You “Aughta” Know: Shinedown, US AND THEM
Welcome back to another installment of “You ‘Aughta’ Know,” the slightly title-tweaked feature usually known as “You Oughta Know,” which of late we’ve been utilizing to shine a spotlight on some albums from the 2000s – otherwise known as “the Aughts” – that you’ve either forgotten or, God forbid, never heard about in the first place.
Today’s focus is being placed on an album which was released 15 years ago this month, and in addition to being Shinedown’s second album, it’s also the LP which defied anyone who believed that the Jacksonville, Florida band was destined to deliver a sophomore slump of an album. If you were part of that camp, then first of all, shame on you, but secondly, we’re happy to inform you (as if you Shinedown fans didn’t already know) that US AND THEM provided the band with their second consecutive platinum-selling LP, which offers some pretty solid proof that they were in no way a flash in the pan.
Recorded partly in Jacksonville and the rest in Sanford, Florida, US AND THEM was produced by Tony Battaglia, stepping into the role held by Bob Marlette on the band’s debut album, LEAVE A WHISPER. Having co-written several songs on LEAVE A WHISPER, it was certainly easy enough for Shinedown to work with Battaglia, and in addition to producing US AND THEM, he also had a hand in cowriting 10 of the album’s 13 songs, so it’s clear that he and the band found a groove and stuck with it. Mind you, it’s worth noting that the groove in question didn’t last any longer than this LP: when the band released their next album, THE SOUND OF MADNESS, Battaglia was nowhere to be found in terms of production or songwriting. Also worth a mention: it proved to be the band’s third consecutive platinum-selling album, so whatever assistance Battaglia may have been with those first two albums, his presence wasn’t the only thing keeping the band’s profile high.
Of the three singles released from US AND THEM - “Save Me,” “I Dare You,” and “Heroes” – the first two were both utilized as themes for WWE pay-per-view events, which may well give you some idea of where a certain amount of Shinedown’s fanbase can be found.
They’re not all rasslin’ fans, though: some of them just like to rock, and Shinedown gives them what they like in a big way.