Amaryllis Review

artist: Shinedown date: 03/26/2012 category: compact discs
Shinedown: Amaryllis
Released: Mar 26, 2012
Genre: Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Hard Rock, Post-Grunge
Label: Atlantic (US), Roadrunner (International)
Number Of Tracks: 12
"Amaryllis" is the fourth studio album to be released by Shinedown, with the lead single "Bully", which seems to be on heavy rotation on every rock-centric radio station on the air.
 Sound: 8.4
 Lyrics: 8.6
 Overall Impression: 8.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) 37 comments vote for this album:
overall: 6.7
Amaryllis Featured review by: UG Team, on march 26, 2012
2 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sound: Since 2002, when Shinedown formed, they have experienced great success for both their studio albums and a reputation for putting on a great live show. Their music has historically been fairly straightforward hard rock, but has occasionally been called alternative rock, alt metal and post grunge. Personally, I think they sound just like a fairly standard rock band. The new album, "Amaryllis", doesn't really depart from their sound. Brent Smith, vocalist, has stated in interviews that "Amaryllis" was created to show where they've been and where they are going, and to just be a very honest album that showcases what the band is about. I'm paraphrasing, and not quoting him exactly, but this is the heart of what he is saying, I believe.

In 2008, at the time of the release of "the Sound Of Madness", guitarist Nick Perri left the band and Eric Bass joined as the new bassist/pianist. The overall sound of Shinedown has still managed to stay consistent. On "Amaryllis", the songs range from softer songs to standard hard rock. The guitar solos are interesting (hats off to Zach Myers) but very short. The album is mixed fairly well with each instrument becoming a part of the texture of the song instead of any one instrument dominating the recording. While I can't feel really enthusiastic about this release, it isn't bad it just sounds like radio rock to me. I won't turn the station when it comes on (with the exception of "Bully" which is getting WAY too much radio play), but I don't think this album will have a very long shelf life on my mp3 player. // 6

Lyrics: It really seems like Shinedown had a vision in mind while writing songs for "Amaryllis", aiming for an almost inspirational theme about overcoming adversity, etc. This is most evident in the song "Bully", and here is a sample of the lyrics from the single (1st verse/chorus): "It's 8 AM, this Hell I'm in/ Seems I've crossed the line again/ For being nothing more than who I am/ So break my bones and throw your stones/ We all know that life ain't fair/ But there is more of us, we're everywhere/ We don't have to take this, back against the wall/ We don't have to take this, we can end it all/ All you'll ever be is a fading memory of a bully/ Make another joke while they hang another rope, so lonely/ Push them to the dirt till the words don't hurt/ Can you hear me? / No one's gonna cry on the very day you die/ You're a bully". I understand there has been a national focus on anti-bullying, and I understand that Shinedown is trying to help but the radio plays this song sometimes twice in the same hour. It is getting ridiculous. This may be a good song, but I've heard it so much I can't tell anymore, I just want it to stop.

Brent Smith does a great job with his vocal delivery, giving exactly what is needed for each song, and the rest of the band does a great job backing him. You can't really complain about the vocal delivery on here, Brent really has a great voice and is very versatile. From "Bully" to songs like "Enemies", and Brent Smith delivers the vocals in the exact right way to really serve the song. While the lyrics at times are a little cheesy, the vocal delivery is really good. I would trade voices with Brent Smith any day. // 7

Overall Impression: My favorite song on the album is going to be "Nowhere Kids" because the lyrics and the guitar riff is very interesting to me. My least favorite is "Bully", but this may very well be because they won't stop playing it repeatedly on the radio. Sorry for bringing that up so much, but it makes it really hard to judge that song fairly. I also enjoyed the songs "I'm Not Alright", "Enemies" and "For My Sake" alright. I also enjoyed "Unity" but for some reason it makes me think of U2 a lot, but I don't know why exactly. I can do without the title track, "Amaryllis", as it just sounds really bland to me.

