One of Christian music’s top-selling rock bands, GRAMMY®-nominated Skillet returns with its latest recording capturing the raw energy and multi-textured sonic landscape for which they have become known. A mixture of dissonant chords, anthemic builds and memorable vocal interpretation combine to form a progressive, yet classic rock-influenced sound that’s all their own. Skillet’s straightforward message and innovative sound has garnered the band seven #1 songs and an avid fan base.
Experience pounding, classically influenced rock with a progressive edge, colored by dissonant chords, and gutsy vocals on the latest release from Skillet, best known for hits including “Savior.” Relevant, innovative and unforgettable, Skillet continues its tradition of a straightforward, in-your-face gospel message of hope.
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Top 10 Album Of 2009| Posted January 04, 2010
Artists must hate the phrase "much anticipated follow-up." Trying to live up to something that so many regard as a career defining album has got to be frustrating. So the artist is left with two options: give the people more of what they want, and risk being redundant, or go an entirely new direction, and risk losing their audience. I feel that's the position Skillet was forced into with Awake. Coming off one of the most successful rock albums of all time, and certainly the biggest album of Skillet's career, there was a lot of expectation for huge things from this band, especially given the three year gap between records.
Make no mistake, Awake did not disappoint in its delivery and is one of the best releases of the year, but for anyone that lived and breathed their last album, Comatose, which took the Christian rock world by storm three years ago, it felt more like Comatose: Part II than the album we were all waiting for.
So here, we get the hard-hitting, rock orchestra songs that trade male and female leads ("Hero," "Awake And Alive," "Forgiven"), the grunge anthems ("Monster," "It's Not Me It's You," "Sometimes") and the power ballads ("Don't Wake Me," "One Day Too Late," "Should've When You Could've," "Never Surrender"). If it ain't broke, why fix it?
That said, it's not entirely fair to judge an album under the shadow of another. You can't blame the band for revisiting a successful pattern of songwriting. Is Awake better than Collide? I don't think so. But it does more than a fine job satisfying a hungry fan base wanting more from Skillet.
Awake will continue to keep Skillet at the top of the Rock charts, and their aggressive touring schedule will keep the rock fists pumping to new tunes for many years to come. I'm simply hoping that both the fans and the band can now move forward, hungry for a new course instead of satisfied by more of the same, and that it's cooked up in half the time.
Darker and Different| Posted September 11, 2009
I'm a rather newer fan of Skillet, so I may not be as 'up' on thier music as most of thier more hardcore Panhead fans. But I DO know that afer the succsess of thier 2006 album 'Comatose', that Skillet was going to have some big expectations to meet with thier next album...so I guess the real question here is: Does 'Awake' meet the hype it was lived up to?
It starts off with the first single 'Hero', the biggest change on this album is the addition of the female vocals from new drummer Jen Ledger (she took over after Lori Peters left the band in early 2008). Jen's vocals add something extra to his album, although much of Korey Coopers background vocals are missed on this album--it's one of the reasons 'Comatose' had so much musical depth. 'Monster' is one of the heavier songs on this album with lyrics that standout right away. The 'monster' symbolicaly being the ugliness of self.
A running theme through this album seams to be 'living in the flesh VS living by the Spirit'. This is found in 'Hero', 'Monster', 'Could've When You Should've', 'Awake and Alive' (my favorite track on the album) and the lyrically moving 'Lucy'. Lyrically there seams to also be a lot of anger in this album, maybe not forth right, but songs like 'Believe' and the darkest track on the abum 'Sometimes' have this way of hitting you with raw honosty.
Overall this is a great rock album. Skillet fans won't be dissapointed--but this may not be everyone's cup of tea. It's very heavy both lyrically and musically and although it has it's lighter moments, the tone of the album stays the same throughout. Newer fans who want to get into this bands music might want to start off with 'Collide' and 'Comatose' (this album, being almost a perfect mesh of these two albums).
So, the answer to the question before? Yes. This album does meet the hype. But i'll leave the rest to you to hear for yourself...
THEY'RE BACK....| Posted August 18, 2009
And better than ever! It's been almost 3 whole years since the last full length Skillet album, Comatose, which not only took a great band and made them even greater, but it took a popular band and made them even more popular. Continuing that trend, Awake is arguably their best effort yet and is sure to get them even more attention.
