When Shinedown released their first album, “Leave a Whisper,” in 2003, no one could have anticipated their upcoming commercial success or the enduring power of their melodies. Currently, they are preparing to launch a tour for their sixth studio album, “Attention, Attention.” According to Bobby Oliver from Billboard, the band “Has enraptured rock listeners with an unparalleled run of rock radio hits: all 27 of the group’s singles have reached the Top 5 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart, with a record-breaking 16 No. 1s.” These bragging rights are especially impressive since the band has won this acclaim despite having released two albums which weren’t favored by critics or their fans. Still, they are considered ones of the greatest mainstream rock bands still performing. Listed below are 10 of their greatest songs, ranked in descending order to the best.
10. How Did You Love (Threat to Survival Album)
From their fifth studio album, “How did You Love,” deviates in theme from many of Shinedown’s earliest songs, as it centers around the concept of “living your best life.” The sound and style of the music also seem out of step with previous projects and the video could even be described as having an almost modern Dickensian feel. Despite these differences, this song definitely deserves a spot on any list celebrating the best of Shinedown.
9. Save Me (Us and Them Album)
The first and only song on our list from Shinedown’s sophomore album, “Save me,” has long been a fan favorite. Dealing openly and honestly with drug addiction – this song, penned by front man, Brent Smith, offers a close up look into the struggles associated with substance abuse and identity.
8. Monster (Attention, Attention Album)
Our first track from Shinedown’s latest album, “Monster,” quickly became a top ten hit. The relative success of this song and other singles from this LP are largely due to the band returning to what they do best. Sputnik Music praises this album by stating: “Shifting focus back to their rock roots, Shinedown ramps up the intensity and volume in every way.” This single is no exception, as the band doubles down on hard-hitting guitar riffs and lyrics that address struggling with self-defeating behaviors. What more could we ask for?
7. Second Chance (Sound of Madness Album)
The first of many singles from Shinedown’s notorious third album, “Second Chance” takes the seventh spot on our countdown. With a catchy melody and memorable lyrics, this song is probably one of the most well-known, as it remains in rotation among various stations, including those that usually focus on pop.
6. If You Only Knew (Sound of Madness Album)
Our second entry from Shinedown’s third album, “If You Only Knew,” has a somewhat similar sound to our previous entry but could also be described as slightly more romantic. Some would also argue that this song has the advantage of not being overplayed by radio stations.
5. Call Me (Sound of Madness Album)
“Call Me,” also from Shinedown’s third album, comes in at spot number five. At this point, readers may wonder if this is a list of best song from “Sound of Madness.” But as any fan can tell you – this iconic album contains multiple praise-worthy tracts. This one is certainly among them as it gives us a palpable tribute to both love and regret.
4. Devil (Attention, Attention Album)
The second song from Shinedown’s most recent album, “Devil,” reminds us once again, just how gritty this band can be. Arguably, it is just one of several tracks that place “Attention, Attention” as the heaviest, if not rawest album of the band’s discography. Paired with a stylish video, this hit is one that is sure to please fans for many years to come.
3. Breaking Inside (Sound of Madness Album)
“Breaking Inside” is the fourth hit from Shinedown’s third album and is another tune that is widely known. In addition to its original version, fans can also find an “unofficial” version online where the band pairs up with Lizzy Hale. This second version, as good as the original, does manage to hit different and is worth adding to ones online collection.
2. 45 (Leave a Whisper Album)
The only tract from Shinedown’s debut album to make this list, “45,” is a perfect example of how the band is intensely emotional – yet restrained. Unlike other similarly themed songs which may rely on lyrical hyperbole for effect – Shinedown’s tribute to humanity’s quiet desperation is both heartfelt and relatable. Equally enjoyable is the acoustic version.
1. Sound of Madness (Sound of Madness Album)
Unsurprisingly, our number one spot goes to the title track “Sound of Madness.” Could a list that gives this album so much love have made any other choice? While the song itself is certainly worth the top spot, for many of us, it also encompasses the band as a whole. For what better connection do we have to the band than to feel like our own madness has finally been seen?
It is easy to see the appeal of Shinedown’s mix of southern rock, ballad-like lyricism, and their somewhat raucous tones. Anyone new to Shinedown who would like a quick introduction should heed the following advice given by Sputnik Music: “All one needs to do is contrast the brooding, lower register of ‘45’ with the soaring, melodic heights of ‘Second Chance’ to get the full picture.”