Shinedown was formed in Jacksonville, Florida back in 2001 and it only took two years to get a record deal and release their debut album ‘Leave a Whisper’. Their post-grunge, hard rock sound garnered them fast attention and they have since become one of the biggest acts in the business. Their music could be really heavy and it can be soft with a touching ballad, but whichever way you get it, it is going to be melodic and catchy as hell which has brought them great success.
Now, how did I get in to Shinedown. Believe it or not, it was Chris Daughtry from American Idol. I was watching the show and Chris came out and did a fantastic cover of “I Dare You” by Shinedown. At the time, I was not familiar with the band and as a result of him singing it, I went out and listened to the album and the rest is history. I have been a fan of Shinedown ever since.
They have 6 studio albums, one live album and numerous E.P.’s. We are only going to focus on the studio albums to keep it simple. So, why don’t we get started.
THE WORST – ‘THREAT TO SURVIVAL’ (2015):
Shinedown doesn’t really have a worst album, but one album has to be my least favorite and this one is it for me. I felt this one had too much filler and a little too soft overall when compared to the rest. Yes, you had some heavy songs, I only think they weren’t as strong as other albums. A little too soft. The back half of the album was weaker and it started to lose me until you get to the last song “Misfits” which was pretty awesome.
What were the essential tracks? You have to keep “Cut the Cord”, “State of My Head”, “How Did You Love?”, “Asking for It” and even “Thick as Thieves”. It is not the other songs were bad, there was something missing for me. I still listen this one, heck I still listen to all of them, this one is lower on the rotation schedule.
#5 – ‘US AND THEM’ (2005):
Yes, the album that I started with is not my favorite which happens a lot for some bands. Now, this is a heavy album as the post-grunge influence is big here. It is a solid release and will keep you thoroughly entertained. ‘Us and Them’ is their sophomore release and I felt they were still finding themselves with this one. Trying to figure out the direction and sound they really wanted to have.
However it is chock full of great tunes. You get “Save Me”, “Lady So Devine”, “Atmosphere”, “Heroes”, “I Dare You” and the Lynrd Skynrd cover of “Simply Man”. The rest of the album is still enjoyable enough, but doesn’t grab me like the rest of them do and for that it is down at #5.
#4 – ‘AMARYLLIS’ (2012):
I will admit this is a great album. I have seen other’s rankings with this at #3 or even #2, but for me it was as good as people said. It was hard and heavy and everything you would want in album, but for me it was a little of a letdown after ‘The Sound of Madness’ and that is why it is down at #4. Also, another album where I thought the 2nd have was a little weaker than the first.
But don’t get me wrong, there are songs on here that are some of their best including “Bully”, “I’ll Follow You”, “Enemies”, “Adrenaline” and “Amaryllis”. It is enjoyable listen from beginning to end and you can’t go wrong with it, I just like the Top 3 albums better. Simple as that.
#3 – ‘ATTENTION ATTENTION’ (2018):
Their latest release was a gamble of an album. The album is basically a concept album The songs will take you on a journey of a person who is starting in a very dark, ominous place and take you all the way through to the other side where this person is done battling his mind and his issues and coming out a changed person. I love concept albums. I like the darker themes and pretty much everything about it.
The band has a lot of electronic elements to the sound on this one and it really works. Songs like “Devil”, “Black Soul” and “Monster” are beast of songs. You can’t go wrong with “Attention Attention”, “Kill Your Conscience”, “Pyro”, “Evolve” and “Get Up” either. Heck, there isn’t much wrong with this album. I haven’t lived with this one as long as others, but it impacted me greatly.
#2 – ‘LEAVE A WHISPER’ (2002):
Why do I like this one for #2? Easy, it is full of angst and aggression. A rawness that only a debut album can bring. It’s post-grunge moodiness really grabs you and won’t let go. They are taking that sound and modernizing it to the 21st Century. The heaviness of the songs both musically and thematically are what attract me to this one. The style of this one is actually quite different from where they are on the #1 album on this list.
The songs here that are must haves and essential Shinedown tracks are “No More Lies”, “Better Version”, “Lacerated”, “Lost in the Crowd” and of course the final track “45” which might be one of their best. A very solid debut album and you can feel that this band has a lot to bring to the table and they definitely do that as we have seen.
#1 – ‘THE SOUND OF MADNESS’ (2008):
The band’s biggest selling album doesn’t always mean it is their best, but in this case I think it does. This is really the album that broke the band to be huge. The sound was more polished and a little more radio friendly and where that can sometimes be a detriment, I think it was a maturity in the songwriting their playing that was the reason for this album sounding so great.
The heavy songs were captivating and the ballads were some of the best they had done or anyone had done in quite awhile. “Second Chances”, “Call Me” and “The Crow & The Butterfly” were three songs that really dug their claws in to me and I couldn’t stop playing. Their blistering songs “Devour”, “Sound of Madness”, “Cry for Help” and “Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide” were catchy enough to rock and out and sing along to which for me is always a great combination. There isn’t a bad track or a song to skip, so crank this all the way through for one heck of a rock experience.
And there you have it, the Shinedown studio albums in order of how I rank them from the worst to the best. Let me know what you think. Where did we differ and where did we agree. What is fun about these list is how differently each album impacts people. What I like, you might not, but we like the same artist and that is all that matters really. And if as a result, you find something new, then my job is done!!!