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Released: Aug 25, 2009
Genre: Hard Rock / Christian Rock
Label: Lava / Ardent / Atlantic
Number Of Tracks: 12
Skillet has always had classic rock riffs, swirling drums, monstrous hooks, undeniably catchy choruses, and a few fast solos.
bcwfootball54, on august 28, 2009 8 of 17 people found this review helpful
Sound: Skillet has always had classic rock riffs, swirling drums, monstrous hooks, undeniably catchy choruses, and a few fast solos. And this CD is no different. The sound on this CD is very great! You can hear everything amazingly clear, you can listen to each individual instrument or listen to how amazing they all fit together. This CD seems to have more string instruments in the songs. Which I think is very good, it really adds to the mood of the songs. The music is very very good and almost anyone can sit down and enjoy this music. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics on this CD are very deep. They seem to be a lot more faith based than their previous CD "Comatose". The lyrics are classic Skillet lyrics, the choruses are super catchy. The lyrics go very very well with the music. John Cooper as usual has a strange but great voice. You never would expect someone with his voice to be great at singing but he does it, and it goes great with the music! // 9
Overall Impression: Overall I believe everyone should buy this CD. If you compared it to all of their other CD's it would be close. Song v. Song it may be one of the best CD's they have produced. If not first second to "Comatose". The most impressive thing about this CD is how much more the non-electric guitar instrument (violin, cello, piano, acoustic guitar) have been implemented into the songs, it adds so much more depth and emotion to the lyrics. If there is one thing I would have to say about this CD that is a little disappointing might be that overall the songs are a little less hard than their previous CD. But regardless this is a great CD for Skillet fans from the beginning to people who have never heard of them. The top songs in my opinion are "Awake and Alive", "Hero", and "Forgiven". If this CD were lost or stolen I would definitely buy it again. // 10
takenthecannoli, on april 16, 2013 6 of 10 people found this review helpful
Sound: Beginning as a techno/industrial Christian rock act, Skillet turned to metal with 2003's release of "Collide". While a hit in some already-hooked circles (notably, Christian rock), some critics noted that the genre had already been done to death by secular artists. IGN in particular made a point of this with its scrutiny of 2006's "Comatose", which expanded upon "Collide"'s formula, even copying its "opening heavy song, emotionally-driven rock hit single second, slower third track" structure. That's right, "Comatose" was a near-repeat of "Collide" with slightly more balladry and less balls. If anything, the message was invasive and the music often took a backseat.
2009 saw "Awake", which not only continued the tired metal formula, but further muddled Skillet's repertoire by copying the first three songs of "Comatose" even more closely than "Comatose" had for "Collide". They are as follows: triumphant and slightly dark opener ("Rebirthing" vs "Hero"), emotionally-driven hard rock single ("The Last Night" vs "Monster"), ballad ("Yours To Hold" vs "Don't Wake Me"). An argument could be made that the message and religious stereotypes are so invasive on this release that the band didn't even bother restructuring it. Instead, it's entirely copied from the last record. Even the title track ("Awake And Alive"), as in the case of "Collide" and "Comatose", begins with strings and a metal riff. The only change anywhere is the incorporation of (lame) guitar solos on a couple tracks.
As tends to be the case in Christian rock, Skillet's music is ridiculously simplistic. The entirety of "Hero" is one riff, with bizarre vocal cuts to make room for it (resulting in dead air). "Monster" is essentially the same idea, and any other guitar-driven track copies the formula. Slow tracks (metal ballad, emotional track, pick your phrase) are less powerful than "Comatose", mostly because they sound identical. "Don't Wake Me" really doesn't stray much from the sound of "Yours To Hold", and "Lucy" isn't much different from "Say Goodbye". Musically, there isn't much to discuss; "Awake" is identical to the sound on "Comatose", which was slightly-orchestrated Christian "metal" (the tamest of metals). It's just as dull here as it was on the last release, and in places even more of a snooze fest. Sure, "Monster" rocks out as hard as it can manage, but after that the record loses steam rapidly. // 4
Lyrics: Skillet's lyrical content has always been deep (in some sense of the word), but never profound. Nearly identical (again) to "Comatose", "Awake" deals with repression, depression, and oppression of faith. "Awake And Alive" has themes of strength through challenging times, "Monster" deals with self-loathing (sort of), and "Believe" has a spice of humility and wouldn't you guess moping around at home at the loss of a loved on (see every track on "Comatose"). "Hero", presumably, refers to Christ, insisting that "I'm falling off the edge today... I am just a man/Not superhuman... I need a hero to save me now". It isn't brilliant stuff, but whatever stories the band wants to tell are at least understandable, if recycled and, frankly, of sub-par composition.
