Leave a Whisper (Deluxe Edition)
The Deluxe Edition of Shinedown’s 2003 platinum debut not only delivers on the bonus tracks, but at a whopping 13 extra songs, it plays more like a bonus album. Revisiting the gems of Leave a Whisper is also rewarding, and not just because the cinematic sounding “Fly From The Inside” is a powerful number with nods to Alice In Chains and lyrics enveloped in dark comic-book imagery. Of course you don’t have to be a longtime fan to dig all the bonus demos and unused material culled from the vaults of the Leave a Whisper sessions. Their bare-bones acoustic rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” is a powerful cover that inadvertently proves how Shinedown don’t need complicated production to yield a solid recording (but a fleshed out rock band version is also available here for those Zippo lighter hoisting moments). And if you think the original version of “45” is romantic, just wait until you hear the acoustic take. The semi-psychedelic title track is so awesome, you have to wonder why it was originally omitted.