|Shinedown - 'Amaryllis' (Roadrunner)|
|Written by Jamie Richards|
|Saturday, 28 April 2012 04:30|
It's been almost ten years since Shinedown first appeared, ten years and eight million albums sold. That's eight million reasons then (as if they needed one) to not be bothered about me not liking their fourth opus any more, or indeed any less than I liked any of their others.
So why is it that I find Shinedown quite so repugnant? Is my distaste purely to do with commerciality? Am I a hipster? Not a chance in hell; I like what the hell I like and give no excuses for it. No this is a feeling as instinctive as wanting to be outside in the warm and inside in the cold, and as natural as morning wood on a teenage boy in springtime. Yes, the disharmony and indeed irritation that this album brings me is pure and it's absolutely genuine, as I'm sure the affection the eight million feel for them is-right?
So listening to the record over, in the interest of being able to offer a fair and unbiased assessment, I find it grinding my gears like a learner driver with a club foot and a weak clutch. Ordinarily I wouldn't even attempt to explain or even justify my dislike, but seeing as we're here I'll say that to my ears this album sounds like it was written to some scientific formula for creating rock music, and that formula includes none of the ingredients I love so much. It's not the music for misfits to form a lifelong bond with, It has no heart - certainly not a broken heart, it has no soul, and it has no attitude, and it most certainly hasn't got a pair of balls. In the place of those essential parts it has hooks from a book, over sugared melodies, and embarrassingly corny-almost childlike lyrics and choruses; all layered with keyboards and a soaring falsetto, it's more polished and radio friendly than Ken Bruce's bald head, and it plucks at my nerve endings like an overzealous harpist. To make matters worse they even stole the riff from Black Sabbath's 'Children of the Grave' for one of the songs ('Enemies').
I'm sure 'Amaryllis' will sell by the boatload and good luck to all who sail in it, because personally I'd choose a colonoscopy with a Polaroid Instamatic rather than hear this again. Shinedown, Nickelback and Alter Bridge currently represent the equivalent of Astro Turf in the lush meadow of rock 'n' roll; the eight million can keep it because I prefer to get my feet wet in the morning dew of real grass. Urgh.