From the get-go, it's clear that Skillet didn't reinvent themselves like they've done on albums past. The cover art alone having the same logo tells us that. But that is understandable. Comatose worked, and it got them to reach a lot of people. They'd be fools to deviate too much from that style, and thus, they didn't.
But fear not, this is not Comatose II. It's Awake. Opening rocker hero and the title track are arguably VERY Comatose-esque, almost to the point where you wonder during which session they were recorded.(Not that it matters One Day Too Late is also arguably a Comatose-esque song.
But that's about as far as the "Comatose II" feeling goes for me. Lead Mainstream single Monster is an intense and catchy rocker that is sure to be a Skillet classic. Other intense rockers include "It's Not Me, It's You" and "Sometimes."
Skillet also really improves their writing for some rock-edged slower songs in "Believe," "Never Surrender," and even the album closer, "Lucy." All three songs are extremely good and show that Skillet is really improving as a band.
"Don't Wake Me" is also a good song, although not as memorable as the three previously mentioned songs.
"Should've When You Could've" is arguably the weakest track on the album. Yet it's so catchy, that you really want to like it, and looking deeper into the song, it's fairly easy to like it.
Ultimately, Skillet has another winner here that is sure to please the wide audience. Those hoping for them to rehash Collide or another earlier album will be disappointed, as will those hoping for Skillet to again reinvent themselves(why they aren't allowed to stick with a winning formula, I don't know). The lyric writing is top-notch, and the music is epic. Awake proves to be one of the best albums of the year and a highlight of Skillet's discography.
Awake or Comatose re-packaged?| Posted September 16, 2009
Comatose was huge. Almost as huge as it was unnecessary to tell you how huge Skillet’s 2006 smash CD was. Throughout the band’s thirteen year career Skillet never came as close to success they enjoyed Comatose with any other album, despite tinkering with hardcore and techno-rock. So why depart from the hard rock/rising rock/inspirational ballad approach style that made Skillet’s album Awake so anticipated? Well there really isn’t a reason other than to please some fans which are constantly craving for ongoing development and musical progression. So Skillet decision to stay with Comatoses’ formula to the letter should provoke a change of title. How about Comatose 2 or Comatose: the Sequel. Or perhaps the most telling title of all: Comatose: the expanded edition.
The comparisons from Comatose to Awake are so deep that the words ‘innovation’ and ‘original’ have no place anywhere near Awake. Setting aside the sound for a minute even Awake’s track listing is unbelievably close to that of it’s processor. Both share two grueling rock songs to begin the album and their even share of ballads to go along with a punk-wanna-be song (“Should’ve When You Could’ve”) at the same place as “Those Nights” on Comatose. On difference though is Comatose ended the CD with the epic rock song “Looking For Angels” which closes out the album far better Awake’s ending ballad, “Lucy.”
The album does kick off well though with “Hero” which features a great electric guitar played throughout which counteracts new drummer, Jen Ledger’s, over-hyped vocals. The album then proceeds to the monster rock song “Monster” which delivers an unoriginal, but great hard rock tune which matches lead singer John Cooper’s vocals brilliantly. And then the album just rolls on in the typical Comatose fashion with the only difference being that this album was named Awake. “Don’t Say Goodbye” shows up in the form of “One Day Too Late” while the technical title track (the melodic “Awake And “Alive”) is reminiscent of Comatose’s flowing title rock track. The production and showmanship of Awake might be overall better than Comatose but it’s no doubt that musically Skillet’s original template is far superior.
One aspect about Skillet that worked was the carryover picture of sleeping (Comatose) to suddenly waking up (Awake). However, lyrically Skillet wasn’t that clever. Skillet’s “Hero” really doesn’t offer much of an original concept the title track won’t wow any listener with ‘I can feel you in my sleep/In your arms I feel you breathe into me/Forever hold this heart that I will give to you/Forever I will live for you’. Even it feels as though “One Day Too Late” has only been recycled a dozen or so times over the years, the spin Skillet took on forgiveness on “Forgiven” was solid. One positive element of the lyrics on Awake was that despite Skillet’s Mainstream success and their management balking out of performing at a Church, the band has stayed true to their Christian roots and values.
