Awake (Skillet album)

Awake
A photo of a person with head covered like a mummy, with one eye shown, with the words "Skillet - Awake".
Studio album by
Released August 25, 2009
Recorded October 2008–March 2009
Studio Bay7 Studios, Los Angeles, California
Genre Christian metal, hard rock, alternative metal
Length 42:20
Label Lava, Ardent, Atlantic
Producer Howard Benson, Zachary Kelm (executive)
Skillet chronology
Comatose Comes Alive
(2008)
Awake
(2009)
The Early Years (1996–2001)
(2010)
Skillet studio albums chronology
Comatose
(2006)
Awake
(2009)
Rise
(2013)
Singles from Awake
  1. "Hero"
    Released: May 19, 2009
  2. "Monster"
    Released: July 14, 2009
  3. "Awake and Alive"
    Released: February 15, 2010
  4. "Forgiven"
    Released: August 2, 2010[1]
  5. "Lucy"
    Released: January 27, 2011[2]
  6. "It's Not Me, It's You"
    Released: June 7, 2011
  7. "One Day Too Late"
    Released: October 10, 2011

Awake is the seventh studio album by American Christian rock band Skillet. It is the follow-up to their Grammy-nominated album Comatose. The album was released August 25, 2009, by Lava Records, Ardent Records and Atlantic Records and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.[3] The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on July 27, 2010, and has since gone double platinum, selling over 2,000,000 copies to date.[4] It was nominated for Top Christian Album at the Billboard Music Awards 2011 and won.[5] This is the last album to feature guitarist Ben Kasica and the first studio release to feature drummer Jen Ledger. The singles "Awake and Alive" and "Hero" are certified Platinum, while "Monster" reached Double-Platinum status.

Background

Skillet began recording for the album around October 2008.[6] The band recorded at Bay7 Studios in Los Angeles, California, with Howard Benson as the band's producer.[7] The album contains 12 songs.[8] Lead singer John Cooper wrote more than 40 songs in preparation.[9] He said that there was much pressure while recording the album: "Every time you do a record, there's pressure because you want to outdo the last record. This time it was intensified because the last project was so successful."[10]

“We’re living in hard times right now between the news that seems to get crazier every day and all the uncertainty throughout society in general,” says Cooper. “Sometimes it doesn’t seem like there’s hope, and sure you can choose to give up, but why not face it ‘Awake and Alive’? Life is full of challenges, and sometimes when you look deep into yourself, you can feel weighed down by sin and the ‘Monster’ that lives inside us all. But the more you realize your need for Christ, the less you focus on that, and on Him instead. Everything we sing about on this album is something someone can relate to, and if anything, the songs will let you know you are not alone.”

Musical style

According to band members, the album is similar to their 2006 release Comatose, featuring strings and guitars with a harder rock sound than their previous album.[11] John Cooper said that it "sounds like Skillet with some new things people may not expect." On Skillet's website, they describe their musical style as "Classic rock riffs, swirling drums, monstrous hooks, and undeniably catchy choruses... hints of old school progressive rock mixed in with modern alternative flourishes... touches of classical influence as swelling strings intersect with sonic adrenaline rushes."[9][12]

Release and promotion

The band finished the first leg of their Awake and Alive Tour in support of Awake, which opened on September 24, 2009 in Fort Wayne, Indiana and encompassing 52 cities between September and December. They were accompanied by The Letter Black, Decyfer Down, and Hawk Nelson on the tour.[13] The band recently finished the second leg of the tour with RED and The Letter Black in April.[14][15] They also toured with tobyMac and House of Heroes on the Awake Tonight Tour in March and April,[16] and will resume the tour in November and December.

Awake was released on August 25, 2009, through Lava/INO Records,[17] and debuted at No. 2 on the national U.S. Billboard 200 chart.[3] It also placed on other Billboard magazine charts as No. 1 on Top Alternative Albums, No. 2 on Top Rock Albums, and No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums listing.[3] The album sold 68,000 copies in its first week, Skillet's best-selling and highest charting opening week to date.[18]

In 2009, Awake tied Underoath's Define The Great Line, and Casting Crowns's The Altar and the Door for the highest charting Christian rock album on the Billboard 200, debuting at No. 2.[19]

The song "Awake and Alive" also charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 100 and No. 16 on the Heatseakers charts. It was Skillet's first song to chart on the Hot 100.[20] The song was released to Christian CHR and rock radio in February 2010.

