Home > News & Reviews > Shinedown

Shinedown - Attention Attention (Album Review)

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 Written by Simon Ramsay

It’s been 10 years since Shinedown released ‘The Sound of Madness’, one of the greatest metal-infused hard rock albums of this century. Since then, the Jacksonville gang have produced two records that, although crammed with fine moments, didn’t match the calibre and diversity of that contemporary classic. ‘Attention Attention’ may follow suit in that regard, but it’s easily their strongest and most varied effort since setting that benchmark.

Taking listeners on an emotionally gripping journey over the course of 14 tracks, ‘Attention Attention’ spins a story with a beginning, middle and end that follows someone who, having locked themselves away in a room for the record’s duration, undergoes a brutal emotional detox as they face the darkest parts of their soul on a path towards salvation through understanding.

Overall this autobiographical tale, which is drawn from the whole band’s personal experiences, avoids over-reliance on vocalist Brent Smith’s past struggles with addiction and self-help preachiness.

It has been rendered universal and, in the wake of some famous musicians succumbing to their demons, poignant.  

Shining a light on how unresolved fear and trauma causes so much suffering at a time when technology is suffocating human connections, ‘Attention Attention’ finds the band using every weapon in their arsenal to give each song a visceral identity.

On Devil, the protagonist’s terror is presented as an operatic mid-tempo metal nightmare. When family trauma is unearthed on Pyro, its pummelling, purging ferocity recalls the charging militaristic fury of Devour and Cry For Help. Darkside, meanwhile, may begin as a shit-kicking bruiser but, as hallucinations overwhelm our narrator, it collapses into a trippy little wall-crawling chorus. Closing pop-rock firecracker Brilliant offers unbridled positivity as renewed self-confidence and appreciation flow through the protagonist’s veins.

A texturally rich mixture of old and new Shinedown, ‘Attention Attention’ is relentlessly melodic and walks the perfect line between mainstream accessibility and credible metal authenticity. Special is a lighter-waving farewell to one’s ego, Black Soul’s overdriven pogo-riff and drill sergeant vocals recall ‘Threat To Survival’ and The Human Radio offers funky industrial bass licks, touches of electronica and a blunderbuss of a chorus delivered with typical authority by Smith.  

Talking of the frontman, few rock vocalists consistently deliver the goods with such power and profundity. Whether he’s performing a raw, introspective ballad like Creatures, or the uplifting pop-rock gospel of Get Up, he pours his heart and soul into every syllable.

‘Attention Attention’ may end on an impassioned high note, but it’s far from a cheesy Spielberg-esque happy ever after. Smith’s final statement, where he speaks the words ‘until next time’, sends out a crucial message. It’s a sentiment that’s certainly worth paying attention to.

Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!

You May Also Like:

Ghost - Prequelle (Album Review)
Tue 05 Jun 2018
Photo: Mikael Eriksson Ghost have returned to engulf the world in hellish flames on their fourth album and most scintillating statement to date, ‘Prequelle’. But this time around the masked metallers wreak havoc through music far closer in spirit to ABBA and Duran Duran than Pentagram and Blue Öyster Cult.
A Perfect Circle - Eat The Elephant (Album Review)
Wed 09 May 2018
Many critics don't put much stock into dissecting album art, but it's tricky to talk about 'Eat the Elephant', California supergroup A Perfect Circle's first album in 14 years, without at least a passing reference to its sleeve. Fronted by an Uncle Fester-esque character cradling an octopus, the ostentatious cover will trigger a gut response from anyone who grew up listening to angsty alternative rock in the early 2000s.
Bullet For My Valentine Share New Single Letting You Go
Fri 18 May 2018
Bullet For My Valentine have released Letting You Go.
Black Stone Cherry Announce December UK Arena Tour
Mon 11 Jun 2018
Photo: Harry Reese Black Stone Cherry will tour the UK at the end of the year.
Tremonti Share New Song Bringer Of War
Fri 11 May 2018
Tremonti have released a lyric video for their new song, Bringer of War.
Nine Inch Nails Detail 'Bad Witch' And Accompanying Tour
Thu 10 May 2018
Nine Inch Nails have announced their 'Bad Witch' album.
My Bloody Valentine Confirm June Birmingham Show
Fri 01 Jun 2018
My Bloody Valentine will perform in Birmingham later this month.
Fields of the Nephilim Announce Autumn UK Shows
Fri 08 Jun 2018
Fields of the Nephilim have announced a handful of UK shows celebrating 30 years of their song Moonchild.
< Prev   Next >