Putting Awake in the simplest of terms would be something like this ‘Alien Youth and repeat were in a boat; repeat jumped off. Who was left? Collide and repeat were in a boat; repeat jumped off. Who was left? Comatose and repeat were in a boat; Comatose, the successful giant, jumped off. Who was left?'. It’s not hard to fault Skillet’s decision to run with the exact formula with Awake as they used on Comatose but at the end of the day the album really has the reply value of Comatose Deluxe Edition. That being said Skillet’s refined rock act is still one of the best in the business
HARDER ROCK SCORES EVEN BIGGER HITS| Posted August 18, 2009
Skillet is without exception one of the finest bands to hit the Christian rock scene, ever.
Slowly and steadily nurturing a massive fanbase of hard rock loyalists (affectionately nicknamed “Panheads”) and scoring major mainstream attention without once watering down their convictions, the fantastic foursome’s choruses of hope reverberate loudly for millions of music lovers.
Though their Grammy-nominated platform has literally exploded since the release of 2006’s Comatose, John, Korey, Ben and Jen have yet to give up their call—igniting arenas of teens with refrains of faith and verses of love. Rather than shying away from the taboo topics facing kids today, Skillet goes in for the kill, screaming hope and hitting hard on the heart of the matter.
Awake is no exception.
“Sometimes,” the CD’s most vulnerable and darkest track, confesses, “I want someone to hurt like I feel hurt/It’s sick but it makes me feel better.” “Never Surrender” is a plea for someone to stick close during our most confusing periods of self-destruction and doubt. And “One Day Too Late” and “Don’t Wake Me” are soaring symphonic anthems that take more lyrical cues from pop than rock, bound to strike a chord at every high school-sponsored event this fall.
Typically, the band’s stylistic approach varies widely from record to record, but Awake stays the tried and true Comatose-course. Not to worry: This is no carbon copy. Rather, Awake utilizes everything epic about Comatose (and there was a lot) and makes it bigger, heavier, more climactic and more astute. And thanks to Howard Benson’s (My Chemical Romance, Daughtry) production, each lead vocal is masterfully emphasized, pairing powerful rock with an equally powerful message.
Skillet has once again outdone the competition. Let’s hope the trend continues. —Andrew Greer
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CCMMagazine.com. Click here to visit CCMMagazine.com today!
Awake| Posted August 18, 2009
Christian rock phenom Skillet unleashes one of this year’s highly anticipated albums, Awake. The Grammy-nominated group attained a mass following in both Christian and Mainstream markets with their previous endeavor, Comatose. After experimenting with several genres throughout their thirteen-year career, Skillet stuck close to the sound that worked so well with Comatose, resulting in another accessible, radio-friendly rock record.
The first two singles, “Hero” and “Monster” gave fans a glimpse of what to expect with Awake. “Hero” opens with lead singer, Jon Cooper, trading off vocal lines with drummer Jen Ledger, then leads into an addictively catchy chorus in which Cooper longs for a Hero (referring to Christ) to save him from the darkness of the world. Skillet showcases their harder edge on “Monster” with heavy, distorted guitar riffs complementing Jon Cooper’s rough, powerful vocals. The lyrics cleverly depict man’s internal struggle between good and evil. “I feel it deep within/It’s just beneath the skin/I must confess that I feel like a monster.”
Orchestrated motifs, faint piano licks, and crunchy guitar riffs gives “Awake and Alive”
a strong resemblance to Comatose. The infectious, melodic anthem encourages to not let the world pull you in, stand up for your beliefs, and don’t back down.
Fans of Skillet’s softer side will not be disappointed with Awake; there are several power
ballads and softer pop/rock tunes. “One Day Too Late” encourages listeners to make the most of each moment. Piano-driven “Lucy” mourns the loss of a loved one. Cooper describes “Don’t Wake Me” as an “’80s prom song” about dreaming to be with someone you lost. “Should’ve When You Could’ve” features a catchy melody but the chorus comes off as cliched and cheesy- “You should’ve when you could’ve/You’re gonna miss my love girl/You should, it would have been so good/You should’ve when I would’ve.”
One of the strongest tracks on the album, “Believe,” was added after Awake was thought
to be complete. Lyrically, “Believe” isn’t so different from the rest of the album. What
makes the song stand out is it’s melancholy manner and rawness.
Many tracks on Awake sound like they came straight off of Comatose- “Hero,” “Awake & Alive,” “Forgiven,” “Should’ve When You Could’ve,” “One Day Too Late,” “Don’t Wake Me.” While many will be quick to label Awake as Comatose part 2 (myself included), a good portion of the album features tracks that are more stripped down (“It’s Not Me It’s You,” “Believe,” “Sometimes,” “Never Surrender”) than those found on Comatose. But, the most important aspect remains unchanged - the message.
