Shinedown - Attention Attention album review

Shinedown's sixth album Attention Attention charts their journey to the bottom and back

Shinedown - Attention Attention

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Shinedown - Attention Attention

Shinedown - Attention Attention

01. The Entrance
02. Devil
03. Black Soul
04. Attention Attention
05. Kill Your Conscience
06. Pyro
07. Monsters
08. Darkside
09. Creatures
10. Evolve
11. Get Up
12. Special
13. The Human Radio
14. Brilliant

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Nothing saps a band’s charm like constant success; winning formulas often strip songwriting innovation, and who really can blame any artist who’s riding high for wanting to stay there? 

Case in point: Shinedown’s near-effortless rise to the top, with records that were rich, colourful, hugely popular, and more anodyne with each release. 

Then, at some point on tour, their singer Brent Smith fell off the wagon into a black hole of despair and threatened to take his band with him. Instead they helped him back and created a new album Attention Attention, that is full of sharp edges and hard turns. 

A loose concept album that charts the lows, highs and subsequent recovery of its protagonist, sonically it’s punchier, angrier even, than previous records. Take the furious strut of Devil, the feral, howling Black Soul and the half-spoken, self-loathing growl that is the title track. There’s a recklessness in almost every track; Pyro levels an angry eye on the failings of the main character’s parents: ’Set fire to the family tree,’ he hisses, watching it burn.

Philip Wilding

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion.