Courtesy: Atlantic Records
Earlier this month, Skillet “unleashed” its latest full-length studio recording to the world. Its tenth full-length studio offering, Unleashed is everything that fans have come to expect from the band. That is not necessarily a bad thing, either. Over the course of its twelve total songs the album’s radio ready riffs and uplifting lyrical content make it a record that both secular and non-secular rockers alike will appreciate. That is exhibited right off the top in the album’s high-energy, guitar-driven arena anthem ‘Feel Invincible.’ ‘Lions,’ with its stirring musical arrangement and equally uplifting lyrical content serves to show just as much what makes the album another success for the band. ‘Burn It Down,’ with its Orgy-esque musical arrangement and powerful lyrical content serves n its own right to show what makes Unleashed another solid new offering from Skillet. Of course these three songs are just a small sampling of what makes this record stand out. ‘Undefeated,’ ‘I Want to Live’ and ‘Out Of Hell’ each stand on their own merits, too. When they are set against the other three songs noted here and the rest of the album’s offerings, the record in whole proves to be yet another successful effort from Skillet.
Skillet’s latest full-length studio offering Unleashed is in whole another solid, successful effort from the veteran rock outfit. That is exhibited throughout the course of the album’s forty-three minute run time thanks to the album’s mix of radio ready riffs and uplifting lyrical content. The album’s opener is just one example of how that combination of musical and lyrical content makes Unleashed another solid record from the band. That is due in part to the song’s keyboard-driven musical arrangement. It instantly conjures thoughts of Muse’s hit song ‘Uprising.’ Guitarist Seth Morrison’s guitar line and drummer Jen Ledger’s time keeping couple with Korey Cooper’s keyboard line to make the song’s musical arrangement infectious and sure to be a favorite among audiences. It is just one part of what makes the song stand out. The song’s positive lyrical content sits on the foundation formed by the song’s musical arrangement and makes the song even more solid. It presents a message of self-determination and confidence as Cooper sings, “Target on my back/Lone survivor lasts/They got me in their sights/No surrender no/Trigger fingers go/Living the dangerous life/Hey, hey, hey/Everyday when I wake/I’m trying to get up/They’re knocking me down/Chewing me up/spitting me out/Hey, hey, hey/When I need to be saved/You’re making me strong/You’re making me stand/Never will fall/Never will end/Shot like a rocket up into the sky/Nothing could stop me tonight.” Cooper’s subject is someone who isn’t letting anyone or anything keep him or her down here. Even more interesting is that these lines could apply just as easily in the secular realm as in the non-secular realm. That is a strong statement in itself. And it applies to the rest of the song’s verses, too. Keeping that in mind, that vast inspiration couples with the song’s musical arrangement to show clearly why ‘Feel Invincible’ is such a strong example of what makes Unleashed such a solid new effort from Skillet. Audiences can hear ‘Feel Invincible’ now online via Skillet’s official YouTube channel. It is only one of the songs that exhibit this, too. ‘Lions’ is another example of what makes Unleashed such a strong new effort from the band.
‘Feel Invincible’ is a prime example of what makes Unleashed another successful effort for the veteran rock act. That is due to the combination of the song’s musical arrangement and its uplifting lyrical content. The two elements together make the song a solid start for the album and its own standout composition within the bigger body of the album. It is not the album’s only notable inclusion. ‘Lions’ stands on its own merits, too as another example of what makes this record a success. One of those merits is the song’s musical arrangement. The song’s musical arrangement combines Korey Cooper’s work on keyboards with an equally stirring string arrangement to form its foundation. John Cooper’s vocals and bass line strengthen that foundation even more alongside Jen Ledger’s work behind the drums. The end result is a musical composition that in itself stands just as tall and proud as the giants and lions that are mentioned in the song’s lyrical content. Speaking of that lyrical content the song’s lyrical content is just as important to the song as its musical arrangement. [John] Cooper sings here, “Today is ours/It’s always been/Before we face the fight/We know who’s gonna win/We live by faith and not by sight/We don’t want safe and quiet/We don’t wanna run and hide.” He goes on to sing, “This is not an intermission/It’s our time/Not gonna miss it/You’ve already called us fearless/Unafraid.” The message presented here is obvious. It is a message of self-confidence and pride, just as with the album’s opener. And it is just a small sampling of that message, too. The song’s lead verse and third verse present much the same message. What is interesting here is that considering the confidence presented in these lines, one would expect the song’s musical arrangement to be more intense. But the song actually works just as well with the mix of confidence and gentility that is in fact presented in this arrangement. It actually serves to make the song’s lyrical message more impacting. When all of this is taken into consideration, it makes clear why ‘Lions’ stands out just as much as ‘Feel Invincible’ and the album’s other offerings. One more of those standout offerings included in this record is ‘Burn It Down.’
‘Feel Invincible’ and ‘Lions’ are both clear examples of what makes Unleashed another success for Skillet. While both songs clearly exhibit in their own way what makes this record a success, they are hardly the album’s only bright spots. ‘Burn It Down’ is one more of the album’s high points. That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement. Audiences that know their music history will instantly catch a clear similarity between this song’s musical arrangement and that of Orgy’s cover of ‘Blue Monday.’ It is most evident in hearing Seth Morrison’s guitar line, Korey Cooper’s keyboard line, and John Cooper’s bass line. The similarity isn’t a mirror image so to speak. But it is so close that there is no similarity between the two songs coincidental or not. Keeping this in mind, the song’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes the song stand out. Its lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement. The song’s lyrical content presents a message of proud defiance against life’s obstacles, much as the album’s other songs. That is evident as Cooper sings, “Do you ever wish that you weren’t a prisoner/Do you feel like you’re done/All the dreams you had are hard to remember/Well, you’re not the only one/Well it’s over, it’s over, it’s over/I won’t be pushed around/Move over, move over, move over/get back or just get out/Set this plane up in flames/It’s over, it’s over, it’s over/It’s time to burn it down.” He is saying to listeners, everyone has felt those tough times at one point or another and that no one should let those difficult times stop them. Rather, they should face them and burn them down, metaphorically speaking of course. That message is presented just as clearly in the song’s second verse as Cooper sings, “Do you ever feel your colors are fading/Like your world might combust/Do the voices in your head make you crazy/When they’re the only ones you trust.” He reprises the song’s chorus right after that, reminding listeners once again not to let themselves get pushed around and held down by life’s many obstacles even when it seems like even one’s own thoughts are working against a person. It is a message that never gets old and is always welcome by listeners of all ages. When it is set against the song’s high-energy musical arrangement, the two elements couple to show in whole why this song is yet another of the most notable of this record’s songs. When the song is set alongside ‘Lions’ and ‘Feel Invincible,’ all three songs show clearly why Unleashed is another welcome offering from Skillet. When they are joined with the remainder of the album’s songs, the album proves in whole to be one more success from one of the Christian rock community’s top acts.
Skillet’s new album Unleashed is, in whole, another successful effort from the veteran rock act. Christian rock act or not, this album is still a solid new effort from the band. That is evident both in the musical arrangements presented in each of the album’s songs and the songs’ lyrical content. The musical arrangement present radio ready riffs from one to the next. The lyrical content presented within each song will is uplifting without being preachy at any point. The end result is a record that secular audiences should and will appreciate just as much as non-secular listeners. All things considered Unleashed proves in the end to be one more successful effort from Skillet. The band is currently touring in support of Unleashed. It will be in Anaheim, California tonight and Duquoin, Illinois August 28th. Audiences can see the band’s full tour schedule online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:
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