After years of buildup, Smith & Myers release first acoustic album

Updated: Aug 3, 2021



OCTOBER 9, 2020



Between spooky season and the release of a Borat sequel, it truly has been a challenging month to focus on the things we know we should be. Between work, school, and interpersonal relationships, it would seem like most people have decided to just give up doing anything productive the rest of 2020, put on an acoustic album, go to bed early and start fresh next year.

Ohh ya! Speaking of acoustic albums, have I got a good one for you!

Throughout the entirety of their career, Shinedown has shown time and time again that they are not only very good at making fantastic rock songs but great acoustic tracks as well. Their cover of Lynrd Skynrd’s “Simple Man” kickstarted their acoustic fame and it continues to be a fan favorite to this day. The success they experienced prompted vocalist Brent Smith & guitarist Zach Myers to finally sit down and record a complete acoustic-only album.

With Volume 1, Smith & Myers exceed every expectation. From start to finish, each track feels unique, powerful, and beautifully composed. Smith’s powerful vocals shed the chaos of electric guitars and shine brightly through the simplicity of each arrangement, creating an album that is very fun to listen to.

Alternating between five original songs and five covers, Volume 1 balances out nicely. The lead original singles “PANIC!” and “NOT MAD ENOUGH” hold powerful social statements, the latter being written shortly after the death of George Floyd. These two powerful songs speak to the chaos we currently are living in and are delivered strongly through the stripped nature of the album.

Throughout every cover, Smith & Myers show extreme creativity by taking songs from varying genres and add their own unique style to it. Covers such as “VALARIE”, made famous by Amy Winehouse and “ROCKIN IN THE FREE WORLD” by Neil Young are two of the most notable acoustic renditions on the album. None the less, “NEVER TEAR US APART”, originally written by INXS, felt like the most fun cover on the album for me. This track feels a little different compared to the rest and that is due largely in part to the shared vocal route that Smith & Myers chose to go with. Add in the brief electric guitar solo and this song is easily one of the most catchy tunes on the album.

One cover that is sure to garner the most interest from listeners is the duo’s rendition of Post Malone’s “Better Now.” To me, this choice was an EXTREMELY bold song to tackle and I genuinely applaud Smith & Myers for even attempting this one.

However, the song definitely falls short of being considered a success. It’s very apparent that Myers put a lot of thought and effort into the composition but to his credit, this song would have been incredibly hard for anyone to successfully cover acoustically.

To top it all off, Volume 1 crescendos on a ridiculously impressive and surprising note by covering what I think is one of the most beautiful songs ever composed: “UNCHAINED MELODY.” If you don’t recognize the title and wonder why the hell I’m hyping up a song that you’ve never heard of before, trust me you’ll recognize it as soon as the first note starts.

Keep rockin’ ya’ll 🤘


Least Favorite Tracks: BETTER NOW


Volume 1 is now available on Spotify!

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