Shinedown has since their debut "Leave a Whisper" been one of my great favorites in the Modern Rock genre. The only "standard" record is number two "Us and Them" where the band lost a bit of the focus the songwriting and didn’t really deliver. The following "Sound Of Madness" and "Amaryllis" is nothing else than masterpieces and must haves to have and you like Modern Rock with distinct hardrock influences.
"Somewhere In The Stratosphere" is the band's first live album recorded from Washington State and Kansas City in 2011. We get an electric and an acoustic set, divided into two CD’s, which is very nice for the fans. Very generous and I think it’s perfect as the band masters both sides in a quite fantastic way. CD 1 recorded at Washington State offers 15 tracks and of course, containing all the band classic tracks like "I Dare You," Sound Of Madness "and "Second Chance". The favorite, however, is "Fly From The Inside" from his debut with a new intro and where Brent Smith sings incredibly well.
CD 2 is acoustic is a great addition to the first album. It is obviously softer, but offers a lot of heart and soul. Had perhaps wished that the band only had used material that is not on the electric record as a handful of tracks are on both. But we got, however, a few pleasant surprises as covers of Foo Fighters "Times Like These" and a guest appearance from Will Hoge in the Beatles "With A Little Help From My Friend", which both are really cool.
Overall, this live album is nothing but a classic. We are a band that's on top of their career and that also deliver in their best way in a total of 194 minutes. Nothing but world class, and this is a live album people will be talking about the future, like the classics from UFO's "Strangers In The Night", Thin Lizzy's "Live and Dangerous" and Kiss "Alive!".