on a personal level they would know why Brent changed the band. They sound just as great as before because its still from the heart. If you guys like 'Leave a Whisper' and 'Us and Them' Brent was going through a dark time making the songs heavier. 'The Sound of Madness' and 'Amaryllis' are happier records because Brent is happier....think about it people its not rocket science.
    I've always had the impression that the only really good songs on Leave a Whisper were .45 and Simple Man (perhaps my favorite cover song). I loved Us and Them and Sound of Madness. Aside from their best Nickelback impression in Bully, this album is a lot of fun to listen to every now and again.