Awake wasn’t particularly what I was looking for from Skillet. I’d prefer more of a resemblance to Collide, or even Alien Youth, than Comatose. But I can’t fault the band for sticking with what’s popular. After all, the goal is to bring hope to as many lives as possible, isn’t it?
Their Best Work Yet| Posted October 22, 2009
Skillet is back with an edgier and more mature sound with their new album awake set to hit shelves and online retailers Monday August 25.
3. Don’t Wake me
4. Awake and Alive
5. One Day to Late
6. It’s not me it’s you
7. Should’ve when you Could’ve
11. Never Surrender
When I got the chance to feast my large floppy ears on a pre-release of AWAKE, Skillet’s first new album in over three years, I jumped at the chance. Well to be more precise I flying tackled that chance and held it to the ground screaming MINE! MINE! MINE! before quickly dragging it into a tree before the rest of the pack could descend and steal it from me.
Yeah well it might not be the Christian thing to do, but I got to say, that Three Years is a long time to go between albums. When I first heard that a New Album from Skillet was soon to be a reality I was both excited and just a bit concerned. If I have to wait that long for new music from a band, then that music had better be worth the wait. So you might be wondering if it was worth the wait….
The Cd opens with the Song “Hero” A song I got to hear when I saw them play live in Greensburg back in April. You can read my review of the concert over at jtindie.com. This first release is hook-heavy and already climbing Christian CHR (#15) and Rock radio (#6) charts. From the opening chord this song grabs you and doesn’t let go. It is not all that often that I find a song as powerful and visceral as this one. From the beginning to the end this song remains unabashed as it speaks to all of us.
I’m just a step away
I’m a just a breath away
Losin my faith today
Fallin off the edge today
These are the opening words of the song. The song continues to rock and challenge the listener until the end of the song.
I’m gonna fight for whats right
Today I’m speaking my mind
And if it kills me tonight
I will be ready to die
A Hero’s not afraid to give His life
A Hero’s gonna save me just in time
The Cd continues on for ten more songs, Each of skillet’s musical offerings stands on its own and the album as whole really speaks to just how much the band as a whole has matured since putting out Comatose. One of the things I was most pleased to find was that while all the songs sounded like Skillet, the songs themselves didn’t sound like each other. The album is a well balanced and extremely well produced collection of songs that mesh well with each other. I can only imagine what these songs will do the live experience of the concert. I was only a passing fan of Skillet before I saw them live.
It is evident that Skillet has changed the landscape of Christian music with their last CD and three year long tour. Awake has the potential to roll over everything like some kind of juggernaut. Awake will be part of the new standard that other CD’s will be measured against, and it is clear to me that Skillet has, once again raised the bar.
I am having trouble trying to find anything to complain about. Everything from Song order, the production quality of the CD to the striking CD cover art is well thought out and excuted. with 11 tracks and coming in at only 38 + minutes I suppose my only real complaint would be that after three years, I personally would of been pleased to see a double album or something closer to 60 minutes of music. however, I don’t know if 60 minutes of music as intense as this album is, would be possible and I wouldn’t want the songs that are on the album to be diluted by anything that wasn’t up to the quality of the rest of the music on the CD.
So in the end I have to ask myself the question, was this Cd worth the three year Gap. Well I have decided that while I don’t want to have to wait another three years I am very satisfied with AWAKE and have given it the highest score I have yet to offer to anyone with a 4 and 3/4 stars out of a possible 5 Making AWAKE as I have said the new standard by which everyone else must strive for. I am expecting that once this CD drops on August 25th The landscape of Christian Music will once again find itself forever changed.
As I did with Disciple Southern Hospitality I will give you all a blow by blow account of the CD so to speak.
Track 1 - Hero - 03:06
This is the song that everyone has already heard and is probably the most signature skillet song on the CD. Which is, no doubt, the reason that this song was released as the single. From the First Chord to the last this is 100% Comatose. I can even see where the smoke would shoot out from the stage.
Track 2 - Monster - 02:58
This track has a harder sound than what I am used to with skillet. The Idea behind the song is pretty clear. “I hate what I’ve become the nightmare’s just begun i must confess that i feel like a monster” All of us have a dark side that we need to saved from. While this song is harder than what many people would think of when they think Skillet, I find this song to be a breath fresh air and it keeps the CD from falling into the trap of the Signature Sound. When you listen to the Song you don’t doubt that you are listening to skillet and the same time you know you are hearing something new.
