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Home arrow Music arrow Collide -- Skillet

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Collide -- Skillet Print
Written by Mike Noel   
Friday, 06 August 2004
ImageWithout a doubt this CD is the best Skillet release to date.  They've pretty much abandoned the techno/industrial leanings present in their earlier releases and headed straight to the alternative hard rock arena.  And they do it well.  John Cooper's raspy and ragged voice cuts through the mix delivery lyrics that dig deep into the soul exposing fears and insecurities.  The heavy bass and guitar driven music is frequently balanced by tasty keyboards, strings, and samples. 
Here are my comments for each track.
Starting with this opening track it is apparent that things are different.  The song has the hard edge the Alien Youth did but more so.  And all the annoying techno is gone.  This is just solid hard rock.  And lyrically the songs are more solid.
This song continues with the same intensity that Forsaken had.  It reminds me, by way of contrast, of the Michael W Smith song off of MWS2, "You Need a Savior".  It's the same message but delivered in a much more convicing style.
Open Wounds
This song is the wounded cry from the heart of someone who feels he's never able to live up to the expectations of someone he loves.  The first verse is from a kid to parent perspective.  The second verse could apply just as well to estranged couples.  Despite the circumstance, the convition is real and powerful.  It is summarized in the chorus where Cooper belts out:
how could you/how could you hate me/when all i ever wanted/to be was you
how could you/how could you love me/when all you ever gave me/was open
I think that this is a bonus track on my CD but wasn't in the first release.  What a shame.  This is probably the best song on the album.
A Little More
This is one of the more mellow songs on the album.  It inspires and encourages.  While the world comes crashing down around us we know that Love is a shelter that can take "a little more".  The imagine in my mind as I listen to this song is that of a person hunkered down in the shelter of a large boulder as huge ocean waves crash around.
My Obsession
This was the first song I heard on the radio that told me there was a new Skillet CD.  Of all the songs on the CD I think this one is the weakest.  In fact, after hearing it, I almost didn't buy the CD.  It sounded too much like the Alien Youth Skillet which I was only partially impressed with.
A common theme throughout this album is the total chaos and destruction in the world we live in.  But in the midst of this there is a peace and solid footing if we know where to look.  The title track focuses this theme.  The collision between faith and fear.  John Cooper's ragged vocals on this scream out:
there's something deep inside/that keeps my faith alive/when all you
can do/is hide from the fear/that's deep inside of you
You can hear the determination in his voice.  Facing a crashing world.  Almost a challenge.  You can't beat me down!
Keep going.  Just keep going.  Yeah, you might not reach your final destination.  But don't give up. 
never reaching what I want to reach/never being who I want to
be/blaming me when I fall and fail/all my dreams splintering under
my fingernails
What a strong song!  It addresses our own deepest insecurities as we face our imperfections.  After we've done our best and tried our hardest and we still fail we don't need to give up.  There's redepmtion for our imperfection.
Under My Skin
Another more mellow song, almost a ballad.  Nice bass work for the quieter parts of the song.  Sometimes I forget that John is the bass player and he's playing while singing.  I can never do that.  This song is fairly plain though. 
Driving guitar and screaming voice open this song with John's in-your-face vocals.  you're an enigma wrapped in a mystery everywhere i go I can't escape your energy. 
Cycle Down
The CD ends with this aggresive song with a heavy hook that sticks in the mind long after the CD player shuts down. The final seconds of the song introduce a cool guitar/bass riff that just gets going when the song ends.  We want more!

Copyright 2004 - 2008 Mike Noel. All rights reserved.
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