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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2013
The reason I liked Hawk Nelson was because they were different from other Christian bands. I feel like this was due, in part, to Jason's vocal style and also to more of a punk sound from the instruments. The loss of this punk sound, which was already starting to disappear on Crazy Love, has been speedily hastened by Jason's absence from the group. Fans of K-love and traditional Christian music will love this. However, I am not one of them. The lyrics are much more meaningful, but that is not enough to maintain a steady following from me. I've bought all of Hawk Nelson's previous albums (Smile, It's the End of the World being one of the first albums I owned), but I will have to consider this purchase. I hope for the best for the band and I hope for an album I can appreciate more in the future.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Prime Cuts: What I'm Looking For, Words, Through the Fire

Jesus doesn't sell records. Neither do notions of hell, sin and doubts. This is why in today's Christian music public affections for Christ have often been guised as faux love songs. Jesus has often been caricatured as the generic "you" or 'he." Sin and hell are often tabooed. And in today's culture where self -confidence and positivism are the hallmarks of spirituality, doubts are often sneered upon as the rhetoric of the unregenerate. However, ever since their 2004's debut record "Letters to the President," Hawk Nelson have never been coy about their faith. And they are not about to with their debut record for the Fair Trade Service label (also home for Phil Wickham, The Afters and Citizens' Way). However, with "Made" there are a few departures vis-à-vis their previous efforts. For starters, Hawk Nelson has shrunk from a quartet to a trio with lead singer Jason Dunn's departure. Instead of auditioning for a new lead, long time guitarist Jonathan Steingard has stepped up to the fore. Moreover, while their preceding record "Crazy Love" was a return back to the punk roots of their "Letters to the President" days, this new disc is decidedly more mainstream pop. Part of such a directional pull came from the inclusion of producer Seth Mosley (Hillsong, Jenny Simmons and Sanctus Real) who helmed 9 of the 11 cuts here.
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Ironically, for a band that has always been most vocal about their faith, they have made a greater impact in the secular world than the religiously reticent. Over the years, they have appeared on NBC's drama "America Dreams," they have had their song "The Show" used in Saturday Night Football commercials and their songs have been included on blockbuster movie soundtracks such as "Charlotte's Web" and 'Yours, Mine and Ours." How could a band like Hawk Nelson have such an impact without sacrificing an iota of their faith? First, Hawk Nelson knows how articulate the universal longings of the human heart in palatable ways. Even though the boys may be dealing with a hefty subject such as life after death on "What I'm Looking For," they do not come across as churlish or intrusive. Rather, nuanced in the form of a personal quest for something more than just our mere physical existence, the boys probe the issue of mortality with observations we have all made along life's journey: "I need more than a temporary high/I need more just a momentary life/If I breathe my final breadth tonight/I wanna feel you'd welcome me inside."

Second, the universal appeal of Hawk Nelson is that they know how to speak for (instead of speaking at) their fans. Listening to the songs on this record is like being invited to be pals with these guys. Never judgmental or condescending, they know how to identify, sympathize as well as encourage us in our different challenges. On the title cut, the guys not only do not ridicule our struggles with how our bodies look, rather, they allude us to Psalm 139 where we are told by God that we are wonderfully made by Him and for Him. On "Every Beat of My Broken Heart" Hawk Nelson vicariously helps us offer our brokenness to God asking Christ to use our predicaments to draw closer to Him. With Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North making a cameo on "Through the Fire," here we find Hawk Nelson praying with us (and for us) in seasons when we "can't see your (God's)face or hear your voice right now."

Third, Hawk Nelson knows how to party. These boys really do love God, life and all of God's blessings; and when they party it's so contagious that you can't help but join in. With an infectious peppy tune that grooves the rhythm along, "Elevator" (which features Blanca of Group1Crew) is a track One Direction would kill for. While the flowing hooky lead single "Words" wraps its danceable beats around the towering message of the New Testament writer James where he warns, "words can build you up/words can break you do/start a fire in your heart or put it out." At the end of the day, such sagely Scriptural wisdom is what changes the way we live with each other. It has a way of creeping into our hearts in ways that are gentle, loving, understandable and yet transforming
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2013
The latest Hawk Nelson album is, for all intents and purposes, the debut of a new band. Don't let that scare you away, though. The songs, for the most part, are fresh, uplifting, fun, and powerful. However, if you've heard their single "Words" on the radio, you'll know not expect the same punk rock sound from the previous albums.

