Shinedown's newest album, Amaryllis, doesn't hit stores until Tuesday, but I got an early listen, and if you didn't pre-order it, make sure you're the first one in line on Tuesday, because it's well worth it.

I said it before and I'll say it again- this record should be the new national anthem- the song that every person stands up for, takes off their hats and puts their hands on their hearts. Amaryllis is by far the most mature, dedicated, inspiring and meaningful album from the quartet yet. The public has already had a taste of the music, perhaps the best first taste ever. "Bully" and "Unity" are by far the top tracks of all twelve and have the most meaning- meaning that can help save lives and prevent the loss of more. If there's one thing every person should do, it's listen to these two songs and watch their videos, as they give you chills and really make you think about the state of the world and society.

The entire album is a cohesive unit of simple song names and lyrics, but in-depth, obvious meaning that goes far beyond recognition. There are only a few faster songs with harder sound, such as "Adrenaline" and "Bully" and "Enemies," while the majority are slower. I prefer faster, harder music, but these songs are meant to be as they are, because they're lyric and point driven. The lyrics speak for themselves and form a whole new being on their own, so no need for an abundance of musical elements. The music that is presented, though, is fabulous and reminds me of classic Shinedown, only with factors that prove how much the band has grown since their first album from 2003.

I was curious as to what the word amaryllis meant, and it's actually a bulbous plant. This is the metaphorical ingredient of the album, as opposed to the literal ones. The world is basically an amaryllis, and not until there is peace, "unity" and a loss of discrimination and hatred will it bloom. Each person could be seen this way too, as Brent himself says I want to know you, I want you to open up, amaryllis. It's obvious that Shinedown have bloomed as individuals as well as a band. The album's cover is a big, unique circular design with human arms, both white and African-American forming the outside of the circle. When that can truly be done is when this album has done its work on society. Until then, Shinedown will continue to spread their word and hope for its success. I am so proud of the band and the new level they have reached. I cannot wait to hear these words of wisdom sung aloud.

I give this album four guitars!

Starting next week- your chance to win a copy of Amaryllis! Go here for more information.