Hawk Nelson


Written by: PP on 18/10/2013 19:22:05

Hawk Nelson have ben around for a long time in the Christian music circles, having released seven albums prior to "Made". Most of these have been pure pop punk records, though with a strong leaning on pop elements leading me to label them as ultra poppy pop punk on previous album "Crazy Love" two years ago. That album was as generic as pop punk records come, falling far short of similarly poppy pop punkers such as Hit The Lights, All Time Low, Atlantic Avenue and yes, even Cartel. Shortly after the release of that album, lead vocalist and founding member Jason Dunn left the band, but fortunately lead guitarist Jonathan Steingard had been doing solo stuff for a while now so it was only natural he would step in as a replacement.

With this change the band also saw an opportunity to move away from the silly, dime-a-dozen pop punk formula they had been stuck with for years now, and have moved into straight up pop rock in what is probably the first time I'm willing to admit a change that is for the better. By ignoring any nuances of pop punk and focusing solely on writing pop rock songs, Hawk Nelson immediately sound more convincing, as if this was the genre they were meant to play all along. You only need to listen to "Elevator" to see how infectiously catchy their pop ballads can be, especially given the electronically infused, super-polished production and strong singing that accompanies the song. "Made" is a little less heavy on the high-pitched singing and a little more on the balladic side, but showcases yet another good song that sounds more genuine than any pop artist you hear on the radio these days. And while Hawk Nelson were always ultra poppy to start out with, they've never been flat-out pop rock as much as on this record.

Still, one has to consider the longevity of these songs in the minds of a music enthusiast. It's no secret that these are simple pop songs with minimal instrumentation and maximum focus on poppy singing and choruses. So while they may be catchy from the get go, a few listens later you will find yourself growing increasingly bored and inattentive to the band's material. While the songs are well-written, they lack the intellectual and emotional depth of what, let's be honest here, is better music out there in other genres, but based on the songs on "Made", that's not what Hawk Nelson are going for in the first place. If you like superficial pop rock with catchy vocal hooks and a complete absence of the 'danger' element associated with rock'n'roll, then this is as good as it gets in the polished, dime-a-dozen part of the pop rock genre.


Download: Elevator, What I'm Looking For, Made
For the fans of: This Century, The Maine, Artist Vs Poet
Listen: Facebook

Release date 02.04.2013
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