It has been an extremely long time since an album review has been posted on Immortal Music, but this one deserves to be written. On May 4, 2018, Shinedown released their sixth album, ATTENTION ATTENTION. The band has spoken up quite a bit about internal struggles to reveal exactly why this album was made. Its a rock opera of sorts, something they have never done before, about mental illness, struggles, and all sorts of real life things that people deal with every day.
Something else makes this very special is this is the first album that vocalist Brent Smith was completely sober for. That was a piece of information that absolutely blew my mind, since I have been happily calling Shinedown one of my favorite bands for the past decade. I had been aware that he had an addiction to a perscription drug back in the day, circa 2005 or so, but I thought it was a thing of the past. I had absolutely no idea that Brent still was battling that addiction to this day, so hearing about that, and how guitarist Zach Myers has been suffering panic attacks so bad he keeps in touch with a cardiologist every day, really just opened my eyes. There's no other band like Shinedown, these boys will never cease to amaze me, and their raw openness just adds to that.
The album starts off with a knock on a door, and someone entering a room in the first track, appropriately titled, "THE ENTRANCE." It then moves directly into the first single, "DEVIL."
There's actually a lot that's very special about this album, in not only the meaning, but the way it all commands your attention. They picked the perfect title for this album, which is not something I think I've ever said before. Its also heavier than any other Shinedown album has ever been before, though it feels like a very natural evolution for them. With each album, Shinedown changes just slightly, and each time they manage to out due themselves.
Something else I really found to be very unique about this album was the titles of each track. All of them but one are in all caps. The one that isn't is called, "special", which is written in all lower case letters.
That being said, I definitely have my favorites on the album. One of them being the title track, "ATTENTION ATTENTION." Its catchy, its powerful, it literally commands your attention. Its all about mental turmoil, whether its anxiety, demons, depression, or even just the judgement of others. And its told in such a beautiful way. Nothing bout me is ordinary, My friends all say I'm going crazy. I don't hear a word that they say, 'Cause the voices in my head are legendary. But I'll never tell em where the bodies are buried. Keeps them coming back every day."
Another one I really want to talk about is, "GET UP." This is one of the tracks that feels very similar to the Shinedown song we've always heard, but in a great way. Its inspirational, and encourages you to just keep moving even when you don't feel up to it. It reminds you that you're not alone. "If you're ever in doubt, don't sell yourself short. You might be bulletproof. Hard to move mountains when you're paralyzed, but you gotta try." Its just there to remind you that things may be possible, even if it doesn't feel that way. But you will never know unless you try.
I feel like every song on this album tells its own story, and they're all worth listening to. I could talk about them all, but rather than spoil it, I just recommend you go check it out. Even if you've never been a Shinedown fan, this one just might change your mind.
ATTENTION ATTENTION is available wherever music is sold, but especially on Shinedown's official website, and through Walmart, which has two exclusive songs. I have yet to hear those as of the time of writing this review, but stay tuned on social media. I may just talk about them once I do.
All reviews have the date they were written, the album title, and the band's name, with the exception of Life Starts Now by Three Days Grace and Dear Agony by Breaking Benjamin. Those dates were guessed at, as they were written well before the website began.