Track 3 - Don’t Wake me - 03:56
Here the CD makes a marked turn into the land of Power ballad. “Don’t Wake me cause i don’t want to leave this dream, don’t wake me cause I never seem to stay to asleep, I know when its you I’m dreaming of I don’t want to wake up.” The overtones of unrequited love are so strong as to remind me of the times I felt (and still feel this way). Sometime the only time you can be with the one you love is when you dream about them.
Track 4 - Awake and Alive - 03:31
Skillet returns with a song so strongly influenced by the comatose album (and after touring for three years who could not be influenced by Comatose) that each time I hear it I think I am listening to the wrong CD. The strings that begin the Song are so synonymous with Skillet that I have to imagine that any other band does this at their own peril. With lyrics like “I’m at war with the world cause I ain’t never gonna sell my soul. I already made up my mind no matter what I can’t be bought or sold!” the meaning behind this song is clear. Personally I can’t wait to see them perform this Live with thousands of people singing along. I’m Awake, I’m Alive, I know what I believe inside!
Track 5 - One Day to Late - 03:40
Once again the style of music changes here, and while this song stops short of the Ballad I got to say that this song really touches me. I find myself listening to the words and wondering along with John, am I making the world a better place? “Today I’m gonna try a little harder Gonna make every minute last longer. Gonna learn to forgive and forget cause we dont have long, gonna make the most of it. Today I’m gonna love my enemies. reach out to somebody who needs me make a change, make the world a better place cause tomorrow could be one day to late.” The song is clearly about making the most of each moment since tomorrow may be one day to late.
Track 6 - It’s not me it’s You - 03:25
From the beginning chords and thrashing guitar it is clear this is an angry song. “Let get the story straight, you are poison. you flooded through my veins you left me broken you tried to make me think that the blame was all on me. with the pain you put me through and now I know that its not me its you!” This song is clearly aimed at all the people who look down on others for all the various reasons. i.e. clothes, music, tattoos. instead of seeing what God sees, A child he loves. Even when people treat us bad, we can turn to Christ and find ourselves empowered by putting our hope in Him instead of letting someone who’s giving you a hard time wear you down.
Track 7 - Should’ve when you Could’ve - 03:32
This song has a real 80’s sound, and reminds of one of the typical break-up songs of that period.
The song is about a girl being caught red-handed. While the song has a light and almost airy feel the message behind the music is pretty rock solid. You have to do the right thing when you get the chance to do since if you don’t, you very well may not get a second chance later.
Track 8 - Believe - 3:50
This song is serious and melodic song that I am finding to be a complex combination of melody and lyrics that I have been finding all to rare. The song screams of misunderstanding and unrequited love, still to call this song a simple ballad would be to seriously shortchange this song. This song has all the elements to rise above the classification of ballad. I am reminded of songs such as “Staind - Its been awhile”, “Incubus - Drive” and “3 doors down - When I’m Gone”.
Track 9 - Forgiven - 03:39
This is clearly one of the most overtly Christian song on the CD. While it is almost a federal law that a Christian band has to have a song about forgiveness, Skillet takes the concept on from a different angle and talks about not just the idea of letting someone down and being forgiven but also about acting in the forgiveness and not beating yourself up over the times you have failed. in this I am reminded of Luther’s saying Sin boldly for Christ forgives bolder still.
Track 10 - Sometimes - 03:29
This is a song I am kind of unsure about. From the very beginning the song has a very dark sound. This song is clearly about the struggle we all have with the darker part of our lives, and we all know of times when that darker part has won out. “Sometimes I dont want to be better. Some times I can’t be put back together. sometimes I find it hard to believe there someone else who can be just as messed up as me.” I am reminded of what Paul wrote in romans.
Romans 7:14-20 (NIV)
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
While the song is dark I find some peace in knowing that I am not the only one who feels this way.
Track 11 - Never Surrender - 03:31
from my research I found that the original inspiration for this song came from a conversation John Cooper had with someone who was battling an eating disorder. “Do you know what its like when you’re scared to see yourself.” is the first line of this melodic pop rock sounding song. The idea that you don’t like who you are is something I am all to familiar with. in the song you hear the cry “You make me feel better, Put me back together, I don’t want to feel like tomorrow I don’t want to live like this today” Just having someone there for you, whether that is God or family member or just someone to listen to you and share your pain, Someone that isn’t going to give up. This is a rocking song with a solid message.
