Today, July 1st, 2022, Shinedown released their seventh studio album in their 20-plus year presence in mainstream rock. PLANET ZERO is a work that accumulates band mates – Brent, Barry, Eric, and Zach’s stance and view of current world topics and issues. Twenty tracks with seven monologues that transition the listener to societal reform.
The album poses controversial subjects and continuously encourages listeners to engage in self-thinking and evaluation rather than be spoon-fed opinions. From the beginning of the album, starting with ‘2184’ to the end of ‘What You Wanted,’ Brent Smith and company bring a heavy, hard-hitting rock album that (we think) will take top contention for album of the year.
The talented collective group of guys encompassing Shinedown, using their musical platform, poured heart and soul into PLANET ZERO, delivering an eye-opening album to fans with the most positive and uplifting message.
Zach Myers posted on his social media in speaking of the new album PLANET ZERO:
“Planet Zero isn’t another planet
Planet Zero is a warning of THIS Planet becoming Planet Zero if we keep
Going the rate we are
It’s easy and blatantly obvious for any musician/artist/creator to claim whatever their newest thing is as their favorite album or work
I can say today.. right now. This is my favorite collection of songs on a record this band has put forth
I hope you enjoy it. I hope you listen to this album for way more than face value … I hope you dive into lyrically what it’s saying
This album is certainly one of a kind
It didn’t start out as a concept album
But ended up being exactly that
This album is Anti Tastemaker
This album is Anti one sided authoritarianism
This album is Anti Racism
This album is Anti Cancel Culture
This album is Anti Facism (by its ACTUAL definition)
This album is Anti One sided opinions
This album is Anti Bullshit no matter who is spewing it ….
This is Planet Zero…. This is a Warning”
“When you’re in a writing session and something like ‘Daylight’ happens, we call it a gift because it kind of writes itself,” Smith tells PEOPLE of the new single. “We’re all on this planet together. We’ve got to figure out ways to take care of one another.” He pauses. “You don’t have to bow to the chaos. You must figure out a way.” Brent further explains.
On an average album, few hits stand out; however, PLANET ZERO presents itself as a greatest hits album, with each song attempting to top the previous. Eric and Zach’s distorted guitar and bass clashing perfectly with Barry’s intense drumming lays an adrenaline rush that heightens the lyrics that vocal powerhouse Brent presents.
“Pray for your family and cry yourself to sleep
Pledge your allegiance to the flag under your feet
Is this apocalypse now? Who let the animals out?
Hip hip hooray, say something shocking
Who doesn’t love a parade with gasoline and grenades?
Don’t be afraid, it’s just America burning”
The satire of” American Burning” is terrific in the raw, unfiltered, transparent truth of mockery America has become. This song speaks, specifically, about riots in the streets and burning down cities during the pandemic.
Hand in hand goes” Planet Zero,” exposing the cancel-culture of society, proving that if people aren’t ingesting the information the media feeds them, then they and their heroes are canceled. The lyrics give a harsh reality to what has transpired over the last few years.
“So go on and be your dysfunctional self
Life’s too short to play someone else
‘Cause being normal is just a trap
But you’re never so gone that you can’t turn back
So go and be unpredictable
Shatter the glass when it’s half full
The audience has waited all this time
You’re well-rehearsed and you know your lines
So introduce them to
The wonderful dysfunctional you”
One of my favorites on the entire album must be “Dysfunctional You,” simply for its mental health awareness that spotlights being yourself and not what society says is acceptable. In addition, its fun-flowing banter gives an uplifting touch pulling together all emotions by the album’s end.
“Dysfunctional You” and “Dead Don’t Die” are ones that I am excited to see performed live. On their current tour, they perform a few of their singles off the album giving a surreal experience to all in attendance.
From cover to cover and everywhere in between, Shinedown has created a masterpiece! PLANET ZERO is more than a feel-good album and stretches farther than controversial; it’s a wake-up call to the world. Brent, Zach, Barry, and Eric have put together a twenty-track album that displays Rock n Roll’s positive evolution. This album is a voice, not of influence, but one of reason and self-worth.
Shinedown is on ‘The Revolution’s Live Tour’ with Diamante and The Pretty Wreckless, which wraps up in Knoxville, Tennessee (Brent’s hometown) on August 28th. THEN just a week later, they will kick off their PLANET ZERO WORLD TOUR that will have over twenty shows with support by Jelly Roll and John Harvie! On this tour, Shinedown will return to the LOUDER THAN LIFE stage again, where expected attendance will break new records this fall.
Review by: Ryan Pike of Music Matters Magazine
Editor: Kayti Pike of Music Matters Magazine
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