At the end of the day, I like Shinedown as a band. "Amaryllis", however, is not my favorite album. The songs are okay, but none of them really stick out and shine to me. I think this album is going to get a lot of radio play, and I think a lot of people are going to disagree with my feelings about this album. I think as time passes and people look back on the work of Shinedown they are going to think of "Amaryllis" as a pretty mediocre effort compared to their other releases. And that is okay - not every album can be a home run, but I will be happy when the radio gets done playing songs from this album and goes back to playing some of their earlier work. Maybe just adding into rotation some of their new songs besides "Bully" would be enough. // 7

- Brandon East (c) 2012

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overall: 8
Amaryllis Reviewed by: TremontiAddict, on march 26, 2012
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: Shinedown return to the music scene strongly with the long awaited release of their fourth studio album "AmaryllisB>", and the wait does not disappoint. This album is full of the heavy hitters Shinedown have been known for throughout their careers ("Adrenaline", "Enemies", "My Name (Wearing Me Out)"), and it also has plenty of soothing, emotional ballads ("Unity", "I'll Follow You") that those who grew to love Shinedown during "The Sound Of Madness" era will come to appreciate. Amaryllis features some of the tightest production from any Shinedown album to date, and it is diverse enough to please a wide variety of music fans. Brent Smith's voice is phenomenal once again in this release, Zach Myers shows some tasteful solos along with fist pumping riffs, and Barry Kerch and Eric Bass are the glue that holds this album's groove together. // 9

Lyrics: Brent has always been once of my favorite lyricists since the "Leave A Whisper" days, and he still shows he can be a poignant writer throughout "Amaryllis". Longtime fans of Shinedown will probably notice the lyrical choice in this release is typically more straightforward than Brent's lyrics were in past albums, but he still manages to tell stories throughout the record. The lyrical themes across "Amaryllis" have an "us against the world" vibe, whether they be about pushing yourself while at the end of your rope as in "Adrenaline", being faced with people trying to tear you down as in "Bully" and "Enemies", or questioning what happened to past memories as in "Through The Ghost". While I enjoyed the overall theme of the album, I'll give this section a little knock because I expected some of the lyrical choices to be more unique, but Brent still yet has a knack for writing like few current musicians do. // 7

Overall Impression: Shinedown definitely have an album to be proud of after spending many months in the studio. I'm personally partial to the band's earlier style in "Leave A Whisper" and "Us & Them", but "Amaryllis" is an impressive release that should turn some heads in the rock community. 01. "Adrenaline" - I can see this song becoming one of Shinedown's main live openers. Upbeat, aggressive, full of "adrenaline". 02. "Bully" - Good song with a nice message, but I don't think it deserved to be the first single. The song does feature one of my favorite solos from Myers though. 03. "Amaryllis" - The title track is the first gem on this album. Great melody with an amazing chorus. This track features lyrics I've come to grow and love Brent for writing, and this song has single written all over it. 04. "Unity" - This song has all the makings of a great ballad on the surface. There's a strong message along with huge music, but I expected more from the chorus in this song. The song just didn't explode the way I felt it should have after the early build up. 05. "Enemies" - This is definitely my favorite heavy song on the album. Zach's best riffs are featured on this track, and you can really tell that the entire band clicked while making this one. Should be a lot of fun at concerts. 06. "I'm Not Alright" - One of the more unique Shinedown songs I've ever heard, complete with a massive horn section. This song is still up for debate with me, but I appreciate the creative attempt the band went for with this one. 07. "Nowhere Kids" - This is the one track on the album I can't get into at all. I'm not a huge fan of the lyrics, and some of the vocal effects seem cheesy. Just a generic rock song without much appeal. 08. "Miracle" - This is the perfect song for fans of "If You Only Knew" and "The Crow & The Butterfly". I love how upbeat this song is, and I'm a fan of the lyrics as well. Hopefully the band does an acoustic version of this soon. 09. "I'll Follow You" - This is my, hands down, favorite song on "Amaryllis". This song features a very soulful side of Brent, and his voice is full of power and emotion throughout. Along with the title track, this song also features my favorite lyrics from the record. Shinedown have a bona fide hit with "I'll Follow You". 10. "For My Sake" - This is a solid rocker that I believe fans from "Leave A Whisper" will appreciate. I could have seen this song being on the debut album, and it's full of that raw emotion I came to love Shinedown for in the early years. 11. "My Name (Wearing Me Out)" - This song seems to hit me harder every time I listen to it. It reminds me of some of the rockers on "The Sound Of Madness" ("Sin With A Grin", "Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide"), and it's a cool song to have near the end of the album. 12. "Through The Ghost" - A very haunting track featuring mainly acoustic guitars and orchestral work, and it's a nice way to close the album. Thought provoking message behind this song as well. With every album release, Shinedown manage to create a unique sound for themselves. While "Amaryllis" sounds similar at times to "The Sound Of Madness" and also reflects some on their older style, this album definitely has an identity of its own. I wish the band would let Myers rip loose on solos a little bit more because I know he is capable of it, but other than that I was satisfied with the musical arrangements. As a longtime Shinedown fan, I can see this album getting its fair share of spins along with the first three records. // 8

