When I first heard Shinedown’s debut single, “Fly From The Inside,” off of their debut CD, Leave A Whisper, I was pleased to say the least. And yet that first track, which is actually the first track on the CD, left me a little skeptical. I mean, in my history of listening to music, when the opening song on a release is also the lead-off radio single, that usually means the rest of the album is sub-par and whatever success the band achieves will be short-lived.
Shinedown, who hail from Jacksonville, Florida, proved me wrong. New release after new release has proven even better than the last. The band went Platinum with Leave a Whisper and they’ve been on their way to greatness ever since. Bolstered by the hit, “Save Me” — it’s a song that hit home for many friends of mine who’ve contended with drug use — their sophomore album, Us and Them, went Gold.
And now with their latest studio album, The Sound of Madness, Shinedown created a masterpiece of heart-shaking rock. And their lyrics, whether in songs like “What A Shame” — which was written about Brent Smith’s uncle, who died during the recording of TSOM — or in the brilliant title track, are ones to which anyone who has been through emotional ups and downs can empathize.
If you love rock and haven’t given Shinedown a listen, I suggest giving them a shot. You will not be disappointed. In fact, I’ve seen them in concert twice so far — on both occasions I managed to muscle my way toward the stage, all the while hanging on Smith’s every word — and they put on a spectacular show.
Look for my review of Shinedown’s upcoming live album, Somewhere In The Stratosphere, which, incidentally, got its title in a rather interesting way. Stay tuned.