Friday, December 10, 2010

Retrosepctive: Shinedown

Everyone has heard (by now at least) ".45" by Shinedown.  When that song first came out, I was in high school still.  Myself and The Klepto were at a concert in Fort Myers, and the band list was decent.  Nothing spectacular.  Saliva was supposed to be the last band playing, but for some reason, they didn't show.  Instead, Shinedown flew in that day, and performed the closing act that night.  I have to say, it was one of the best show's I've ever seen.  Which got me hooked on their music:

Leave a Whisper                               

Shinedown's debut album.   I have to say, as soon as their set was over, I immediately wanted to buy this album.  I was not displeased.  Covering a wide variety of sounds, yet staying in the Alternative genre, these guys know how to rock.  The only qualm I have about this CD is that track 14 and track 6 sound exactly the same.  Even though track 14 is the (Samford Mix), which is supposedly different

Us and Them 

Shinedown's second album, also didn't disappoint.  The first track is oddly creepy and rather unlike them.  Their sound still isn't mainstream, which I love.  Too many bands nowadays all sound the same.  Like a preformed band mold.  Just pour in the goo and pop them out.  Well not them.  They are quite perfect for a crappy day, or if you just want to blast music and rock out!

The Sound of Madness 

I heard of their third album like a month after it came out.  So, I was already fairly stoked to go out and buy this album.  Upon listening to it, I won't lie, I was a bit disappointed. I feel like they became a lot more mainstream to where they became just like every other "Alternative" band out there.
One minor thing of note, but also rather disappointing was that this CD was significantly shorter than the first two.  Which shouldn't matter THAT much I suppose, but coupled with being a let down from their first 2 albums, it made the disappointment all a little more, well, disappointing. Not to say there isn't any good to the album.  I do enjoy it.  "Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide" and "What a Shame" are GREAT songs. Also, I loved how they ended their album with a slower song.  It is in fact mostly piano and acoustic guitar.

The Klepto's Take:
As The Pyro said above, we did see Shinedown live together, and it was a great show (it's up on my list with Alice Cooper and Ozzfest 10). It was right after the release of their debut album, and before then the only song I had heard of theirs was ".45." I was so impressed by their show (the singer controlled the crowd - he had the crazy eyes - creating huge mosh pits at his whim (I know, mosh pits? They were massive)), that I went out and bought Leave A Whisper. The album was ok, with the best songs being "Fly From The Inside," ".45," and a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man" (which is fabulous), but it didn't offer much more then that. Their next album, Us And Them, was amazing; with almost every some being great. I listened to that album dozens of times right when I got it (I haven't heard it in a while, I may need to give that one a re-listen) - their best work. I agree with The Pyro that the group seemed to 'sell out' (using a catch-22 phrase in the music world) for The Sounds of Madness, opting for of a pop-emo-alternative rock sound then the alternative metal/rock hybrid they were before. I have listened to it once, and have had not interest in listening to it again. Shinedown is (currently) an ok band, with the potential to be great. They were going on great in 2005, but took a step backwards in 2008. I wait to see if their next release will be another step in the wrong direction, or if they will reclaim their glory days.

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