Track 12 - Lucy - 03:38
At first listen I thought I knew just what this song was about. The idea of losing someone close to you. “Hey Lucy I remember you name, I left a dozen roses on your grave today, I’m in the grass on my knees wipe the leaves away. I just came to talk for a while got some things I need to say.” As I listened to the song, over and over again, I realized that there was much more to this song. The Idea that there is always a chance of a brand new start. This is easily the most melodic song on the CD and vaults over Ballad and lands clearly into the Cell phone/Zippo light burning in the dark style of song. I loved every second of it.
LET ME SAY THIS IS NOT MY REVIEW THIS IS A REVIEW FROM JTINDIES WEBSITE I TAKE NO CREDIT INW RITING THIS REVIEW. I OWN NONE OF THIS
Good but not what I was hoping for...| Posted August 17, 2010
It had been 3 years since Comatose since Skillet had put out some new music and Skillet fans were just dying for more with the success that Comatose was. I was looking forward to this album being a pretty big fan of Skillet and was eager for something new. I always liked how Skillet diversified their sound album to album and always made the wait between albums worthwhile with something new.
I must say I was a little disappointed that the sound didn't change too much from Comatose with Awake. But I don't blame Skillet since why not stay with a formula that was popular with the last album and getting their foot well inside mainstream circles.
The album starts off with the well known single "Hero" which has a great message about needing our Hero Jesus in life, this is a good song and is great with the switching vocals between John and Jen.
Next comes a heavier song with "Monster", I don't think anyone has not heard this song, its played all over rock radio and christian radio. Which unfortunately has made these first two songs less enjoyable for me, since they are being way overplayed on radio.
Next is the first of many ballads "Don't Wake Me", I actually really enjoyed this song and John's vocals to this song, pretty strong ballad.
"Awake and Alive" starts next with the strings and the heavy guitars coming in, this is a great anthem and a rather enjoyable song, great message of being bold, living for our faith.
"One Day Too Late" slows things down again, this song I found didn't differ enough in my opinion from other softer songs from Skillet, but has a decent message about taking the time to live out each day to the fullest.
"It's Not Me It's You" opens with a distorted riff, I don't know what it is with this song but it just gets stuck in your head and is rather catchy and fun to rock to.
"Should've When You Could've" I think shouldn't have been on the album, it's ok but it just seems to cheesy to everything else on the album.
"Believe" opens with just acoustic guitar playing and is a nice power ballad. John's powerful vocals fit with this song perfectly and was power ballad that was executed very well and sported some great lyrics.
"Forgiven" I thought was just another decent song, the most open Christian lyrics I think they had on the album. But offers a strong message of the forgiveness offered to us from Christ. It opens with a cook keys intro and then jumps into a mid-tempo rocker.
"Sometimes" one of the best rock songs on the album and possibly the best song on the album has a darker tone to it. But I like how Skillet is just honest about how things can be in life and how everything isn't perfect. Has a cool short little guitar solo that sets this song apart from others on the album.
"Never Surrender" not bad but nothing great either. Typical mid-tempo rock song, but good message about encouraging too never surrender to the things that get us down and to find that strength in Christ.
"Lucy" This is another very powerful power ballad and offers some of the best vocals from John. They are just so honest and heartfelt and is just a touching song. One of the best on the album.
So overall the album is good for what it is and is an enjoyable release by Skillet. Just not one of their best. Too many of the songs blended together on this album and Skillet just didn't rock out as much as they use too on this one. It has a lot more of a radio-rcok feel to it. But it is a well done rock album and worth picking up, since their are several highlights through the album.
Christian Music Is Finally Awake!| Posted April 24, 2010
Skillet's latest album, "Awake", packs the punch of 1,000 freight trains and yet also beholds the beauty of incredible CCM music at it's best! Along with this CD being the most anticipated album of their entire career, their fanbase, Panheads, has had a major increase in members. The CD itself has crisp, intense instruments along with the soaring, snarling voice of frontman John Cooper. The addition of the beautiful Jen Ledger as drummer and backup singer has gotten Skillet even more won with her angelic, sweet voice that also has a sound of urgency and power.
