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Music / Shinedown

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Shinedown is a hard rock band originally from Jacksonville, Florida. Founded in 2001, they first made their impact with an acoustic cover of "Simple Man", and ballooned in popularity from there, peaking in 2009 with the massively popular hit single “Second Chance” off their Sound of Madness album. They have released six albums, the most recent being in 2018.

They contributed songs to the soundtracks of The Expendables, Alice in Wonderland, and The Avengers.


  • Leave a Whisper (2003)
  • Us and Them (2005)
  • The Sound of Madness (2008)
  • Amaryllis (2012)
  • Threat to Survival (2015)
  • Attention Attention (2018)
  • Planet Zero (2022)

This band's music provide examples of:

  • Album Filler: Averted to a massive extent, at least as of four albums into their career. Even their (largely hitless) sophomore album shows a genuine effort with every track.
  • Alice Allusion: "Her Name is Alice" is a song about Alice in Wonderland.
  • Be Yourself: "Dysfunctional You" urges the listener to stop playing someone else, despite their imperfections.
  • Bullied into Depression: The anti-bullying song "Bully" calls out bullies who make their victims miserable and suicidal.
  • Call-Back: "Clueless and Dramatic" off Planet Zero has the line, "Like your staring down the barrel of a .45," reusing the line from "45" off Leave a Whisper.
  • Caps Lock: Every track on Attention Attention, as well as the album title, is stylized in all caps, with the exception of "special".
  • Character Check: The album Attention Attention is supposedly designed with this arc in mind: the POV character is in a very miserable and negative emotional situation, which they try to work out of, changing themselves in the process.
  • Cover Version: Their first major hit was a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man".
  • Creepy Children Singing: "Freedom, la-la-la-la, freedom, follow me!" from their 2015 hit "Cut the Cord"
  • Despair Event Horizon: The lyrics of "45" tell of a young man crossing over this, and having to deal with the resulting pain.
  • Driven to Suicide: The narrator of "45" stares down the barrel of a gun with "no real reason to accept the way things have changed." Subverted in the music video, in which the protagonist decides not to go through with it.
  • Drugs Are Bad: "Save Me" is sung from the viewpoint of a drug addict begging for help.
  • Dying Alone: The predicted karmic fate of The Bully in "Bully".
    No ones gonna cry / On the very day you die
  • Grief Song: A specialty of the band. The most straightfoward example is probably "Crow and the Butterfly," but there are a ton of examples of the "bad breakup" variety including "If You Only Knew" and "Call Me" just to name a couple.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Lead singer Brent Smith and lead guitarist Zach Myers.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Discussed in "How Did You Love":
    You can have the sound of a thousand voices calling your name
    You can have the light of the world blind you, bath you in grace
    But I don't see so easily what you hold in your hands
    'Cause castles crumble, kingdoms fall and turn into sand
  • "I Hate" Song:
    • "Bully" is a song against bullies.
    • "Enemies" is about someone's enemies.
  • Immortality Through Memory: The theme of the song "How Did You Love" (mainly, that the way you treated others through your life will be the way you will be remembered by), with a slice of a cautionary tale/warning for a Legacy Seeker at the first verses.
    No one gets out alive, every day is do or die
    The one thing you leave behind is how did you love, how did you love?
  • I Have Your Wife: The music video for "Sound of Madness" features a kidnapped little girl, who is being held for ransom. She's later rescued by an unrelated person who is implied to routinely track down and rescue kidnapped victims as a hobby/second job.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: One could take the POV character of the song "Diamond Eyes" as this. Considering it's the soundtrack for a Band of Brothers mercenaries who've been through a lot such as The Expendables, it fits.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: "Bully." The bully who makes their victims feel lonely and suicidal is predicted to Die Alone.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: Several examples, most notably "Call Me" off of The Sound of Madness. It's a particularly sad piece, even for the album it comes from, about a man who has been kicked out of his lover's life and finds himself wondering how it got that way.
  • Metal Scream: More common earlier in their career, but Brent Smith can still let out a window-pane-rattling blast when he needs to. Maybe the best examples come from "Fly From the Inside" off of Leave a Whisper or "Enemies" off of Amaryllis.
  • New Sound Album: Not a huge departure, exactly, but Amaryllis has a more hopeful and bright sound than the three albums that come before it. Compare to their previous platinum-selling album, The Sound of Madness, which contained several grief and breakup songs. Amaryllis actually has a couple of love songs on it, and people have actually danced to "I'll Follow You" at their weddings.
  • Painful Rhyme: "Diamond Eyes" gives us this gem:
    So wait, it's the exception to the rule
    Every one of us is expendable
  • Playing the Heart Strings: "Crow and the Butterfly" from The Sound of Madness, a heartbreaking piece about a mother trying to move on after the death of her son.
  • Power Ballad: "I'll Follow You". It is glorious.
  • Precision F-Strike: While Shinedown's music is generally devoid of swearing, each album from The Sound of Madness onwards has at least one use of profanity that warrants an explicit label.
    • The Sound of Madness: "Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide" and "The Energy"
    • Amaryllis: "Nowhere Kids" and "My Name (Wearing Me Out)"
    • Threat to Survival: "It All Adds Up"
    • Attention Attention: "Evolve"
    • Planet Zero: "Dysfunctional You"
  • Quarreling Song: "Enemies" from Amaryllis is a big intra-band argument about their odds of success now that they have a platinum album. The music video takes this to absurd lengths with the band beating the shit out of each other.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Monsters" from Attention Attention is about admitting the difficulties of a personal struggle that's hurt other people.
  • Self-Empowerment Anthem:
    • "Bully" is a nontraditional example, urging the bullied to band together and outnumber the bullies of the world and predicting a lonely death for the villains of the piece.
    • "Brilliant" on Attention Attention.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: The entire song "Sound of Madness" is sung from the point of view of one.
    You can sleep with a gun/but when you gonna wake up and fight/for yourself
  • Songs of Solace: One of the band's specialties. Probably half of their major hits are breakup songs. A less straightforward example is "Bully" off of Amaryllis which is meant to be an anthem for those who have been victimized by bullying.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: These guys are equally legendary for both their high-energy rock songs and their tender songs about grief or love. It can create some Mood Whiplash when listening to their albums straight through, going from "The Sound of Madness" right into "Second Chance", or from "My Name (Wearing Me Out)" into "Through the Ghost".
  • Title Drop: "Diamond Eyes" drops not only the song's title but also the movie's, "everyone of us is EXPENDABLE."
  • Title Track:
    • "Sound of Madness" for The Sound of Madness, more or less.
    • "Amaryllis" from Amaryllis. Leave a Whisper was supposed to have a song entitled "Leave a Whisper," but it was scrapped. It can be found on the deluxe edition, though.
    • "Attention Attention" from Attention Attention.
    • "Planet Zero" from Planet Zero.
  • Warning Song: "Devil":
    It's about to get heavy
    It's about to be on
    Yeah, I'm bangin', swingin' napalm
    So nobody move
    'Cause I was sent to warn you
    The devil's in the next room
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: The aesop of "Second Chance" is to reject these and forge your own path.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: The chorus of "Begin Again":
    They burned an image from lines on my face
    They stole it from the pages that kept my place
    I stand on the outside and die to get in
    I'll crawl inside just to begin again
  • Wrote the Book: the lyric "I wrote the book on pain" from "Sound of Madness."
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: The topic of "GET UP."
    And I agree you can do much better, trust me