Chris Deville of Stereogum wrote a review of the band Shinedown. It wasn’t good and what it actually is exactly what you should not to do when writing one. That is to stereotype a band and to only research superficially.
For example the most obvious one was this. “Shinedown’s music seems designed for a particular hyper-masculine military-friendly red-state demographic.” Another one is “we Shinedown newcomers might mistake ’45’ for a tribute to President Donald J. Trump, it’s actually a slow jam from way back in ’03 that refers to ‘staring down the barrel of a 45.’ At least the gun reference fits the profile.”
If someone recently came across the song “45” which came out in 2003 the first reaction is to believe that the song is about Trump? How does that even work? Shouldn’t the song get listened to first before a determination gets made?
According to Brent Smith the lead singer of Shinedown says “it actually had nothing to do with a gun. The 45 was a metaphor for the world and ‘staring down the barrel of a 45’ was about staring down at this planet and what it throws at you, how you have maneuvered through your life.”
On Facebook the band has 2.7 million likes, there are pictures of the crowds including one that has women holding up a sign that states “Shinedown is family.” On one of the most recent videos shared there’s a montage with “Atlas Falls” playing and a young man named Matt is at a Black Lives Matter UK protest.
The official music video for the song “Unity” opens with Smith getting his band members ready by stating “we will not fall, cause we have each other. We will not fall because we are brothers. We will not fall because we have love. We will not fall because will rise above.”
“How Did You Love” isn’t a song that seems like the subject matter of someone who is “hyper-masculine.” Attention Attention the most recent album released by Shinedown took on the stigma of mental illness.
Quite possibly Shinedown has a song perfectly suited for the type of review Deville went with. “What a shame.”