Monday, February 21, 2011

Hawk Nelson: Crazy Love Review

Hawk Nelson has tried many styles with their past four albums, but Crazy Love finds the band returning to their roots with a catchy punk/rock sound. The band also sings more about Christ, and less about relationships in this album inspired by Francis Chan's best-selling novel by the same name. Although I particularly enjoyed Hawk Nelson's Hawk Nelson is My Friend Album, I never really was a huge fan of the band. But with the band's return to the punk sound and Christ-centered lyrics in Crazy Love, my opinion of Hawk Nelson has definitely been improved.

The high-energy, almost chaotic, opening "Tally-Ho" abruptly introduces the listener to Hawk Nelson's punk sound, speaking of "Pouring out the gasoline" and "igniting the flames." Less than two minutes long, the track definitely "ignited the flames" of Hawk Nelson's well-known punk sound. "Your Love Is A Mystery"'s disco sound, mixed with fast-paced lyrics on the verse, was an immediate sensation as the band sings about how amazing it is that God chooses to love us even when we mess up. Especially Christ-centered is the short bridge: "Let everything that I do or say/ reflect You in every way/ Your way."

The radio single and title track follows, as a definite highlight from the Crazy Love album. With booming tracks and noticeable bass, Hawk Nelson speaks of the amazing love of God, even when people tell us that His love is ridiculous: "They say it sounds insane/ we say that we've been changed by the power of crazy love. This world it looks at us like we're ridiculous/ maybe it's all because of crazy love." "My Next Breath" was probably one of my favorites from Crazy Love, as the band speaks of our desperate need for God, in this worshipful rock track: "You open up Your arms and give me a new start/ I need You, I need You more than my next breath."

"We're Alright" brings back the high-energy punk sound, as this fun track encourages the listener that we will be alright, no matter what we are going through ("How does it feel to know you're alright/ we can make it tonight/ we can make it tonight"). "Skeleton" retains the same sound as its proceeding track, and seems to be speaking of being real, instead of hiding secrets within us.

"We Can Change the World" and "One Shot" both speak of making a change in the world, as "We Can Change the World" seems to be part two of "Shaken" from the band's previous project Live Life Loud, and "One Shot" remains on the faster punk/rock side of things. "Fraud" offers encouragement to those who are called the lamest and feel worthless, particularly at today's modern-day public schools.

The music and fast-paced lyrics of "Joanna" was welcome, but I found this track to be somewhat lame, as the songs speaks of the dilemma of breaking up with a girlfriend ("Should I call or should I run?/ Turn around or just move on?/ Either choice I make I'm scared will still be wrong"). "LAX," less than a one-minute long, is a humorous Thousand Foot Krutch-like song that speaks of the band's hate for airports.

"Done Holding On" leans on the slower side of things, and is a touching song about giving up on our hurts and faults that have caused us to hide and not be ourself. The upbeat "Thanks for the Beautiful Memories" is sure to become a fan-favorite, as the band says a thank you for their nine years together as a band and all the good things that have happened inbetween.

Also included with Hawk Nelson's Crazy Love CD is The Light Sides, eleven acoustic tracks from Hawk Nelson's previous four albums. The Light Sides acts as a sort of a "greatest hits" album for Hawk Nelson, as included on this CD are the hits "California," "Everything You Ever Wanted," "Zero," "Long Ago," "Take Me," and more. Some sound very similar, and others sound even better, making for a completely enjoyable acousic album.

Hawk Nelson definitely took a turn for the better with their Crazy Love/ The Light Sides combination. I very much enjoyed the upbeat punk/rock sound of Crazy Love, but I also enjoyed the Christian lyrics that made it obvious where the band stood with this project. The Light Sides project also contains all the greatest hits in acoustic style, which makes Crazy Love/The Light Sides an awesome 24 track set. Fans of Hawk Nelson's Letters to the President project will especially enjoy this project, as will fans of Stellar Kart and Children 18:3. This is no doubt Hawk Nelson's best project to date!

Rating: 4.5/5
Release date: February 8, 2011

Track listing:

Disc One (Crazy Love):
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

Disc Two (The Light Sides):
1. California
2. Friend Like That
3. Zero
4. Stagefreight
5. First Time
6. You Have What I Need
7. Everything You Ever Wanted
8. Head on Collision
9. Long Ago
10. Take Me
11. 36 Days


  1. I went to their meet and greet. Bought the Cd... so AWESOME! :) They're really great people in person too...


  2. Great album review, Jay!
    I always enjoy reading from you.
    Keep up the awesome work!

    - Rescued_By_God

  3. HeY,
    Great job on the review! I wanted to get this CD anyway but after reading your review it makes me want it more! I really want to hear LAX now though because as u know I LOVE TFK!

  4. Good album review for Crazy Love by Hawk Nelson. I loved it. I also love the album. Looking forward to getting the album as soon as I can :)

  5. I've heard a few of the songs, and they are awesome! Great review!


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