The beginning track, "Hero", shoots the CD off with a hip-hopish sound to it with fast, almost rappy vocals, but with chugging guitars and frantic drums. Their second track and also second single, "Monster", is definitely their darker song on the album but also gives people a chance to look inside of themselves and see the monster that they want gone in their life. It is also one of the hardest songs they have ever made, which may turn some people off to it.
"Don't Wake Me" brightens up the disc with a lovely power ballad which talks about the times when love really hurts, but we can all overcome that. The incredible and demanding "Awake and Alive" uses the beautiful vocals of Jen Ledger again and is a declaration of faith, saying that as Christians, we must stand up for our faith and stay strong through the hard times. The strings give a Comotose-ish glare to the song, but still does not fail what-so-ever.
"One Day Too Late" again shoots off the power ballad with a thoughtful song that sings about making a difference to the world as well as, in a way, evangelism. The power ballads fade away with the militant "It's Not Me It's You", which is an angry song about people who try to put you down for your beliefs, such as Christ or the way you dress. Another quite hard song that may give some people a dark feeling, but looking at it all around, it is a strong declaration of faith as well.
The poppy and, in a way, sassy "Should've When You Could've" is about relationships and how holding on once broken up has bad effects. Although it has a very exciting beat to it, the lyrics tend to be a little bit stangely rhymed. "Believe" again is about relationships and how drama gets in the way, but there is always a time to start over. The acoustic mixed with the electric really sounds awesome.
A much more happy and worshipful song, "Forgiven" deals with sinning and how no matter how many sings you have committed, God still loves you and he will forgive you if you repent. The instruments jam this song with a great piano intro with strings. The opposite of "Forgiven", "Sometimes" deals with the dark side that all of us have that we sometimes let win. It is, from the first note on, a dark song but is very realistic and is incredibly truthful. The line that might get families a little questioned, "I want someone to hurt like the way I hurt. It's sick, but it makes me feel better" serves a purpose, for it shows the angry side trying to overtake him. Songs aren't always made to be happy, but to serve a purpose.
"Never Surrender", a very hopeful song but also deals with hurt and trying to fit in, shows that someone is always there for you, whether it is the Lord Jesus Christ or someone you just want to talk to. The intro gives off some beautiful qualities Skillet has mastered, with a moving violin introduction, but then a drum solo adds in the guitars and bass. The final song, "Lucy", is a heart-wrenching piece which talks about the loss of a loved one, but trying to cope with it. It also deals with getting a second chance for a brand new start. It is beautiful, happy, and sure to get people crying in a heartbeat.
In conclusion, the fantastic album, "Awake", shows off many different genres, ranging fom head-banging hard rock to slow, moving pieces for all emotional people. Anyone who loves "Comotose" NEEDS to get "Awake". These rockers have matured in Christ over the years heavily and show it. I'm awake, I'm alive!
Met Expectations| Posted October 12, 2009
Skillet has once again produced a good cd with catchy, easy-to-sing-along-with music. However, if I didn't know this band was a band of Christians, I would never have guessed that they were. They dwell on break-ups and bad relationships for nearly half the cd, and it comes across as a lot less positive than their previous release, "Comatose". Good songs (saw it featured Saturday while watching college football - that is HUGE), but it seems that Skillet's more worried about catering to mainstream listeners than anything.
It's Skillet... just not their best work.| Posted August 21, 2009
It has been three years since their last release "Comatose" in 2006. Comatose deviated from the more aggressive, hard rock, "in your face" sound found on the previous album Collide (2003) to a more symphonic rock direction. I am one of those life long fans of Skillet that has listened to them since their self-titled debut. One thing I have always admired about the band is their ventures into various different sounds with no two albums sounding the same. Well, that was true until their latest release Awake.
It some ways it's not a surprise Awake sounds very, very, similar to Comatose. The title "Awake" could be the answer to the previous album title, linking them together. On the other hand Comatose was by far their most successful album, so it's no surprise they want to capitalize and what has worked for them. Yet, at the same time I wished they would have taken more chances with their sound, like the old Skillet would have. Are they selling out? You be the judge.
From a personal stand point I've always felt Skillet's strong point was the more aggressive sound. Not that the ballads are bad, (you know John loves his 80's ballads) I just find my self skipping them when listening to their albums in opposition to the heavier songs. Basically, Awake is Comatose with subtle changes, the nice addition of Jen's vocals, and the fact it an all around softer record musically. Some might like this and be very happy. But for those of us who go to their shows wanting a heavy rock performance may be a little less than satisfied. Hero and Monster (the two leading singles) are some of the strongest tracks on the record, along with Awake and Alive, It's not me It's You, Sometimes, and Forgiven. But some of the lyrics occasionally come across a little more cheesy and less mature than songs on previous albums.