"Monster" and "Hero" were used on the soundtrack of the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 video game, with "Monster" also being used for 2009's WWE Hell in a Cell PPV and "Hero" being used for the 2009 Tribute to the Troops show and 2010's Royal Rumble pay-per-view.[citation needed] The Cleveland, Ohio AHL hockey team Cleveland Monsters use "Monster" for their goal song and game-opener,[citation needed] the AHL hockey team Portland Pirates also use "Hero" for their game opener before the team skates onto the ice.[citation needed]

"Awake and Alive" was used by ABC's daytime drama One Life to Live as part of the show's November Sweeps Promo in November 2009 as well as in promos for the MLB's National League and American League Playoff Series.[21]

"Hero" was used in commercials for Sunday Night Football, and is currently being used in commercials for the NBA on TNT and NHL's Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues on Fox Sports West and Fox Sports Midwest, respectively.[citation needed] It was also used for the theme song to WWE's Tribute to the Troops event in 2009.[citation needed]

The Pittsburgh Pirates used "Awake and Alive" in the team's Opening Day video for 2011.[citation needed]

The rock radio mix of "Awake and Alive" was chosen to appear on the soundtrack to Transformers: Dark of the Moon.[22]

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[23]
Jesus Freak Hideout 3/5 stars[24]
Ultimate-Guitar 8/10 stars
Sputnikmusic 3/5 stars

The album received mixed reviews from critics. Kevin Chamberlin of Jesus Freak Hideout gave the album 3 out of 5 stars, saying that the album "doesn't live up to Comatose and due to its extreme proximity style-wise, it is lackluster at best and on the verge of uninteresting." He also stated that the heavy amount of ballads on the album were unacceptable, saying that a few songs "wear immaturity like a fedora." He concluded his review by saying that the album "feels like the sophomore slump that Skillet never had to suffer through and a watered down version of Comatose."[24] Despite this, Awake has since gone double platinum in the United States, selling over 2,000,000 copies to date and outperforming Comatose.[4]

Track listing

Singles

  • "Hero" was released as the album's lead single on May 19, 2009.[25]
  • "Monster" was released to mainstream rock radio on July 14, 2009.[26]
  • "Awake and Alive" was released to Christian CHR and Rock radio on February 15, 2010.[27]
  • "Forgiven" was released to Christian CHR/Rock on August 2, 2010, according to All Access.
  • "Lucy" was announced to be released to Christian CHR on January 27, 2011.[2]
  • "It's Not Me, It's You" was released as the sixth single on June 7, 2011.
  • "One Day Too Late" was released as the seventh single on October 10, 2011.[1]

Charts

Year Chart Peak
position
2009 US Billboard 200[28] 2
US Alternative Albums[29] 1
US Rock Albums[30] 2
US Christian Albums[31] 1
2010 Japanese Albums[32] 68
2011 New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[33][34] 9

Year-end album charts

Decade-end charts

Chart (2010s) Position
US Christian Albums (Billboard)[59] 2

Singles

Year Title Peak chart positions
US US
Alt.
US
Main.
US
Rock
US
Christ.
US
Heat
JAP Certification
2009 "Monster" 101 28 4 20 7 98 US: 2xPlatinum[60]
2010 "Hero"[61] 15 35 29 77 US: Platinum[60][62]
"Awake and Alive"[61] 100 24 2[63] 13 30 16 US: Platinum[60][64]
"Forgiven"[citation needed] 23
2011 "Lucy" 49
"It's Not Me, It's You" 11 30[65]
"One Day Too Late" 28
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Personnel

  • John L. Cooper – lead vocals, bass, acoustic guitar
  • Korey Cooper – rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Jen Ledger – drums, vocals on "Hero" and "Awake and Alive"
  • Ben Kasica – lead guitar
  • Howard Benson – producer, keyboards
  • Tate Olsen – cello
  • Jonathan Chu – violin
  • Mike Plotnikoff – recording engineer
  • Hatsukazu Inagaki – assistant engineer, Pro Tools
  • Chris Lord-Alge – mixer
  • Ted Jensen – mastering engineer

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[66] 2× Platinum 2,000,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Awards

The album was nominated for the following awards at the 41st GMA Dove Awards:[67]

Award Nominated work Result
Rock Recorded Song of the Year "Hero" Nominated
Rock Album of the Year Awake Nominated
Short Form Video of the Year "Hero" Nominated
"Monster" Nominated

Billboard Music Awards 2011[5]

Award Nominated work Result
Top Christian Album "Awake" Won

References

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  2. ^ a b "Music News, January 2011: SKILLET ROCKS BOTH MAINSTREAM TOP ALTERNATIVE ROCK AND TOP CHRISTIAN BILLBOARD YEAR END CHARTS". Jesusfreakhideout.com. January 27, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c "Awake – Skillet". Billboard. Retrieved September 7, 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved November 21, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b "ABC.com - The 2011 Billboard Music Awards - Home". American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved October 12, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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  7. ^ "Skillet's Comatose Tour Rakes In Sold Out and Capacity Crowds While Band Garners Two BMI Songwriting Awards". Jesus Freak Hideout (The M Collective). May 4, 2009. Retrieved May 29, 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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  67. ^ 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards nominees announced Archived July 7, 2012, at archive.today on The Tennessean (February 18, 2010)

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