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Skillet - 'Awake'

Skillet's 'Awake' -- THE Rock Release of 2009

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Skillet - Awake

Skillet - Awake

INO Records / Atlantic
I will try very hard to not foam at the mouth as I describe Skillet's upcoming (August 25th) release, Awake but I'm not making any promises. I didn't think that they could ever top Comatose but I was wrong. Awake is concrete with it's hard-rockin', power-punchin' delivery and the addition of Jen Ledger's very Amy Lee sounding vocals give it an extra edge that makes it follow Comatose quite well while adding to the layers of Skillet.

Honestly folks, if Awake doesn't rack up both GRAMMYs and Doves next year, somebody in asleep at the wheel!

A Rough Start - But The Quality Made Up For It

I'll tell you the truth -- if Awake wasn't as excellent as it is, I wouldn't have reviewed it. The record label, in an attempt to keep music from advanced copies getting shared/leaked, used a watermark system that made the CD impossible to play on computers, DVD players, Xboxes and even some car stereos. The streaming feed they provided as a second source coming through my pathetic little laptop speakers sounded OK, but only OK and I try not to waste my time or yours with mediocre. I finally got the physical CD to play in my husband's car and after hearing it in all of its glory, I knew that despite the obstacles, I couldn't do you guys, my readers and friends, the disservice of NOT reviewing it.

Sitting in the car in 90 degree weather to listen to and review Awake proved to be harder than I thought it would be and I can't write and drive at the same time so an investment into some serious speakers to connect my laptop to was in order. Lucky for me, the $200 surround sound speaker set I wanted was on sale! So, here I sit, in the comfort of my office, listening to this amazing CD in full surround-sound glory. Skillet did such a great job on Awake that it was worth the cost to upgrade my speakers!

Even if you're not quite that hard-core about your music, this is still a CD that you can't afford to miss if you like Christian rock. Lucky for you, it goes on sale to the public tomorrow, so your investment won't be nearly as costly as mine.

'Awake' Grabs You By The Throat On The First Track And Doesn't Let Go

Kicking off with "Hero," which has been tearing up radio as it climbs the charts, Awake starts strong and finishes even stronger, never wimping out on a single track.

The second song (and my new fave) "Monster" shows the exact opposite of our hero - Jesus ... that monster (sin) that lives inside of every one of us. The irony of the total opposition that lives in each of us is really showcased by the two tracks.

Slowing down a bit, "Don’t Wake Me" (my 14-year-old daughter's favorite tune) is a power ballad with a capital P. "One Day Too Late" is another winning power ballad that reminds me of the days of true arena rock complete with lighters held up throughout the crowds. Lyrically, this one hits the mark in a big way too, reminding us that we don't have unlimited time here on earth, so we had better make the most of what time we do have.

"It's Not Me It's You" (my husband's favorite tune) kicks you solidly in the teeth with monster guitar licks, as does "Awake and Alive" (the strings soften them a bit, but not enough to take away the bite.

The bottom line here is that Awake shows us all that Skillet is like a fine wine ... better and better with age. There isn't a bad song on the entire release. There isn't even a mediocre one! All 12 tracks come as close to excellent as you will find in today's musical landscape. This is a "must have" CD for any Christian rock fan and it's one that will be gracing my CD player for many years to come. (Yep - tomorrow I'll be standing in line for a non-watermarked copy just like the rest of you so I can listen to it anywhere I want!)

'Alive' - The Basics

  • Style: Rock
  • 12 Tracks
  • Release Date: August 25, 2009 on Atlantic/INO
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Same Sound, Different Purpose, Member eMp4tHy

Shortly after Skillet's album ""Awake"" was publicly released there were scores of reviewers clamoring to criticize the Christian rockers for cloning ""Comatose."" The style and sound, wrote many, are exactly the same as the previous record. I won't argue that point much - the albums are quite similar in terms of instrumental usage. Something far more important changed, in my opinion, with the new release - lyrical content and production. Rare is the Christian album that I can play through a few times and not want to skip a track or two because the lyrical content is so cliche to the targeted audience. Skillet finds a way to strike at the very important issues facing very different segments of listeners in clear ways on each track. ""Monster"" is the perfect example of a single that doesn't run out of steam or follow the beaten path for high play count. It's rare to have a Christian artist explore the depths of our depravity as Skillet does on ""Monster"" and ""Sometimes"" so honestly. I highly recommend picking up the album - the tracks will both slap you in the face and inspire you to keep on fighting day in and day out. The album is constantly reminding us of the darker side of life (""Sometimes,"" ""Monster""), and yet that we have little time to do the right thing (""One Day Too Late"").

15 out of 16 people found this helpful.

Kim Jones
About.com Christian Music / Gospel

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