Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Soundtracks: Skillet (Part I)

Happy Easter Sunday everyone! Its time for yet another Sunday Soundtracks! So how about we do something appropriate to the day with a christian band (which happens to be amazing for writing music).

Today we are going to talk about a band that is very close to my heart. They are one of those bands that can put out any song and I will listen to it... at least ten times. Their music is infectious and so often fits my characters and I'm going to talk about them today. They are:

SKILLET! I love skillet. I love them so much. I started listening to them back and middle school and low and behold their music still sticks with me. I haven't thrown their CDs into the 'never to be opened again' time capsule of my awkward years. I still play them loud and proud.

There's a lot of reasons I love this band. I love the sound of the music first of all. The passionate guitar, the hard hitting drum beats, the bass that punches you in the pit of your stomach and stirs up your soul. It might seem over dramatic, but the very sound of Skillet is emotional and full of life.

I love the lyrics too. This is a Christian band but the words are vague enough that it can be applied to relationships and other situations as well, which make it great fodder for story brainstorming.

The thing is, I can't do just one post on their music and my personal favorite songs because I adore so many of them. So I'm going to do a two parter on this, with another Sunday Soundtracks on them next week. But for this week lets focus on two of their albums: 'Awake' and 'Comatose' and my favorite tracks from those.

I should note that I love most of the songs on these albums and that I recommend buying both of them, but held at gun point, these are the best tracks for writing inspiration.

Awake- My very first Skillet album and my second favorite of theirs that I own. Its got some real winners so lets take a look.

Monster- This is a great song for a conflicted character. I loved this song enough in high school to make a music video to it, which meant listening to the song no less than one million times. But, years later, I still like it. I've always been one for tortured and conflicted characters so a song expressing the anguish of guilt is always great for a writing soundtrack.

Awake and Alive- This is one of the most passionate of the Skillet songs. Its a roaring anthem for taking back your life and living to the fullest. And it is excellent for an action scene. It really jazzes you up for ass kicking, particularly if its an inspirational ass kicking. This is a personal favorite and another song I once made a music video to. (ALL the music videos)

One Day too Late- This is a softer song compared to the last two but still a very powerful song. Its one of those that makes you want to take back your life but in a more peaceful way. It just makes life sound nice and its one of those that makes me want to walk briskly across an open field, arms swinging by my sides and a smile on my face. It also makes you want to do something nice for someone else. I've always found it to be a good writing track for inspirational scenes and I've PICTURED several music videos to this song. (Noticing a trend here? Skillet is good for music videos)

Forgiven- Yay relationship songs! Though this is technically a song about God, it works for a normal relationship as well and it really captures the relieving nature of forgiveness. Its a desperate song but its desperately grateful and very powerful. One of the more emotional songs on the list.

Lucy- This song tells a specific story so it might not be good for just any writing soundtrack. I mostly put it here because I really like the story it tells. It would be a great track for a contemporary novel (unlike most of the stuff on this list, which is better for action adventure, fantasy or sci-fi. Anything with fight scenes really). I just couldn't in good conscious leave this off a list of my favorite skillet songs.

Comatose- This is my least favorite of the albums I own, but that's kind of like saying that dark chocolate is my least favorite kind of chocolate. I like ALL chocolate (except the kind with fruit filling) so this album still has some winners.

Rebirthing- Another one of those rousing, take-back-your-life anthems in the same vein as Awake and Alive. Its just as powerful and passionate and great for an action scene. It also has some good lyrics for relationships so using it for a scene in which two lovers are hopelessly outnumbered in a fight to the death would be a great idea. Or for any fight scene. Its just a good song in general.

The Last Night- Yay, more desperate relationships between broken people. Because those are my favorite to write and read about. This works for relationships in any genre and the addition of the female vocalist is welcome (I'm a huge fan of her voice). I've applied this song to a lot of characters and maybe you'll find some love birds who fit in with the lyrics.

Better than Drugs- ANOTHER desperate relationship song (there are a lot of those on this album). This is about people who desperately need each other and was the perfect match two of my characters (the ones from Giving Plot to the Plotless. You know, the little stinkers who revolted and had an affair with each other). I love the instrumentation and build of this song. Another personal favorite of mine.

Comatose- Here we have a, you guessed it, DESPERATE RELATIONSHIP SONG! (soo many of these on this album) I love how many of these are on here, partially because it actually encapsulates the ups and downs of a relationship with god, and partially because it means lost of fodder for my writing. Basically, you should be listening to this band if any of your characters have romantic entanglements like the ones I have described.

Falling Inside the Black- So this song is more in the vein of MONSTER as its about losing yourself to... well it could be anything really. Sin, addiction, self loathing. Its good for the conflicted soul and it has some really great instrumentation.

There are actually a lot of softer songs on the Skillet albums and songs about sweeter relationships. I just tend to like the harder stuff more. But there songs are diverse and good for writing anything with action. And there's even something for contemporary with no action. Any emotional story could benefit from a writing soundtrack of Skillet songs.

Next week we'll be talking about my favorite Skillet album and also why I appreciate them as a Christian band. Until then, happy Easter and have a good week!

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