It has beenthree years since Skillet’s previous record, Comatose. With the success of Comatose, Skillet fans were dying for more. I was looking forward to this album, being a pretty big fan of Skillet. I was eager for something new. I always liked how Skillet diversified their sound album to album and always made the wait between albums worthwhile.

I must say I was a little disappointed that the sound didn’t change too much from Comatose to Awake. I Don’t blame Skillet–why not stay with a formula that was popular with the last album and getting their foot well inside mainstream circles? Obviously the huge amount of new fans who were eating it up,combined with the success of all of their tours,helped Awake recently go Gold.

The album starts off with the well-known single Hero ” which has a great message about needing our Hero Jesus in life. I really like the lyrics in this song and it’s a really good opener. I think it is great with the switching vocals between John and Jen thatadd great dynamic to the song. Next comes a heavier song with “Monster.” I Don’t think anyone has not heard this song; its played all over rock radio and Christian radio. Unfortunately thishas made these first two songs less enjoyable for me since they are being way overplayed on radio. I’m not saying they arebad by any means; It’sjust after hearing them a ton the novelty wears off.

Next is the first of many ballads “Don’t Wake Me.” I really enjoyed this song. John’s vocals are great and differentfrom his normal style; this makes for a strong ballad. “Awake and Alive” starts next with the strings and the heavy guitars and becomes an anthem for being bold and living for our faith. This is one of my favorites off the album. “One Day Too Late” slows things down again but fails to offer anything different when compared with other slow Skillet sons. That being said there is a decent message about taking the time to live out each day to the fullest.

“It’s Not Me It’s You” opens with a distorted riff that gets stuck in your head and is fun to rock to. I also really like the lyrics’ darker theme. It is good for Skillet to touch on these types of relations since unfortunately they do occur. “Should’ve When You Could’ve” I think shouldn’t have been on the album. It’s okay but it just seems too cheesy compared to everything else on the album. This song just doesn’t fit well with the serious tone of many of the other songs.

“Believe” opens with just acoustic guitar playing and is a nice power ballad. John’s powerful vocals fit with this song perfectly. This was a power ballad that was executed very well with great lyrics about perserverance in relationships. You can take this either as a relationship romantically or with Christ. “Forgiven” I thought was just another decent song. It has the most openly Christian lyrics on the album. This song offers a strong message of the forgiveness offered to us from Christ. It opens with a cool keys intro and then jumps into a mid-tempo rocker.

“Sometimes ” possibly the best and most rockin’ song on the album has a darker tone to it. I like how Skillet is honest about life and how everything isn perfect. This song has a cool yet short guitar solo that sets this song apart from others on the album. “Never Surrender” is not bad but nothing great. It is a typical mid-tempo rock song with a good message about never surrendering to the things that get us down and to find that strength in Christ. “Lucy”is another very powerful power ballad and offers some of the best vocals from John. They are honest and heartfelt. This is a touching song and one of the best on the album discussing thoughts of loss love and regret.

Overall the album is good for what it is and is a decent release by Skillet. It is just not one of their best that they have ever released. Collide is still my favorite album by them. Too many of the songs blended together on this album and Skillet just didn’t rock out as much as they used to. It has a lot more of a radio-rock feel to it. I was just hoping for something more unique from Skillet and something that really pushed them as artists rather than another Comatose. Nonetheless it is a well-done rock album and worth picking up if you’re a fan of Skillet or any type of modern rock. If you haven’t seen this band live do yourself a favor and go see them. They put on one of the sickest rock shows I have ever seen!

Guest Writer