Skillet - Awake

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Band: Skillet
Title: Awake
Label: Atlantic
Release Date: 8/25/09
Reviewer: Tyler Hess

Tracklisting:

  1. Hero
  2. Monster
  3. Don’t Wake Me
  4. Awake and Alive
  5. One Day Too Late
  6. It’s Not Me It’s You
  7. Should’ve When You Could’ve
  8. Believe
  9. Forgiven
  10. Sometimes
  11. Never Surrender
  12. Lucy
  13. Dead Inside (Bonus Track)
  14. Would It Matter (Bonus Track)
  15. Monster (Alternate Radio Version)

When talking about Skillet around here, there seems to be two heavy opinions, one based on a love for the older, ever evolving Skillet, while the other is the new found love for the matured arena rock Skillet that they have become of late.  It used to be that no one could really say where the band was going next, as they went through different stages (grunge, worship, rock, etc.), but now it seems that Skillet has finally become predictable.  The good news, for those who are into their current direction, they have become predictable good, with yet another album full of enough hits to really make their live show (where they really strut their stuff) complete.

The album starts off with what has become their first two singles, which strangely enough seem to be opposite of each other, yet a perfect match.  “Hero” is exactly what you would expect it to be about, as the call and answer vocals between vocalist/bassist John Cooper and new drummer Jen Ledger make for an epic song about Jesus being our Hero.  The antithesis, of course, being John’s declaration that he “feels like a monster”.  “Don’t Wake Me” slows things down as the rest of the album has a roller coaster feel of ballads and rock songs.  “Should’ve When You Could’ve”, though not a terrible song, really feels out of place lyrically, basically talking about a girl that liked him when it was too late.  “Forgiven” makes me think it is the bizarro world version of their older song “Forsaken”.  The highlight for me after those first two tracks is a song called “Lucy”, a song of regret, wishing he could have done things differently.

Overall: The strings are toned down a bit from the last album, but Skillet has continued on with their big time rock show with another album of hits that should see them continue to grow, becoming one of the premier headliners in Christian rock.  Not every song is a hit, but I don’t think any of them are really misses either.  I would have liked to see a bit more progression from what we’ve already heard, but I’m not surprised that they’d like to ride their success for as long as they can.