Singer/bassist John Cooper is pretty dull, if possible moreso than on "Comatose". If one thing truly pacifies their preferred brand of metal, it would be his vocals; they are weak, croaky, and altogether boring. In fact, newly recruited Jen Ledger is more interesting (she is featured on "Hero" and the titular cut) and at times almost moving, a feat Cooper could only hope to achieve. If people like Cooper would stop trying to call what they're doing "metal", castrating the genre, perhaps respect would be deeper for the Christian contemporary music community. // 3
Overall Impression: With the upcoming release of "Rise" (another one-worded title what other similarities to previous records might there be?), Skillet is sounding tighter, louder, and more relevant than they have since "Collide". Unfortunately, to quote them, the changes come one day (album?) too late. And, of course, Cooper is still pretty tame. There just isn't any spark left in this band. The nail in the coffin is "Awake", an utterly predictable and uninspired snore, which dooms Skillet to Christian "Guitar Hero" knockoffs.
unregistered, on october 13, 2009 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Skillet's most recent album, "Awake", had high expectations in my eyes after "Comatose" was released and unfortunately, it didn't meet those expectations. The power that Skillet usually has in their cds was lacking in this one. The drums were not as flashy with Jen as they were with their old drummer. This album has about twice as many slow ballad songs as "Comatose" did and that really brings the album down. // 6
Lyrics: The lyrics were definately more passionate and detailed than the other Skillet albums, but can be a little cheesy with those such has "it's not me, it's you". John still hasn't disappointed me as a singer because he has the deep voice of a bass but still shows the power of a tenor, who can hit those high notes without straining, I guess. Now, I know it's not his real voice, but the grunt in "Monster" was not only different, but it really showed Skillet's diversity. If John could do that with his real voice, then that would open up many other doors for Skillet to come. The usage of Jen as a singer in this album could easily be noticed as a difference in her sound. In "Hero", she is the female singer and, personally, I think her voice is a little annoying and I wouldn't ike to hear her anymore than I need to in cds to come. // 8
Overall Impression: "Awake" didn't meet the expectations I had for this CD because of past cds' performances. The only powerful rock songs in "Awake and Alve" were their two singles, "Monster and "Hero", "Awake and Alive", which is like the new "Comatose", maybe "It's Not Me It's You" and maybe "Sometimes". That's 5 out of 12 songs on a cd... that small amount doesn't cut it for me in that category. The one slow song that really impressed me was "Lucy", with its good usage of the piano and descriptive lyrics. If this album was to somehow disappear from my CD stash, I don't think I would buy it again. If you're looking for this album and you're a Skillet fan, go buy it. But if you're a person trying to become a Skillet fan, this is not the CD to start to like Skillet. Go get "Collide" or "Comatose", which are both better than "Awake". // 6
Matt Matzek, on january 07, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound of this band, as well as this album, are a bit strange at times but they come togehter very well. Most of the tracks on this album continue witht the bands style: a mixture of hard and progressive rock. For example, in the single "Sometimes", most of the song is hard rock with very catchy riffs and a beasty drum fill just 7 seconds in, but it continues the bass riff at the very end with a bass synth sound that really highlights the song. However, one thing I didn't like in this album is the the some of the effects being used by the lead guitarist, Ben Kasica. To me, they just sounded out of place with the rest of the song. Other than that, I really like the sounds this band creates and this album really dressed to impress. // 8
Lyrics: John Cooper is a very powerful singer. He really moves you deep inside whenever you here the songs because he sings from the heart. The lyrics and music flow together quite well. I'm also glad that the drummer, Jen Ledger, got to do plenty of vocales on this album. I believe that they contrast each other's voices very nicely and it helps with the flow of the music. The lyrics portray the band's ultimate goal of being a Christian band, too. Way to go Skillet. // 9
Overall Impression: I won't compare it to other recent albums by other artists but I will compare it to other albums by Skillet. Compared to Comatose and Collide, Awake is much more fast paced on certain songs and slower and softer on others. One gripe I have is the seeming unbalance of hard songs and slow songs. By that I mean there are too many slow songs on this album! Come on Skillet, let's rock! As for the best song on this album, anyone who's listened to the whole CD will know which is the best: MONSTER! I would go get the album again if it got scratched just for that song! It's absolutely beasty! // 8