on 27 May 2012
The first Shinedown album I bought was The Sound of Madness, so Us And Them came as something of a pleasant surprise. Whereas Sound of Madness is a harder, edgier mix of metal, punk and classic rock, this one is classic rock pretty much all the way through. With a different guitarist on this earlier album, the guitar sound is noticeably different, mellower, even trippy and psychedelic in places and there are more solos.
1. The Dream:
A short intro featuring a young girl reciting a poem which runs into track 2.
A catchy, slow-paced rocker. A bluesy, southern-rock tinged number with shades of Lynyrd Skynyrd. 9/10.
3. Save Me:
A mid-tempo number with more emotional vocals from Brent Smith, rather than the roar of the previous track. Uses the classic "quiet verse, loud chorus" formula to good effect. More good guitar work on this one. 9/10
4. I Dare You:
Starts off with a quiet intro, the verse and bridge gradually building to a storming chorus. Brent shows off his full vocal range on this one. Also features some nice guitar flourishes. Arguably the best track on the album. 10/10.
5. Yer Majesty:
A heavier number with mid-tempo verses, switching to a faster bridge and chorus. A definite metallic edge to this one, with a thundering finish. 9/10
6. Beyond the Sun:
An immediate contrast to the previous track with a quiet, fragile intro and verses. A beautiful ballad, beefed up with a heavy chorus. Only let down by suspect guitar work in places. 8/10.
7. Trade Yourself In:
Keeping things interesting with another change of pace. Curious stuttering verses with a more conventional chorus. Good without being really memorable. 7/10.
8. Lady So Divine:
Another change of style - almost a pop-rock feel to this one, with clean, quietish verses and a light rock chorus. Changes to an atmospheric Eagles (or possibly Pink Floyd) style middle section which gives it a 70s feel, before reverting to pop-rock for the finish. Guitars given free reign on this one. A very mixed bag this one but enjoyable. 8/10.
9. Shed Some Light:
Continues the eclectic feel of the album, being an acoustic ballad. Works well until Brent goes into "rock mode" towards the end, which doesn't do the song any favours. 6/10.
10. Begin Again:
Has a distinct nu-metal feel to it with downtuned guitars. Starts off well, but descends into an awful cacophony about midway through and Brent trying to scream like a nu-metal singer. Doesn't really work for me. 5/10.
Things pick up again with the band back in hard rock territory. Melodic, catchy and features some nifty guitar work. Another favourite of mine. 9/10.
A slightly schizophrenic song, with thumping hard-rock verses and bridge that sit uncomfortably next to a softer, more melodic chorus. An interesting reversal of the normal formula, but it seems to put the song off-kilter and a rather tame finish doesn't help. 6/10.
13. Some Day:
A great closing track. Another "quiet verse, loud chorus" song. Probably best described as a power ballad. 8/10.
on 20 January 2006
For a follow-up alubm, this is amazing. Much more influenced by 70s/80s rock (Simple Man from Leave a Whisper was a cover of 70s/80s band Lynyrd Skynyrd), this album is step ahead of their debut. Personally I've never liked long songs, but Lady So Devine is one the strongest songs on here, and it's 7 minutes long. With stylish solo's and the recognisable powerful lyrics and voice of Brent Smith, you won't be disappointed.
on 1 June 2010
I have only just 'discovered'Shinedown and they are absolutely brilliant. Fly from the Inside, Burning Bright, Beyond the Sun, I Dare You, Shed Some Light, If You Only Knew, Call Me, I could go on and on. Unfortunately you can tell that Jasin Todd is no longer with them, his guitar work and strength in backing Brent Smith, especially acoustically (a great loss) but the beauty - each album is different yet still of the same standard. There are few who could equal Brent Smiths melody and strength of voice (Myles Kennedy being one of them), but I would widely recommend all three of their albums - just wondering when they are going to be coming to the UK so we can see them live, an event to anticipate!
on 10 September 2006
Yet another band still to get a UK release is the fantastic Florida based Shinedown who, unlike so many U.S bands have stood the test of a debut album and come back just as strong if not a touch mellower with this their second release. Ok maybe not mellow but certainly something with a little more feeling. Having swiftly skipped 'The dream' Us and Them kicks off with 'Heroes' an angst strewn power fest to set the mood. Glad to hear that Brent's voice is as good if not better on this outing having found a comfortable range. If there was'nt enough angst for you they come right back with 'Save me' a sad and powerful story of drug addiction. Brent's voice sounding on top form and as I said full of feeling. A good all round performance with the catchy hooks and melodies you come to expect , crunching guitars and a booming powerful rhythm section. Things can only get better for these slaves to the road and lets hope that they come to the UK sooner rather than later. Also check out their U.S only DVD 'Live from the inside' Nice!
on 12 April 2010
As noted in other reviews, this isn't actually as strong as either of the other albums, but it's still an intensely rich rock collection.
I'm giving it five stars on the the strength of the finest songs, especially 'I dare you' which is so jaw-droppingly sublime it makes the hair on my neck stand up every time.
on 18 April 2016
I have seen Shinedown twice as a support band with Black Stone Cherry and after the second time I realized I had to have their albums. I love there music it's not as heavy as some bands I like, but they have great tunes, great rhythms and I love Brent's vocals. After listening to this band it makes me feel in a great happy mood as much of the music I listen to does. This is one of 5 albums of theres I brought and I have not found a track I don't like. I can see soon that It wont be long before they are headlining Wembley as they were very well received as the support band.
Great service from the seller. Package received very quickly well wrapped up and sealed.
on 8 March 2014
I listened to these guys backwards, this being the last album I heard rather than the first. As such I don't think its as good as any of their later work, but its still not bad and on reflection good debut material for them to use as a foundation and explore from, which they quite clearly did! I saw them live when they performed with alterbridge. They were ace - live they are performers and put on a show for you. I just can't wait to see what they do next, where they go next or whatever they do next, as long as they throw in rock-belters like Enemies, My name and so forth, I'll remain a happy man.
on 16 March 2013
A great album to give at least one listen to (I haven't though, I've listened to it so many times, I've lost count)! An original opening track that grabs the listener's attention within seconds. Overall impressive. You will find a deep, gutsy and adrenaline filled dose of energy within the album, even the demos are just quality, especially "atmosphere" at track 24, it sounds so different from the standard edition release of the album, it's just awesome. Must get this if you have more of their albums in your music library, it's just not complete without it!