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Shinedown - 'Amaryllis' (Roadrunner) 4.5/5

Over their past three albums Florida commercial hard rockers Shinedown have been slowly building a reputation as a band that can bridge the wide gap between mainstream acceptability and underground chic, and now with the release of this their fourth album it finally looks like they are getting that ballance down to a fine art.

There are twelve cuts on offer here, each one a prime cut of note perfect commercial edged hard rock that puts nearly everything issued by their rivals (Nickleback, Theory Of A Wifebeater, 30 Seconds to Mars, You and Me At Six etc) well and truly in the shade. There really is something for everything on this one. You've got some great hard rockers like the highly headbangable Enemies and high energy anthem Nowhere Kids; there's some sweet little softer post indie work outs like the highly infectious Miracle and  the title track, Amaryllis - a cut that sounds a little like the great Crowded House at their best. Chuck in cuts like the REM flavoured power ballad I'll Follow You, the Black Veil Brides-u-like My Name (Wearing Me Out) and the epic closing number Through The Ghost, with its orchestra backing and dreamy melody and you end up with one of the best mainstream rock albums of recent years.

I think where this album wins over most other stuff in this vein, is the way its played and produced. Veteran producer Rob Cavallo is a bit of a master at bringing the best out of an act, and here he has worked his magic once more, the flow of the album is spot on and the sound is polished when it needs to be polished and mercifully left a little rough around the edges when it needs to rock out. Throw in some great musical performances from the band, especially from vocalist Brent Smith and guitarist Zach Myers and you really do get something worth taking note of.

In short this a great album and one that marks Shinedown as big players in the field of mainstream rock.

Highly Recommended

For fans of... Nickleback, Crowded House, Halestorm, Young The Giant, Kids In Glass Houses....

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