First Impressions: Hawk Nelson – Crazy Love

BEC Recordings – To Be Released February 8 2011 – First Impressions By Tyler Hess

Crazy Love starts off with the first of many punk rock tunes on the album (no, really, not even like pop-pop/punk, but like real punk, seriously.  seriously.) with “Tally-Ho”, which happens to be what my friends and I yell whenever we are at Disneyland and we ride Pirates of the Caribbean, but the point of the song is that they want to say that they are focused on what they have set as their goals, which may or may not include swashbuckling.  “Your Love Is A Mystery” follows with a great intro and demonstrates that this will be by far their most spiritually filling album to date, talking about God’s love for us despite what we’ve done.  Their first single, the title track for “Crazy Love” is next with a little bit of autotune, which is an interesting selection for a single because although it certainly has that radio friendliness that a label and a radio DJ have gotta love, it doesn’t really represent the album as a whole all that well.  Still, I bet that it will absolutely kill live.  Why?  Because Hawk Nelson singles always kill live, even when they don’t fit an album perfectly.  I could have said the same thing about the title track to Live Life Loud or “Friend Like That” from Hawk Nelson Is My Friend and those songs will blow you away in a live setting, so there you go.

“My Next Breath” feels like a ballad that could have fit really well with Smile, It’s The End of the World and could double as a worship song if you want it to.  “We’re Alright” feels like a pop rock Green Day song if they would just cheer up a bit.  Things pick up quickly with the song that the band was gracious enough to give out for free last week with “Skeleton” being another sweet punk song that reminds me of MxPx in their best years with a little bit of Undecided mixed in there, aptly talking about being honest about who we are and confessing our sins rather than keeping them hidden when they will be found out anyway.  “We Can Change The World” is…wait…wait…you guessed it…it is a call to action in the form of a pop song.  “One Shot” is seriously a song that should have been sung in the 80’s because it would have destroyed the radio and video channels and would have been featured on Dance Dance Revolution twenty-five years later.  Missed it by that much.  Don’t worry, it still works today too.

Fraud seems like it could have been on FM Static’s What Are You Waiting For? but a little more punk than pop, which is the biggest surprise on this album.  I mean I knew they were going for more of a punk sound, I just didn’t know they were going to take it this far.  This is a good thing.  “Joanna” is up next and is one of those songs where I just doubt that there really is a Joanna, they probably just thought it sounded like a good fit of a name for the song, but that is complete speculation.  “LAX” is just insane.  It is crazy.  It is Hawk Nelson on crack.  They came out with their inner Flatfoot 56 or something.  Awesome.  “Done Holding On” follows with what seems to be “Skeletons part 2”, except in more of a ballad form.  Crazy Love finishes up an exhausting set, er, I mean album with a sorta kinda pop-punkish thank you to the fans that have made their dreams come and true and whatnot since they have been a band.

I don’t normally have that much to say over the course of three full album reviews, so that was kind of refreshing.  I can definitely say that after listening to this that I already think it is better than their previous two albums and it might be their best to date if it weren’t for some intense nostalgia going on for their first two albums when I listened to them constantly when I had little money for music, but was drawn to their fun pop punk style.



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