Attention Attention is evidence that Shinedown is still one of the kings of contemporary rock. Shinedown combines old trademarks with new elements as they continue to evolve as a group of artists.
After listening to “DEVIL” I was excited. Judging by the lead single, Shinedown was aiming to further develop the sound they adopted on Threat to Survival. Admittedly, I disliked the change in sound at first, however most of the songs quickly became staples in my music routine.
In the week after “DEVIL” was released I pre-ordered a pricy package deal. I wanted to add one of the snazzy autographed booklets to my collection. “HUMAN RADIO” was certainly cool, although much less thrilling than “DEVIL”. Anyway, I was already convinced the album was going to be great, and I wasn’t wrong.
This record continues the departure from the sound that made the band famous. However, this isn’t bad. As someone that is completely enthralled with “the-old-Shinedown”, this record is definitely good and worth checking out. So far, comparing Attention Attention to the rest of their discs, it is probably tied for first place. I don’t know if this ranking will hold up over time or if it is simply due to the “newness” of the album obscuring my opinion. Either way, the record is easily worthy of a space in my library.
Musically, this album is similar to their last record, Threat to Survival. For the most part, they have dropped the mainstream rock feel featured on The Sound of Madness and Amaryllis. There are electronic elements scattered throughout the record. However, this does not mean Shinedown has ditched the gritty rock sound that put them on the map.
“BLACK SOUL” and “EVOLVE” are two of the heavier songs on Attention Attention. These two, along with “PYRO” and the closing tune, “BRILLIANT” is also fairly heavy, although it has softer moments. All three of these songs are proof that Shinedown is not willing to completely forgo the thick, rock ‘n’ sound their fans crave.
There is a common trend I noticed when I ranked Shinedown’s albums: they boast a lot of high caliber songs. Of course, this means most of the record could easily become singles. I could list roughly half the album as recommendations for places to start listening. However, the lead single, “DEVIL” is probably the best place. It is a very fun song, that’s loaded with energy and spunk.
Beyond this, the title track is pretty slick. The verses kind of sound like Brent Smith rapping. Then again, given how he writes most songs, this seems like a logical progression. None the less, this song is the closest I’ve heard of him rapping. The closer, “BRILLANT” is definitely a favorite for me. The uplifting message of the song sums up the overall theme of the album, plus, the song has a speedy tempo and crunching guitars.
If you read the lyrics or absorb them as you peruse the album, you will notice the album is clearly more than a regular disc. There are threads of ideas that connect the songs. In a way, this makes the album a concept album. For some reason I have yet to determine, records of this variety are one of my guilty pleasures.
The central theme of the album was revealed by Brent Smith in an interview with Loudwire. “The whole album is about not being afraid to fail”. Simply by listening to the lyrics one could come to this conclusion. Before reading the interview, I noted the record carried a humanist theme. I was close. In the same interview, Smith also stated the band is working with a director to release more music videos that will articulate the album’s story.