Amaryllis a Statment from Shinedown
“I never want people to be able to put their thumb on this band,” Shinedown front man Brent Smith declares. “I never want anyone to know what we’re going to do musically, I want them to be shocked. I want them to think, ‘They did it again. They surprised me.’ We like that. We like to challenge our audience.”
That is exactly what the band did with their fourth full-length album Amaryllis. The band set forth to surprise and the challenge was accepted with open arms. Amaryllis contains unapologetic and brutally honest songs such as “Bully” and “I’m Not All Right.” These truthful songs will hit home with lyrics like “No ones gonna cry/On the very day you die/You’re a bully.” The song will remind their audience that they are with them on those days when living seems like the hardest thing about getting through the day. It will not be relatable to just children who get bullied because everyone has been pushed to that limit by someone and they will be reminded that they are not alone.
Amaryllis is a statement album or as Smith says, “It’s not a record for the fain of heart.” It will enter every emotion you never thought you had and bring it to the surface.
Soulful and heartfelt songs like “Miracle” and the album titled song “Amaryllis” follow the bruising and brutal songs to give the album a nice balance of hurt and hope. So do I remind you of /Someone you never met/A lonely silhouette/And do I remind you of /Somewhere you wanna be /So far out of reach/Ohhh I wish you’d open up for me/Cause I wanna know you/Amaryllis. These lyrics give Shinedown’s audience some faith that their future cannot be all that bad.
The song “I’ll Follow You” is the albums poignant love song that takes it’s gloves off and shows the bands emotional and healing side to their cuts and bruises.
Amaryllis is an album where the band joined forces with multiple Grammy Award-winning producer Rob Cavallo. The band and Cavallo had previously collaborated on the record-breaking The Sound of Madness record. Amaryllis was recorded at Cavallo’s Lighting Sound studios and already has Billboard naming it “This Year’s Best Bets.” The 27-piece orchestra along with a 10-piece horn section is what sets this band’s powerful hard rock upbringings apart from anything their relentless listeners have heard before. Shinedown is going back to its rock and roll roots but keeping themselves apart from the pack which is what they do best.
The album unveils emotions that the band has felt through their journey together but then goes and shows that they can heal as one too. This is the first album Shinedown has made with Eric Bass and Zach Myers. The creativity that flows through this album proves that these four are here for the long run.
An amaryllis is a small genus of flowering bulbs that are natives of South Africa, particularly the rocky southwest region near the Cape. They grow in the rock and in the wintertime of the desert into a pink and beautiful flower when nothing else around it is growing. They are survivors and this album embodies the sentiments that it takes to survive in a cruel and unforgiving world. Amaryllis is an album worth listening to because it makes you feel something. It makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand because you feel as if Shinedown is singing straight to your soul and straight to your past, as if they were with you when you felt that exact sensation.
If Amaryllis is a precursor to what is to come from Shinedown then the future looks bright.
Samantha Stanich/Columbus Wired