Reviewed by Graeme Crawford
Since their last album, Canada's Hawk Nelson have changed record labels to Fair Trade Services and had to deal with the departure of frontman Jason Dunn. If you want more information on this, Tony Cummings has done a great article, but the outcome is that guitarist Jonathan Steingard has taken over vocal duties in a new streamlined Hawk Nelson. This release should come with a serious "pop" warning though, as the wife (who likes Take That and McFly) stated, "That sounds like something I would listen to." Of course, this could just be that their melodic anthems are extremely palatable to a wide variety of music fans, but there is no doubt that there is very much a pop sheen to the songs here. Treated vocals, electronic elements and big catchy choruses abound, particularly on "Elevator" and "Anyone But You". They are not just dumb pop songs though, as they have more complexity than that. Fans may be surprised at the sound, but will not be disappointed with the songs if they give them a chance. "Words" is a huge and uplifting anthem, made even more special with the addition of MercyMe's Bart Millard; "Made" is cleverly crafted and smothered in positivity. They even throw in their take on the current folk-pop trend with the quirky "Outside The Lines". Some of their ballads are a bit generic, and some may find that it doesn't rock enough for them, but it is rare that I find a CD I enjoy that my family does too, and that's got to be a good thing.
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|Hawk Nelson is back with their sixth studio album Made. This project reflects an evolution for the band with a new lead singer in long time Hawk guitarist Jon Steingard. The change has made room for growth where they could stretch both their musical prowess and lyrical expression. the end-product is a matured pop sentiment that allows you to sense the band's transformation while still infusing their unique, I-just-can't-sit-still-right-now, fun, contagious, signature sound.|
Their début single, Words, is breaking new ground for the group at Christian AC radio. Their renewed focus is to be intentional about creating relevant music with a meaningful message, and that intentionality shines through the two central songs on the album. Made, a reminder that we are perfectly made with a purpose and Words, which features vocals by Bart Millard of MercyMe, and encourages us to be thoughtful of the power in our words and how they can both build-up and tear down. With songs that speak for themselves, renewed vision, and a seasoning of the familiar, anything is possible for the new-and-improved Hawk Nelson.