Skillet is a band that has certainly done its share of musical evolution over the past five years. Since their self-titled debut release on Forefront/Ardent Records in 1996, the band has been releasing hard-hitting tunes with a strong Christ-centered message and captivating audiences with their energetic and worship-filled live performances. With their 2001 release, Alien Youth, their first release on just Ardent Records, Skillet delivers what is probably their best album to date.
Alien Youth, the band's fourth studio recording, opens with its explosive title track which, from the first four lines, makes it very clear to the listener where this band stands:
Worldwide Jesus domination/ Love conquers all/ Rise like a chosen generation/ There's no stopping at all.
Skillet went into the studio with the goals of making this their most aggressive and passionate record yet. And with the boldness of the first couple tracks, including the slamming "Vapor," and rocking "Earth Invasion," it's apparent that the band has accomplished their goal.
As well as being more aggressive, the album is also arguably more worshipful than their previous studio recordings. Songs like the mellower "You Are My Hope" and the amazing and spine-tingling "Thirst is Taking Over" set Skillet as being one of the best modern worship acts around. While rocking their hardest, the band also mellows out softer than they ever have with the almost equally as amazing "Will You Be There" and "Come My Way." But the worship does not exist solely among the ballads. "Kill Me Heal Me" is a heavy crunchy guitar-laden industrial rocker, crying out to God, making brokenness and God's healing touch the only means for survival in this world.
"Rippin' Me Off" was born out of an interesting experience of lead-singer John Cooper's. In the midst of all the hype surrounding the controversial secular performer Marilyn Manson, Cooper decided to attend one of Manson's shows to see what it was all about. According to the band's bio, Cooper found it "spirit-crushing." "Manson had all these fanatical fans agreeing with him, cursing our God," John laments in the bio. "I wanted to tell these kids the Truth. That our God is a loving God and that they are being ripped off by these lies." The song clearly portrays the frustration and pain John felt when witnessing the lies being fed to today's hurting youth. The chorus shouts in response, "You say that God is dead but you're rippin' me off/ You can't infect my mind with your vanity/ You're rippin' me off!"
One highlight to Alien Youth includes territory being explored that Skillet had until now not ventured. This is the inclusion of John Cooper's wife's background and lead vocals. When Korey's soothing voice enters the gripping "Thirst is Taking Over" rock ballad, her passion adds an infectious element to the song. When the Coopers duet on "Will You Be There," it adds a whole new depth to the song which would otherwise not be present.
After numerous listens, it has become clear why Skillet is one of the leading bands in Christian rock today. Their electronic/industrial hard rock is an excellent addition to the growing Christian music scene. And I'm happy to say that Alien Youth is not only Skillet's best album to date, but has secured itself a spot as one of the best albums of 2001.
- Review date: 8/1/01, written by John DiBiase
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The Aliens Have Invaded!| Posted April 22, 2010
These modern rockers who have had EXTREME attention from both the christian audience as well as the mainstream radio stations and audience are without a doubt one of if not the best christian rock band out there! With an explosive fourth album, Alien Youth, these guys show analogies between aliens invading Earth and the walk of Jesus Christ. While a quite weird and head-scratching analogy, this band gives this analogy a sleek, truthful look and sound. With tracks ranging from exciting, fist pumping hard rock to easy, silky worship songs, this album is a must-own for any crazy Skillet fan, such as myself. The head-banging "Rippin' Me Off" is a declaration to the world that we will stand strong in our faith and will not care about insults about our gracious God. The techno-hard rock sound fills this song and does not fail in the least. On the flip end, the sweet and beautiful "You Are My Hope" tells us to be a light in the dark and continue to serve Him. These guys are continuing to shine and surely do not dissappoint in this album and any other album that they have made. Go Skillet!
Alien Youth| Posted November 02, 2009
This is a pretty good cd. It's a great leadup to collide, which made them huge. Collide is better, as is there two latest albums. Its still good though. My favorite songs are alien youth, kill me heal me, the thirst is taking over, and vapor.
well| Posted September 25, 2009
If you can't say anything good, then don't say anything at all. I'm speechless on this one. Is Christ mentioned once in this whole album? I consider this neutral music, neither Christ centered nor negative....but it is better than listeing to Slayer or Metallica
One of their best| Posted August 15, 2008
Skillet was one of the original bands that got me into Christian rock, and Alien Youth was definately a huge part of that. The lyrics are awesome and surprisingly unique and unlike anything else I've heard before. Great sound overall.
Great| Posted April 07, 2008
You might be surprised when you pop this CD in thinking that you're going to hear a less mature version of the current Skillet. AY has almost techno and a lot more Korey singing then Comatose.
Like it| Posted April 02, 2008
How can you not like the first track Alien Invasion? It is in my opinion one of Skillet's best song's overall, what an anthem! This is definitely the CD when Skillet started to get popular, it only got better from here. The music is very well done on the CD, and Cooper brings his as always good lyrics and vocals.
We're Takin Over| Posted March 01, 2008
After "Best Kept Secret" from the album Invincible, this album was really the one that put Skillet on the map for me. Alien Youth boasts a more electronic sound ripped with heavy guitars and drums, plus a few slower worship tracks. Not all the songs on this album are my favorite, however... some just lack a certain feel for me.
Alien Youth| Posted February 17, 2008
Absolutely amazing album! The harder rocking songs definitely put out an emotion fully expressing the needs of the songs, and the softer songs off set them by they way they are presented. So over all a great album by an amazing band!