Skillet - Hey You, I Love Your Soul
Hey You, I Love Your Soul (Forefront)

By Robert Gruber

From the tried-and-true grunginess of their successful eponymous debut in '96, Skillet has taken quite a sophomore gamble with Hey You, I Love Your Soul' by plugging into a more techno-fied style. For the most part, the gamble pays off. Augmenting their guitar-bass-drums line-up with synths, drum programming and processed vocals stretches the band creatively, but rest assured, it's all Skillet

The production skills of Skidd Mills give this album a vivid, yet crunchy sound that can only be fully appreciated in headphones. The rhythmic hyperdrive of songs like "Pour" and "Dive Over In" recall NIN, while the first 2 songs, the title cut and "Deeper" have almost a Scott Albert/Circle of Dust appeal. While not every song is enhanced by the new-style production ("Suspended"), the overall package is strong and cohesive.

With or without the new techno overcoat, Skillet remains one of CCM's best, most overtly Christian bands. Lyrically, John Cooper infuses doctrine with strong emotion for God on songs like "Coming Down" and "Whirlwind." "More Faithful" is a moody, piano-driven prayer song, with Psalm-like lyrics such as, "You have been more faithful than the morning sun/You have been more faithful than knowing night will come/You have been more faithful than the changing of seasons."