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on August 26, 2009
Skillet's first studio offering since 2006's "Comatose" comes firing out of the box with both barrels, with more of the crunchy, head pumping arena-rock sound and power ballad goodness fans have come to love over the last several years from the Memphis crew.

There are several similarities between this album and "Comatose"; most obvious is the sound. Stylistically "Awake" seems to be a continuation of "Comatose"; more than likely it's what the guys were looking for, and they got it right once again. From the first few songs, it's evident that John Cooper and co. are going by the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy. The only real differences are the near-absence of the prevalent violins from most of the "Comatose" playlist (apparently to make room for more guitars) and the trading of female vocal duties from John's wife Korey to drummer Jen Ledger. The themes surrounding the songs will take you back to 2006 as well, as once again the crew wail splendidly about forgiveness (obviously found in "Forgiven"), overcoming adversity ("Never Surrender"), renewal of faith, and living each moment as if there were no tomorrow ("One Day Too Late", which could pass for the next chapter of "The Older I Get"). Skillet also spend a couple of tender moments discussing relationships; "Don't Wake Me" waxes poetic about a guy trying to hold on to the relationship he apparently messed up, while "Lucy" pays a somber visit to the grave of a lost-too-soon love. The tongue-in-cheek "Should've When You Could've" breaks up the mood a little, though, with a dismissing anthem to cheating ex-girls everywhere.
While it seems the central theme of this album is renewal, as on "Comatose" there are a couple of dark moments within as well. "Sometimes" delves into the ugly side of the Christian walk, demonstrating the potential numbing power sin can have, while "Would It Matter" focuses on someone at the figurative end of their rope, wondering whether leaving this world would make more of an impact than wandering through it.
Skillet overall tell some great stories and offer some pretty good examples of many roads of faith while chugging right along with the same addicting formula that made "Comatose" such a success. The "power ballads" of which John Cooper is so fond (as he's told many a crowd during shows) on "Awake" leave as much of a mark as the arena-pounding anthems, and much as they did on their previous album, will have fans singing right along with the choruses after a few runs through the disc.

Bottom line: if you liked "Comatose", you'll find more of the same to like in "Awake". Skillet's sound of 2006 has in no way gone stale, and crowds will enjoy raising their hands and shouting along just as much when the show hits the road again. (By the way, to those who criticize Skillet for going "mainstream" or "radio-friendly"...sometimes Christian bands will pull that once in a while to get people to listen and find out what they're truly about. Call it either a sell-out move or a stroke of genius, but it happens more now than ever.)
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on January 7, 2015
It has a couple of good songs, but just seems different than other CDs I have heard from Skillet. More emotional extending from one range to the next I find I really didn't like most of the songs on this disk. Hero and awake were good songs but the rest seemed way different. Monster was good but got more grungy than I am used to. Others reminded me of a guy falling in love then breaking up with the person from "Don't wake me" to "It's not me, it's you" saying how its a dream I don't want to wake from to calling the person a poison.
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on February 6, 2014
This album surprised me. I knew a couple of songs I'd like, but since the whole thing was $5 I took a chance on it. I'm now completely hooked on Skillet. I am a metal/hard rock fan, but when you are in mixed company and want to rock out, some of the lyrics are often frowned upon by at least half of the audience. Skillet defies every (probably completely wrong) perception I had about Christian music, and I LOVE rocking out to this and don't have to worry about offending anybody. It's not preaching to you and it's not vulgar. It's just really, GOOD music about everyday life.
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on February 1, 2010
I have to admit that when I first heard the hit single "Monster," I didn't like it. I thought it sounded like the rest of the lame radio-rock crop (mainly Three Days Grace). Over time though, it grew on me, as did this band. I first heard them in '04 or so, when "Savior" was all over the radio. I got the album (Collide) from a friend and played it here and there for a few years, never getting that into it. However, this past fall, I rediscovered this band and decided to check out their current works. Enter Awake, their latest collection of tunes. Sure, they aren't that groundbreaking, but in this over-saturated music market, who really is? The fact is that the songs are pleasing to the ear and that's all that matters.