I haven't had a chance to look at the lyrics but by listening to the Album I can make a educated guess that Awake may be more of a concept album where each song tells another chapter in the story. I find it to be about a person who is going through struggles with rage and bad relationships to finding Christ, receiving salvation from everything he was dealing with then losing a dear friend "Lucy" to death.
So the bottom line is... It's still Skillet. It's got the catchy rhythms and vocals, and great composition Skillet is known for. But it comes across as more of the same thing that was offered on Comatose but not quite as good. I personally was hoping they would take the aggressiveness found on Collide and mix it with the symphonic rock sound found on Comatose with some yet to be heard elements. Needless to say, It didn't happen this time around. On it's own, apart from past efforts it's a solid album with plenty to love, and I feel it's one that will grow on the listener with more listens. Some who are new to Skillet and loved Comatose will most-likely really enjoy this album, if not more than Comatose. But the veteran Panheads, like myself, may feel like they could have done better.
Still rockin but loses little edge| Posted August 21, 2009
From what I have heard on the nrt preview Awake is awesome. Not much I can say that hasn't been said in other reviews.
For me the Comatose vibe works well on the follow-up. However, I do think Comatose is a hard album to try and top and this album falls short just a little.
The first half of the project is rockin. Lyrics, vocals, beat, everything worked well. Also love the addition of jen and her vocals. The ballads are amazing and love the opening tracks.
Only issue i have is the 2nd half I find some (not all) of the songs tend to blend together. Don't think it is as solid as the first half. Don't care for It's Not Me It's You, Should've When You Could've, and Sometime. Lyrics aren't to shabby but didn't do much for me listening to them.
Overall this is a solid project, but I wish it had more heavier songs. Seems like there are more slower/med tempo songs but only a few upbeat pure rock. Hero, Monster, and Awake are the main 3 I can think of. As mentioned earlier I love the slower songs and each song has great lyrics. I have found the more I listen to it the more it grows on me...where comatose listened to once and I loved the whole project from the get go.
I am still a fan and think this is a worthy cd of theirs. Not disapponited but wanted a little more upbeat rock songs on the album. Best cd that has been out this year in quite sometime...summer was very blah and nice to get some new rock music going again.
Skillet's| Posted August 18, 2009
As 2007 reached its end, Skillet said farewell to longtime drummer Lori Peters. Fortunately, the band recovered shortly thereafter and recruited fresh, new talent in the form of 19 year old drumming prodigy Jen Ledger, whom they found in London, England. With a string of tours in 2008, as well as being able to show off her skills on the band's "Comatose Comes Alive" live CD/DVD, Ledger proved herself to be more than a perfect replacement. In early 2009, Skillet returned to the studio to record their 9th release "Awake," their first studio album in 9 years to feature a different individual providing the drumwork.
Musically, "Awake" picks up where 2006's "Comatose" left off, containing plenty of alternative rock hooks coupled with Jon's signature heart-felt screams and harmonius melodies. Album highlights include the aggressive opener "Hero," the equally edgy "Awake and Alive," and the nu metalesque feel of "Monster."
However, some fans might be surprised to find that there are more ballads this time around than with prior Skillet albums. However, many of them continue in the vibe of songs such as "The Older I Get" and "Don't Say Goodbye" and may draw in new listeners that had a difficult time warming up to the band's heavier side.
The songs' messages touch on issues such as the ugliness of one's own sin nature ("Monster"), taking focus off one's self and giving credit to God ("It's Not You It's Me"), and dreaming of a lasting love that seemed to have been lost in the real world ("Don't Wake Me"). "Never Surrender is a mid-tempo tune that is also about a love relationship, but may be construed by listeners as a relationship between a man and woman instead of being between man and God. While some of the album's themes may not directly point to Christ, they still maintain a spiritual level of morale and do not falter from the truth.
Overall, fans of albums such as "Collide" and "Alien Youth" might have a hard time swallowing "Awake" as it contains almost as many ballads as heavier tracks. On a lighter note though, those who fell in love with "Comatose" will quickly find a new Skillet favorite to add to their CD collection. While not their strongest effort, "Awake" is a Skillet album fans old and new will not soon forget.