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Hey You, I Love Your Soul - Skillet (1998)

With a stronger, better-built sonic framework, the tight band of John, Ken and Trey explore more of life's complexities...and give it up to God all over again. The title track and opener swims in the depth of God's love and clear response of love to the world's hate. Not nearly a rip-off of delirious?, "Deeper" exposes the battle of burying our own desires; it closes, and the album's best cut begins. With concentrated groove, "Locked In A Cage" speaks of being trapped in Jesus, as the raging melody and gnawing riffs rock like nothing else. "Your Love (Keeps Me Alive)" worships with great excitement, and provide only a tiny taste of the forthcoming progressive worship project that Skillet has planned for the first couple years of the new millennium. The awareness of the keyboard and piano on Hey You can be seen on "More Faithful," which glorifies the Son with an urgent, poetic tone. The musical action speeds up with "Pour," where my life is "unexplained and unpronounced," pouring all my loss and gain into Christ. Skillet reflects further on the result of giving all to God in "Suspended in You," whose quirky melody relates the creative freedom - not legalistic pressure - that God releases us to. With a loose grasp on melody, the electronically-influenced cut "Take" drives with a cry to "rip independency apart." An awesome 30-second, minor key piano interlude opens the revival anthem "Coming Down," whose strength lies in insight ("Racism's coming down ~ Not from a law but a change in perception"), and it's different and dynamic view of God ("I will drink from the well of the One who gives life"). The "Whirlwind" of judgment is seen in the soaring melody of track 10, a radio hit that proclaims "Worlds spin around, kings crumble down ~ There's no escaping what You've planned." Such deep concepts. Voiceless, dramatic wonder is the response to God's mercy, as the next song encourages to "Dive Over In" instead of standing on the edge. Perhaps inspired The Wizard of Oz, "Scarecrow" asks "Give me a brain that I might know You better"--referring to the turning point of finding God and rejecting intellectual arguments. More connected in both focus and sound, Skillet reveals more of themselves and the Truth God has showed them.