Album Title: Comatose
Genre: Modern Rock, Hard Rock
For Fans of: Creed, Evanescence, Seether, Staind, other modern rock bands
It has been almost three years since Skillet released their album "Collide". Many people enjoyed that album while some, like me, were disappointed. It was for that reason that I was skeptical when I heard about Skillet's newest CD "Comatose". I thought it'd be just like "Collide"--good lyrics, good music, but vocals that were, at times, subpar.
Don't get me wrong, John Cooper IS a good vocalist. What he is not so good at, however, is screaming. He did a lot of that on "Collide", which turned me off to the CD. Still, it had some good tracks and that was why I readily gave "Comatose" a chance to win me over.
"Comatose", as it turns out, is a different CD from "Collide". There are more ballads, less screaming, even better music, vocals and lyrics.
The CD starts off with the hard-hitting and very "Bring Me To Life"-like song "Rebirthing". Cooper and his wife, Korey, exchange vocals in a way that is akin to Evanescence's smash hit with 12 Stones frontman Paul McCoy. This is one of the stronger tracks on the CD, featuring strong vocals, lyrics and a nice solo to boot, and a definite CM radio hit. Following "Rebirthing" is "The Last Night", more of a ballad than the previous track, but not a soft song. The song takes on the theme of suicide, with Cooper again exchanging vocals with his wife. In the song, Cooper apparently is playing the role of God, trying to let the person who is on the verge of suicide(played by Korey Cooper) know that He is there for them and that He'll "wrap you in my arms and won't let go". Of course, this song is open to interpretation and could also be interpreted as a friend trying to convince another friend not to commit suicide. Nonetheless, it is a very anti-suicide song and surely will touch many.
"Yours To Hold", a soft, acoustic-based ballad is another song with the theme of God (or possibly someone else) being there for a hurting soul.
"Better Than Drugs" brings a return to the hard rock found on "Collide". This is yet another song very open to interpretation. Is this a song about God being "better than drugs/your love is like wine"? Or is it about another person having that effect? Cooper leaves that to the listener to decide.
The title track, "Comatose", is much like the last track. It's hard rocking and lyrically open. Christians can easily take it as being a song about needing God to "take the pain I feel"; while non-Christians can apply it to a relationship they might have with a parent, girlfriend, wife etc. The song really does apply to both.
Track 6, the ballad "The Older I Get", seems to be about a relationship that has been hurt by fights. Given Cooper's own strained relationship with his father, this song could very well be about that. Cooper sings about wanting to forgive and not miss anymore time together. The bridge finds Cooper realizing that part of this was his fault and that he could have done more to make things right. This is another one of the strong tracks on the CD and something we all can relate to.
The standout track on the CD is the eighth track, "Those Nights". This could be the song that allows Skillet to breakthrough into the mainstream and touch many more hurting people if released as a single. It is an infectious, superb, extremely likable pop-rock song that can at once appeal to CM radio, pop radio and even mainstream rock radio. Lyrically, it appears to be about a strong relationship between two people that allows them to overcome the struggles in their lives.
"Falling Inside The Black", another hard rocking song similar to tracks 1, 4, and 5, follows. “Say Goodbye” is another ballad on CD, albeit one of the weaker ones. “Whispers”, a straight-up rock song and one of the strongest tracks on the CD precedes the album closer, “Looking For Angels”. The aforementioned “Angels” is the most unique song on the album in that Cooper recites the words like a poet. It is also a pretty good song.
This is Skillet’s best album. Every track is at least decent, with some(“Rebirthing”, “Better Than Drugs”, “Those Nights”, “The Older I Get”, “Whispers”) that are superb. My only complaint is that Korey doesn’t sing in more of the songs. Even those who disliked Skillet’s earlier efforts should give this CD a chance. It really is that good.