Being a long time Shinedown fan, I was stoked for March 27th. Shinedown was set to release their fourth studio album Amaryllis and I had spent four long years waiting for a strong follow up to the mediocre Sound of Madness. Was it worth the wait? Was my nervous twitching and spontaneous vomiting in anticipation of this musical release all for not? In a word…yes. This album, to be blunt, is an utter piece of human excrement. I had moments where I thought I was listening to Nickelback, Three Days Grace, Lady Gaga, Elton John (the bad songs), or Coldplay. This “album”, if you want to call it that, destroys any respect Shinedown had gained from me following their first three albums. Yea, I realize Sound of Madness was not amazing, but it had its moments that made you realize why you listened to them and it drew more fans to their much better first two albums, Leave a Whisper and Us and Them. But then, this giant piece of monkey shit comes rolling down the old musical highway and crushes any memory of those relics of joy. Amaryllis is so damn annoying that I literally became angry while listening to it. I became irritable, depressed, and my bowels flared up something fierce. No joke, this album made me take the biggest shit since I decided to take on a Crave Case from White Castle by myself. Why is it bad? Do you think I may be being a little to critical of this piece of garbage? Well let me explain.
First off, Shinedown follows the EXACT SAME FORMULA FOR EVERY DAMN SONG!!! It can be a slow song, it can be a fast song, it can be the damn star spangled banner, but guess what? Shinedown will make them all sound the same! The Shinedown song formula is as follows: Piano or guitar slowly building / drummer repeatedly hits snare drum / first verse / chorus / second verse / all music drops (EVERY SONG? REALLY?!) / repeat chorus 34x / fade into poopy void of silence (which sounds better than the music). Aside from the formula, Jonathan Barkan (your lovely music editor and my podcast mate) pointed out to me that they did change keys with most songs, which is impressive. But to me, it was all in the key of SHIT. Brent Smith does not show the same fire he once had and the band just seems uninspired. The production quality is sub-par as I had a hard time hearing a guitar solo over the blasting snare drum.
I feel like Shinedown went into the studio and tried to write an album that would make them the favorite band of everyone between ages 12 and 16. The lyrics lack serious depth and have an almost Dr. Seuss feel to them (see songs 1-12 for some awesome nursery rhymes for your toddler!) Songs like, Bully and Enemies are just moronic rhyming while songs such as Miracle are so mushy that most men will need a tampon after listening to it.
The Final Word: In closing, Shinedown‘s Amaryllis is awful. Do not buy it. Do not touch it. Hell, don’t even look at it if you happen to be at the store. This pile of manure made me want to build a time machine so I could travel back to the studio during the recording, kick anyone who thought this was a good idea in the balls, and then drink all their beer as I laugh like Vincent Price in Michael Jackson‘s Thriller. AVOID THIS ALBUM AT ALL COSTS!!! To hammer the point home, I am going to show you a picture of my reaction after listening to the album: