Lots of the bands that really peaked in the mid-2000s have followed their own paths, and Shinedown have really gotten a solid hold of theirs. Shinedown keep the energy up in Attention Attention, their new record with a very solid backbone of energy.
The most important factor of Attention Attention is undoubtedly its unstoppable energy. After the mechanical intro of 'The Entrance,' huge, angry riffs establish the giant tone of 'Devil,' bringing the record to a roaring start. 'Black Soul' continues with truly explosive energy, adding a bit more alternative into the mix to make the huge choruses pop out even more. The heaviness translates correlates strongly with the energy of the album, as it really carries on throughout the whole record. Even as the album gets deeper in, songs like 'Evolve' and 'Pyro' keep that giant power alive.
Just as Attention Attention has one important factor of success, it also has one defining problem: very weak writing. The energy often times masks the pretty subpar lyricism, but as the album goes on it really becomes a lot more noticeable. Single 'The Human Radio' is a good example. Not only does the very idea of the title not make much sense beyond "edgy for the sake of being edgy," the Three Days Grace-esque track harkens back to TDG's trainwreck of an album Human. When the opening lines are "I've got a four letter word for 'I don't care' / A whole lot of drive, to get me there," you know you're in for a treat. The stripped down number 'Perfect' tries very hard to be sweet like Ed Sheeran, but just falls short in both the sonic and lyrical department. It doesn't fail as miserably as closing track 'Brilliant,' however, which just literally makes some connections that don't make sense: considering the opening line is "count it down from 10 to 1, faster than a firefly" (which most things are), the chorus's chant of "It's my day to be brilliant" feels all too ironic to even be taken seriously. It gets even worse as it goes - the ending skit that chides "'til next time" might just be the worst moment on the record.
Shinedown keep the energy up in Attention Attention, bringing big riffs and jams but not delivering in the meaningful side of things. Their livelihood seems to still be in check, if it's worth anything; however, it seems like they're really doing their best to stay "hip" and living that edgy teenager life, because they certainly aren't winning any awards for this one's lyrics.
Favorite Tracks: Devil, Darkside, Black Soul
Least Favorite Track: Brilliant
Rating: 69 / 100
Stream or buy Attention Attention on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: