Shinedown’s ATTENTION ATTENTION is the band’s sixth album and their first concept record. The album’s meant to take place in one room centering around one character. The character is struggling with mental and emotional despair and it chronicles him coming to terms with and overcoming his problems. The album starts out intense, dark, and really filled with despair with “DEVIL” and up to “ATTENTION ATTENTION” and then towards the end of the record you get to hear the character on the mend from his troubles.
Where Shinedown might have been guilty with trying to crossover into the mainstream too much on previous albums, this album caters to no one. It’s all Brent Smith and his band’s statement about overcoming some of their own issues, and they do just that. This album is a journey down a rabbit hole and a climb out of it. It’s a captivating listen and a testament to the band’s ability to produce their own music and create something insanely good.
From a production/mixing/mastering standpoint this album is superior to the band’s last few albums. All the excess noise and hum is stripped down to make it sound more like an album from ten years ago, and it works well. From the writing standpoint, the scope of what they did here is awesome. The album starts out with one man entering a room as a mess and then leaving with a bit of confidence to carry on with his life. Those two things make a statement by themselves but the meat in the middle of the album makes it an even better one.
The sixth album, and a concept album of all things from Shinedown ends up being their best work in years. This record works well on multiple levels. It’s emotionally heavy, it’s edgy, but most of all it’s just good. Listen to this one over and over this year, that’s what we’ll be doing.