Review Summary: Evanescence-er Skillet, further their diluted grungey sound only millimeters this time around. Die hard fans will salivate, others might need a glass of water.
Skillet have managed to do it again. That is they’ve managed to release the same album for a second time. Once again the focus is on big time choruses centered around semi epic intros and verses. For the most part I’ll give you the run down of what you’re in for when experiencing this cd. Dun-Dun-Dun-Lyric-Dun-Dun-Dun-Lyric- (optional)Solo-Dun-Dun-Dun-Lyric. This is the basic arrangement for about half the songs on this disc including lead single and album opener Hero
, and even more formidable on It’s Not Me It’s You
which I recommend you listen to now to understand what I mean if you’re having trouble grasping their unique format.
I wasn’t particularly blown away by the opening song as it easily tries to recapture the magic that the band had been going for on their previous effort Comatose
and in some ways it succeeds. They retain that epic-ness(ish) that the band ultimately switched to apparently after hearing Evanescence for the first time not too long ago. The biggest problem I have with it though is that the band seems to be progressing tragically slow, as they only alter their sound by the smallest bit with each disc, and here we’re faced with the same issue. Yes the strings that were implemented on the infectious Rebirth
aren’t as prominent here, but the sound still needless to say stays the same. The guitars basically emulate the exact same tempo and tones as the violins would have. Not quite tricky enough Skillet.
Awake and Alive
sounds like it should have been included on their previous disc with its opening seconds picking up exactly where songs like Rebirth
left off. The up side though is Jen Ledger, the drummer, has a much more powerful presence on, not only this song, but the entire record. Her voice is an insanely wicked breath of fresh air as John Cooper’s vocals sound as strained as ever. I’ve never been too particular of his voice, but this time around it seems like he’s pushed the envelope too far barely reaching some of the notes he tries to hit. Take the entire song Believe
as an example, it would feature one of the bands best choruses to date, but is drug down due to ascending pitches John tries to reach that Jen would have been way more capable of delivering. Aside from Monster
I had a hard time listening to most of the tracks, due to breaking point Johns voice seems to be at the entire time.
As mentioned before Monster
is one of the albums' few highlights with its gripping Nickelback-esque (this isn’t a bad thing) intro and feverous drum beat to accentuate the urgency underlying Johns seemingly comfortable voice for once. The one thing that plagues this song and with most of this cd, to be honest, are the lyrics. Aside from how repetitive they become after hearing the first verse and chorus they’re ridiculously weak. “I feel it deep within, It’s just beneath the skin, I must confess that I feel like a monster
”. Basically its your typical monster song with the singer screaming that he feels like a monster not really explaining any emotional attachments except to say, “I hate what I’ve become, I feel like a monster,
”. You’ll probably find yourself saying, “Yeah I get that much, but why
do you feel like a monster???” and in return Skillet will proceed to repeat the chorus three times in hopes you start to understand, or something like that.
Other track standouts include Sometimes
which has a great intro still of course plagued by the Dun-Dun-Dun’s, but it manages to offer a smoother approach to introducing a song, allowing each instrument to finally breathe; instead of the hammering noise approach that occurs on 2/3 of the outing. If you can get by the cliché use of the song title, you’ll probably come out half satisfied with Skillet, seeing them retread back into their darker mix not heard since Collide
with John yelling out, “I want someone to hurt, Like the way I hurt, It’s sick but it makes me feel better
”. This track also includes the discs best solo, though only 8 seconds long, it’s a nice refresher to the oh so stale verse/chorus/verse/chorus/outro that’s right, there's typically no bridge even, Skillet are quite the daring bunch.
accomplishes its task of being a humble ballad hearing John cry out, “Now that its over, I just want to hold her, I’d give up all the world, Just to see that little piece of heaven looking back at me
”; and after that track is over and you wipe up all the tears you’ll probably be shocked to know that the cd is over. I know I was as I figured I had only listened to 6 or 7 songs, but learned that there we’re actually 12 songs entirely. Apparently, Should’ve When you Could’ve
and One Day Too Late
we’re two different songs, but you will not catch that on the first listen through. Nor will you remember tracks like Forgiven
and Don’t Wake Me
with the latter stealing the exact same recipe of the superb Believe
. This is ultimately my biggest problem with Skillet, as they’re retention value is astonishingly small; I don’t have any desire to have another sit through with this disc anytime soon, and is the main reason why I recommend saving your money and picking out only the stand out tracks.
Tracks Recommendations Include: Monster
, Awake and Alive
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