Hawk Nelson - Hawk Nelson is My Friend
Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Release date: April 1, 2008
Hawk Nelson have returned with their new release Hawk Nelson is My Friend. My relationship with Hawk Nelson has been tumultuous, because while I loved their first album Letters to the President, the maturity I hoped for in Smile It’s the End of the World was not there. I repressed Hawk Nelson to the back of my mind after that disappointment as some generic pop punk that would never stop making music appealing to a younger audience. Then I heard a few months ago about the new album, Hawk Nelson is My Friend. I listened to “Friend Like That,” You Have What I Need,” and “Arms Around Me” off the album and became curious. Cautiously, I approached Hawk Nelson is My Friend.
I was pleasantly surprised, because this album is good. Hawk Nelson is My Friend is an album that shows more of the old Hawk Nelson, but better. “You Have What I Need” kicks things off with a nice opening riff complete with crowd shouting sounds to accompany Jason Dunn’s vocals. Next is the lead off single “Friend Like That,” which is fun and entertaining.
I really dig Jason Dunn’s vocals on this album. His voice soars on many songs, but he also slows down for a few of the ballads and sings with heartfelt emotion. His voice has not changed much, but he does show better range on this album. The crowd shouts accompany Dunn on many songs, and they fit nicely with the energetic mood found throughout the album.
The musicianship on Hawk Nelson is My Friend does not disappoint. The guitars are as good as ever and really shine on “Words We Speak.” “Ancient History” has a superb ending, with a pounding drumbeat accompanied with the rhythm guitars heard throughout the song. The energetic “Turn It On” highlights Justin Benner’s progression on drums.
Hawk Nelson is My Friend is my favorite Hawk Nelson album to date. Though I could live without the title, it shows Hawk Nelson’s love for their fans (it is named after a popular Hawk Nelson T-shirt.) My main complaint is that Jason Dunn and band have improving to do on lyrics, as in those found on “I Still Miss You,” which simply contain some awful lyrics: “The times we spent together / To hear talk about the weather.” Overall though the album shows Hawk Nelson are growing. A word of caution: if you are a non-Christian who dislikes Christianity and the answers it presents as truth, be cautious. The album uses many Christian words, names Jesus and God a lot, and carries numerous Christian themes. However, if you are a Christian, or are all right with Christian bands and are looking for a fun album with some seriousness thrown in, try it. Hawk Nelson is My Friend is the band's best album to date, and it shows some great steps forward.
I haven't listened to this release and I never really gave Smile It's the End of the World a chance, but I can remember being in high school and anticipating the release of Letters to the President (the local radio station had been playing one of their songs for months at that point).
After reading this review I might just look it up and see if it doesn't bring back good memories! Great review.
Never heard the "Christian" in this album. I know their a Christian band and all, but I never once heard God or Jesus. The only song that does mention God is "I Still Miss You". I do love Hawk Nelson! They have great songs, lyrics, and sound. I would say pick up "Letters to The President (Deluxe Edition)" first then "Smile Its The End Of The World". I'm glad Tooth & Nail have them, cause just about every Tooth & Nail band is amazing!