Posted August 01, 2019
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
What You Need To Know:
This long-awaited tenth studio album, Victorious, has captivated my spirit. Over the past several years, I've had the opportunity to speak with Skillet’s John Cooper about several songs from their prior albums including "Awake and Alive," "One Day Too Late", "Lucy," "American Noise," "Good to Be Alive," “Stars,” “Lions,” “The Resistance” and “Legendary” - with each discussion we've built on how John’s biblical life verses Romans 8:38-39 have shaped his songwriting. “Legendary” sets the tone for this album. We're all united in our struggles and spiritual warfare, and in our desire for truth and relationship. These songs are prayers for God to teach us to realize that this life isn't forever. Help us to realize what we're living for. What am I wasting my time on? What am I doing with my life? We also need to think about what we are doing for His Kingdom. That's our legacy and the theme of this album, and one of the threads that weaves its way through all twelve of these legacy-focused songs.
What it Sounds Like:
Over the years, it's been a treat for me to watch Skillet's meteoric ascent into one of rock's biggest bands, and the incredible success of their last four albums, Comatose, Awake, Rise, and Unleashed. Each album has reached another level of popularity. Arguably, the bar has been set so high there is a possibility that some people may have unreachable expectations for how much higher Skillet can “Rise.” However, I’m pleased to say that after repeated listens through all twelve tracks in order, I’m all in on these songs. Ear worms including “Legendary,” You Ain’t Ready,” “Victorious,” “Save Me,” “Terrify The Dark,” “Anchor” and the energetic closing track, “Back to Life” keep me coming back for more with an excitement that builds with each listen.
The project opens with “Legendary,” which has a celebratory vibe and builds to an exciting refrain that stirs my soul to cry out loudly "Legends made when faith is strong." I'm really engaged by John Cooper’s emotional vocals and the sincere, enthusiastic and thought-provoking lyrics throughout the album. When I first heard "Legendary," I was immediately hooked by the message connected to the themes found in Micah 6:8: "He has shown you, Oh, man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you; But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" That's how we can show the world what we are for instead of what we are against. Be followers of Jesus and make your life count.
“Victorious” is an upbeat, hooky rock song that represents the theme of this uplifting album with the encouraging legacy-focused message, “Don’t want to be forgotten when I’m dead and gone, I just want to be the one who got up and came back strong." These are some of the strongest lyrics I've heard by this talented band, all in an extremely catchy song. John and Jen’s emotive vocals and the exciting musical bed takes me on an emotional journey that causes me to excitedly worship along with the stirring lyrics every time I hear the song.
Best Song on the Record:
All of these songs are poignant and powerful with earnest, worshipful lyrics. “Anchor” features introspective lyrics and a beautiful refrain with John displaying emotive vocals. It is yet another reflective track in the vein of “Stars” and includes another catchy musical vibe and the vertical message, “I’ll never be the same, I can face anything, so let it rain, You are my anchor, So steady me, steady me now.” Long-time Skillet fans will be most excited by the standout tracks, “Legendary,” “You Ain’t Ready,” “Victorious,” “Save Me” and “Back to Life.”
For Fans Of:
Seventh Day Slumber, Thousand Foot Krutch, RED
Skillet is back with Victorious, one of my top rock albums of the year in both the Christian and mainstream music markets. The album includes standout recordings like the sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs anthems “Legendary,” “You Ain’t Ready” and “Save Me” as well as songs with a reflective vibe like “Victorious” and “Anchor.” From my first listen, I wanted to tell others about this great new album. If you’ve always liked Skillet, you'll love this new album. Victorious is one of the catchiest, most energetic and emotionally engaging rock albums I've heard this year.
Listen on Spotify and Apple Music.
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