Review: Hawk Nelson – Crazy Love


BEC Recordings

February 8 2011

Reviewed By Tyler Hess

I may be a little bit older than the majority of our readers, but I still have a youthful sense of feeling like I’ve grown up with a band.  As I dive deeper and deeper into the Christian music industry and see bands come and go, it’s refreshing to think back to a simpler time where there were just a few bands that I really had much time to listen to.  I’ve said it here before, but I’ll say again that when I was a poor Bible College student, Hawk Nelson was one of the few bands whose albums I could afford to pick up, back when Letters to the President and Smile, It’s The End of the World were still the cool new thing on the block.  I feel like these guys are my dudes and I like to see them succeed and put out their best material.  I’ve put out my thoughts on their previous work and now I get to delve into the new stuff.

Hawk Nelson’s fifth full length studio release, Crazy Love, is a bit of an eclectic songs that vary from their big hit pop songs to some edgier jams that harken back to the days when they were more often considered a pop punk band.    “Tally-Ho” busts out of the gate with a gettin’ after it energy that let’s us all know that Hawk Nelson isn’t settling down, but rather aggressively seeking after their goals in the game of life.

“Your Love Is A Mystery” is a quick hitting tune that is ready-made for radio and lyrically addresses themes of confession and worship despite what the world might have to say about the mystery of Christ.  The title track follows and you should all be aware of what the single is all about, with the video hitting the streets the week before the album’s release, but the synthesized pop track is an infectious song based on the Francis Chan book by the same title.

“My Next Breath” brings out the albums’ first ballad that the band tends to include and isn’t far from being a CCM friendly track and constitutes as nothing less than a full on worship song, displaying the band’s spiritual growth over the years.

Then again, on “We’re Alright”, the band admits that they’re out of their minds!  Sometimes that isn’t so bad, as long as we’re out of our mind’s for Christ, as even the apostle Paul claimed to be comfortable with the idea.

“Skeleton” was one of the first songs I heard off the album months ago and was what got me hyped about the album showing a lot more of the punk side of the band.  The track is lyrically about trying to hide sins and how we need God to help us to get away from it, but musically is the foreshadowing of the latter half of the album containing a lot more of the pop/punk side of the band.

I say foreshadowing because there is still a lot of back and forth, with “We Can Change The World” being the natural follow up to previous album’s songs like “Shaken” and “One Little Miracle” as message of hope and encouragement to act.  “One Shot” is a little more poppy, but is a happy sibling song to the aforementioned and works as a promotion for taking the one life you have and giving it to Christ before it’s too late.

The next line of songs are by far my personal favorites as they contain a murderer’s row of throwbacks, starting with the best song on the album, “Fraud”, a true pop punk track that exhibits the best possible version of Hawk Nelson music.  “Joanna” backs it up with a clever heart break song, followed by an airport punk rock song in “LAX”.

Crazy Love caps things off with a ballad of letting go in “Done Holding On” and a song of giving back to the fans with “Thanks For The Beautiful Memories”.

In the end, it isn’t a perfect album, with some songs that will probably be too hard for some and some that will be too soft for others, but if you are into variety and have been with Hawk Nelson from the beginning then you’ll get some songs that will add to the nostalgia through the years.

Grade: 4.5

Tracklisting:

  1. Tally-Ho
  2. Your Love Is A Mystery
  3. Crazy Love
  4. My Next Breath
  5. We’re Alright
  6. Skeleton
  7. We Can Change The World
  8. One Shot
  9. Fraud
  10. Joanna
  11. LAX
  12. Done Holding On
  13. Thanks For The Beautiful Memories
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3 responses to “Review: Hawk Nelson – Crazy Love

  1. John Holcomb February 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I heavily considered buying this disc this afternoon but I was too torn. I’ve been burned pretty bad by the last couple of Hawk records.

  2. Tyler Hess February 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    well…i’d say in the very least it is better than the last two and there are songs on here that you will almost certainly like…i don’t know if you personally will enjoy the whole thing or not as sometimes your tastes in music are not as they should be ;)

  3. John Holcomb February 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Ok I bought Crazy Love + Light Sides just now. My thoughts will follow I’m sure.

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