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overall: 9.7
Amaryllis Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 26, 2012
2 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sound: Great sound, similar to "The Sound Of Madness", probably since this album was also produced by Rob Cavallo. The drum sound has great depth and this is also true for the guitars. The vocals are absolutely perfect, and the backing vocals also sound amazing, especially on the song "Nowhere Kids". // 9

Lyrics: Brent's voice is almost like adding another guitar to the music because of the power and how he fires out lyrics like a machine gun in songs like "Adrenaline". However, he also sings songs like "Miracle" and "For My Sake" with a beautiful melodic voice. Like all Shinedown albums, the lyrics on "Amaryllis" are all meaningful and include great metaphores. // 10

Overall Impression: There isn't a single bad song on this album and is a great follow up from "The Sound Of Madness". I was most impressed with the songs "Adrenaline" and "Miracle" because of the great lyrics and catchy melodies. This is one of the best Alternative Metal albums I have ever heard along with "The Sound Of Madness". I got this album the day it came out and haven't stopped listening to it since. // 10

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overall: 9
Amaryllis Reviewed by: Battman1993, on march 27, 2012
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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". // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 9.3
Amaryllis Reviewed by: Fourgiven, on august 20, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Shinedown is an ever evolving band that still manages to keep "their" sound. This album in particular is much more upbeat and happy than the previous three CD's which is nice, because with a band like Shinedown you have to ask "where can they go from 'Sound Of Madness'"? How can they outdo themselves again? But they did it with this CD. Honestly not a song I don't like on here, and I can see every one of these tracks being radio singles. In my opinion it is their best LP yet. // 9

Lyrics: The first time I heard "Bully", I was amazed at how much Brent Smith's voice had matured, its so powerful and emotional. The lyrics on "Amaryllis" are diversely different from other records, and you can really feel the emotion through them. While previous records dealt alot with getting over the drug addictions, and trouble in the band, this CD has lyrics that range from their children ("Miracle", "Nowhere Kids") to Standing up for yourself and others ("Bully", "Enemies") to standing together ("Unity"). The backup vocals really pull everything together too. While I'm not positive, it seems like Eric and Zach (the guitarists) have two very different voice styles and ranges, but they go so well together and with Brent's amazing voice. // 10

Overall Impression: I think this album will be one of the greats of our generation. Barry Kerch is one of the best drummers in rock right now, and Zach Myers is one of the more creative guitar players around right now, and if you've seen them live, you know he has the duty of bein a lead and rhythm guitar player all in one, which is very tough for a hard rock band. Every song on the album could be a hit single, the only thing that I hate about this album is that there are only twelve songs haha. I would definitely purchase this album again if it were lost. // 9

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