Seriously. Don't expect it. At all. It's not here. But that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable.

A word about featured artists, before I continue. Sometimes, featuring guest artists doesn't have the desired effect. Other times, it works perfectly, and I can truthfully say that the guest artists on this album were a wonderful addition to this record. If you're familiar with the other bands, then you'll know that the songs they were featured in were a perfect fit for each featured artist. I already knew that MercyMe's Bart Millard was featured in "Words," the song that got me to buy this album. But when I heard Blanca from Group 1 Crew on "Elevator", I literally started laughing because of how happy it made me (I was already smiling because of the song's fantastic energy). Then there's Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North, whose soft, heartfelt vocals were perfect for the more emotional lyrics of "Through the Fire."

The only issue I have with this album is that some of the songs (namely "Every Beat of My Broken Heart", "Love Like That", and "Faithful") run the risk of having the same, stereotypical contemporary Christian music sound that quite a few other artists on Christian radio produce. Now, this doesn't make them bad songs; in fact, I actually quite like them (and how can they be bad when they're made to praise and glorify God?) It's just that in a sea of artists who can sometimes tend to sound the same, original and creative Christian music can be hard to come by. Thankfully, most of the other songs on this album don't fall into the same trap. "What I'm Looking For" and "Fighting For" (both of which make it on my "favorite tracks" list) respectfully begin and end the album dynamically and passionately. The entire record has a great balance of tracks that are positive, fun, and upbeat (like "Elevator", "A Million Miles Away", and "Outside the Lines") and ones that are deeper, more profound reflections on Christian living (like "Through the Fire", "Every Beat of My Broken Heart", and "Faithful").

As a final note, props to Jonathan Steingard for stepping up as the lead singer. His vocals are clean and strong, and a big part of what makes this album so good.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2013
I personally love this album. The sound is fresh and upbeat and each song conveys Spiritual truth. I can listen to it with my 9 yr old daughter and not only does she like the beat, she's understanding the message. I really do think that this is Hawk Nelson at their best!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2013
I am by no means one to be considered "qualified" for the writing of any sort of review; I am just a normal person--a kid between high school and college. However, I have been listening to Hawk Nelson faithfully since the very beginning with Saturday Rock action and I do have an opinion to share. This album is very different to Hawk Nelsons older stuff, it is strange though because it is and isn't hawk nelson. the same lyrical genius and strong christian themes are still there and possibly better but the punky garage sound is somewhat lacking with a more top ten sound with influences from one direction and the like. I really miss the strained vocals of Jason but Jon is still doing a good job. It is of utmost importance that this album is viewed as a new hawk nelson not a the same hawk nelson, only then can you really appreciate the new sound and eventually really like it. I will say i really miss the old days but this is still (when viewed differently) a brilliant album and a good new sound. (not as good though)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2013
I liked Hawk Nelson when they were a pop punk band, now they just sound like every other Christian pop band. There a few good ones though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2013
All I can say after hearing these songs is--where's the energy? That's what I liked about Hawk Nelson. Let's face it, they were very light punk to begin with. What are they now? Pop? Another Boy Band? I mean, the songs are not bad. And the lyrics are good. But the delivery? I really, really miss the energy and enthusiasm that they have always had in all their previous music. I got pumped up listening to them. Now? I have to say I feel a little tired. Maybe that's the problem. They just don't have the energy they previously had, and so it doesn't come across in their music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2013
I never thought I would own a CD of Hawk Nelson! I never liked their music before--much too rocky for my taste! But this one is absolutely PERFECT. I love it. I hope they keep going in this direction :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2013
This is an excellent release for Hawk Nelson, whom I have been listening to now for over a decade. I've always enjoyed the band's mix of strong hooks, high energy, and fun but well-grounded lyrics. With "Made" they have somehow managed to maintain all of this while still maturing musically and paring down from four members to three.

I backed this album on Kickstarter and am proud to have been a part of its creation!
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on August 18, 2014
This is the recent Hawk Nelson Cd to date. Its the first album without Jason Dunn this album features Jonathan Steingard as the lead vocalist you may remember him as the guitarist from the same band. You can probably imagine that with a new lead singer you get a new sound of music with doing so. Hawk Nelson used to be kind of punk sounding but now that Jonathon is the new lead singer it has more of a pop sound but this Cd is very good though and i do recommend this album if your a Hawk Nelson fan I am
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