"The Awakening" differs from "Lucky" in that it is a uniform concept album where the latter was more of a scattershot effort. Thus the album's strength is also it's weakness -- some of Melissa's signature belted fiery vocals are missing, but her strong songwriting and heartfelt lyrics are as strong as ever. Despite some tracks that seem unnecessary such as "Threesome", this album actually brings us some of Melissa's strongest work in years: "Imagine That", "Open Your Mind", and "Kingdom of Heaven" are some of her best rockers. Sadly, some of the most promising tracks, "All There Is", "God is in the People", and "All We Can Really Do" are cut short to under two minutes while less interesting efforts such as "An Unexpected Rain" are dragged out too long. A few different decisions about track arrangements and "The Awakening" could have been Melissa's classic album. Falling just short or greatness doesn't stop it from being darned good.