Awake (Skillet album)

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Studio album by Skillet
Released August 25, 2009
Recorded October 2008–March 2009 at Bay7 Studios in Los Angeles, California
Genre Christian metal, hard rock, alternative metal
Length 42:23
Label Lava, Ardent
Producer Howard Benson
Zachary Kelm (executive)
Skillet chronology
Comatose Comes Alive
The Early Years (1996-2001)
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 eighth 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 and Ardent 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,[4] and has since gone platinum, selling over 1,000,000 copies to date.[5] It was nominated for Top Christian Album at the Billboard Music Awards 2011 and won.[6] This is the last album to feature guitarist Ben Kasica and the first to feature drummer Jen Ledger.


Skillet began recording for the album around October 2008.[7] The band recorded at Bay7 Studios in Los Angeles, California, with Howard Benson as the band's producer.[8] The album contains 12 songs.[9] Lead singer John Cooper wrote more than 40 songs in preparation.[10] 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."[11]

“We’re living in hard times right now between the news that seems to get crazier every day and all the uncertainly 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[edit]

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.[12] 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."[10][13]

Release and promotion[edit]

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.[14] The band recently finished the second leg of the tour with RED and The Letter Black in April.[15][16] They also toured with tobyMac and House of Heroes on the Awake Tonight Tour in March and April,[17] and will resume the tour in November and December.

Awake was released on August 25, 2009, through Lava/INO Records,[18] 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.[19]

Awake tied Underoath's Define The Great Line, Casting Crowns' The Altar and the Door and RED's Until We Have Faces for the highest charting Christian rock album on the Billboard 200, debuting at No. 2.[citation needed]

The song "Awake and Alive" also charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 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 Lake Erie 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]

It has been announced that the rock radio mix of "Awake and Alive" has been chosen to appear on the soundtrack to Transformers: Dark of the Moon.[22]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[23]
Jesus Freak Hideout 3/5 stars[24]

While Awake is considered the most successful album of the band's career,[citation needed] it received mixed reviews from music 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."

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Hero"   John Cooper, Korey Cooper 3:07
2. "Monster"   John Cooper, Gavin Brown 3:00
3. "Don't Wake Me"   John Cooper, Brian Howes 3:55
4. "Awake and Alive"   John Cooper, Brian Howes 3:32
5. "One Day Too Late"   John Cooper, Brian Howes 3:40
6. "It's Not Me, It's You"   John Cooper 3:25
7. "Should've When You Could've"   John Cooper 3:31
8. "Believe"   John Cooper, Dave Bassett 3:50
9. "Forgiven"   John Cooper 3:39
10. "Sometimes"   John Cooper 3:28
11. "Never Surrender"   John Cooper, Dave Bassett 3:30
12. "Lucy"   John Cooper 3:40
Total length:


  • "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]


Year Chart Peak
2009 U.S. Billboard 200 2[3]
2009 U.S. Billboard Top Alternative Albums 1[3]
2009 U.S. Billboard Top Rock Albums 2[3]
2009 U.S. Billboard Top Christian Albums 1[3]
2011 NZ RIANZ Top 40 Albums 9[28]

Year-end album charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Position
US Billboard 200[29] 156
US Rock Albums[30] 37
US Alternative Albums[31] 27
US Billboard Christian Albums[32] 9
Chart (2010) Position
US Billboard 200[33] 74
US Rock Albums[34] 14
US Alternative Albums[35] 9
US Billboard Christian Albums[36] 2
Chart (2011) Position
US Billboard 200[37] 121
US Rock Albums[38] 16
US Alternative Albums[39] 15
US Billboard Christian Albums[40] 4
Chart (2012) Position
US Rock Albums[41] 58
US Alternative Albums[42] 39
US Billboard Christian Albums[43] 16


Year Title Peak chart positions
Japan Certification
2009 "Monster" 101 28 4 20 7 98 US: Platinum[44]

US: Gold

2010 "Hero"[45] 15 35 29 77 US: Gold[46]
"Awake and Alive"[45] 100 24 2[47] 13 30 16 US: Gold[48]
"Forgiven"[49] 23
2011 "Lucy" 49
"It's Not Me, It's You" 11 30[50]
"One Day Too Late" 28
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.



The album was nominated for the following awards at the 41st GMA Dove Awards:[51]

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[6]

Award Nominated work Result
Top Christian Album "Awake" Won


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  51. ^ 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards nominees announced on The Tennessean (February 18, 2010)