Release date: May 4, 2018
Rating: average (3)

Line-up:
Brent Smith – vocals
Barry Kerch – drums, percussion
Zach Myers – guitars
Eric Bass – bass

Shinedown’s music is, despite the band’s mainstream success, quite unique. It makes you feel like a million dollars (“Adrenaline”), sigh longingly (“The Crow And The Butterfly”), cry yourself to sleep (“Call Me”) and punch someone in the face (“Cut The Cord”), all at the same time. Shinedown is probably the only band that can deliver the perfect song and lyrics for every situation you might be in. I consider their album “The Sound Of Madness” a classic.

Strangely enough, as much as I can rave about this band, I haven’t been a huge fan of their 2015 release “Threat To Survival” save a couple tracks. Shinedown were drifting into a direction that sounded quite generic and that lacked the depth and edge their older material has.

Considering this, “ATTENTION ATTENTION” is indeed an interesting release. Musically, Shinedown are still on a similar path as three years ago, but seem to have gotten their edge back. So it’s no surprise that some of the best tracks on “ATTENTION ATTENTION” are raw and straight-forward songs like “DEVIL”. “BRILLIANT” or “BLACK SOUL”. I’ve been binge-hearing those tracks like crazy.
Overall, Shinedown included some noteworthy elements into their newest release –  for example some occasional parlando and an overall slightly darker and more dramatic atmosphere – all that embedded in Shinedown’s signature sound. While so many mainstream rock acts release the always-same tunes year after year, this band is actually making an effort to offer something new with every album.
Sadly, a lot went wrong on “ATTENTION ATTENTION”: Most tracks are not memorable, and that’s probably the worst one could ever say about Shinedown songs. They are known for their catchy tunes after all! Also, there is actually one track on the new album that is an absolute pratfall: “special” (I only know realize how ironic that is). It’s cheesy in all the bad ways and not at all well-made.

It’s hard to pin down what’s the deal with average albums, really. I also find it quite useless to analyse everything in such cases, as not much really sticks out – neither good nor bad.
“ATTENTION ATTENTION” is on the verge of being disappointing, mostly because I love Shinedown so much and expected much, much more.

Tracks:
01. THE ENTRANCE
02. DEVIL
03. BLACK SOUL
04. ATTENTION ATTENTION
05. KILL YOUR CONSCIENCE
06. PYRO
07. MONSTERS
08. DARKSIDE
09. CREATURES
10. EVOLVE
11. GET UP
12. special
13. THE HUMAN RADIO
14. BRILLIANT

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