Top 10 Album Of 2009
Posted January 04, 2010
By KevinMcNeese_NRT, Staff Reviewer
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.
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