The album begins with "Hero," a rockin' song with a killer chorus. Interesting to note, however, is that the verses are the strongest point of the song, with well-written vocal melodies backed up by an insanely cool guitar riff. This is also where we are introduced to new drummer/backing vocalist Jen Ledger, who shines in both departments, meshing well with the band's sound and contrasting perfectly with lead singer John Cooper's grittier vocal style. The song's bridge is nothing short of a masterpiece, as is doesn't completely fly the listener away from the rest of the song, but doesn't leave you on the ground, bored of the same riff you've heard for two and a half minutes like most bands. After this is "Monster," a pounding rock song that also helps show off Cooper's rough yet strangely warming vocal tone.

"One Day Too Late," although not very musically exciting, is a lyrical masterpiece, with Cooper proclaiming his decision to work harder to change the world in a positive way TODAY, because tomorrow may be "one day too late." Other stand-out tracks include "Never Surrender," "Forgiven," "Don't Wake Me," and "Lucy," which is by far the most emotional track on the album. Starting out as a piano ballad, the song takes an energetic turn with the entire band crashing in as Cooper delves deeper into a sad story of love and loss. Sure, writing a song about a deceased loved one has been done before, but if you listen to this song and don't feel anything at all, god help you, for you have no heart.

The best song on the album has to be "Awake & Alive," which is neither ballad nor rocker. Though the cello and violin are reminiscent of many songs from their older works (mainly 2003's Collide), the track is a breath of fresh air, featuring a decent amount of vocal trading between Jen and John, as well as a ripping guitar solo by lead guitarist Ben Kasica. The best part though is the chorus, which is pure rock and roll genius.

Yes, there is a decent amount of auto-tune (after all, they're on a major label that probably insisted upon it). But it's the same story here as with the A Day To Remember album - look past it and listen to the songwriting. And yes, some of the ballads sound a little forced (namely "Should've When You Could've") but most of the songs are as aggressive as they are catchy. The bottom line is that if you're not a baby and can get past the fact that they are a Christian band (which happens to be one thing I love about Skillet) Awake might be something worth checking out. I almost didn't and am really happy that I did.
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on November 30, 2014
My kids second concert with dad ever is these guys. A great Christian rock band that actually makes good music. I'm not strictly into Christian rock but these guys do it so well it doesn't matter!...and my daughter loves the girl parts of the songs. My kids will grow up with fond memories of us every time they hear this music :)
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on July 21, 2015
Just a great band Skillet is and this particular CD is my favorite one. Lots of great tracks including Hero, Awake and Alive, and One Day Too Late to name a few I like. The sound quality is excellent and the price is good. if you really like a band/group/artist, like I do with Skillet, you should pay for their music.
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on February 5, 2015
I loved Comatose, and when I heard Skillet was sticking to what worked, I was overjoyed. What I did not expect was them to nearly oversaturate the whole thing. They took the slight pop elements, and the strings, and threw them to the forefront of this album. Hero and Awake and Alive are well-done, albeit somewhat typical radio rock singles that are sure to garner the band new fans. They complement it with Monster, which reminds nearly everyone I know of Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace. Many mainstream fans will also dig the slightly harder, crunchier tone of this track, though I personally found it a bit dull. Many of the following songs scream filler, and not just from how they sound. Song 6 is called "is not me, its you." and they had the creativity to follow it up with "should've when you could've."

What in Sam's name were they thinking there?

The album accomplishes its goal of being pretty and catchy, and that will make it likely Skillet's overall most popular album, especially among newer fans. However, I believe it is a generally average work for the band. There is simply too much cheese and filler here to have it compete with Comatose. Strong songs such as the aforementioned tracks, along with the album closer Lucy do not qualify as the highlights that COmatose had, and thus merely save the album from being a big disappointment.
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on January 6, 2014
I absolutely love this album, and have had it playing for months in my car. I just do not get tired of it.

I found this album after hearing Monster in our Crossfit box. I love that there is hard hitting music without some of the crazy undertones and language that I can use for workouts, or just to improve my mood.

I have since purchased 3 other Skillet albums and love them as well, but this is still my favorite of all. If you like your Rock loud and hard hitting, Skillet is a must.
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on February 25, 2015
Our Church youth group attended Winter Jam 2015 and this band was featured. I admit they are not for everyone. But their songs hit a chord in a lot of people. It reminds my husband of the bands from his youth (90's)
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on April 25, 2014
Awesome album from one of the best (sorry THE best) Christian rock band! I'm not even that fond of Christian music (bores me) but I love rock and skillet brought the two of them together so perfectly! I thought they were just a regular rock band at first until someone pointed it out on a comment on youtube :p haha. Anyway awesome songs and beautiful lyrics
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