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Posted August 18, 2009
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer

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.

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