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 bands transformation while still infusing their unique, I-just-can't-sit-still-right-now, fun, contagious, signature sound.
Their debut 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.
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What I'm Looking For
A Million Miles Away
Words (feat. Bart Millard of MercyMe)
Elevator (feat. Blanca Callahan of Group 1 Crew)
Every Beat Of My Broken Heart
Love Like That
Through The Fire (feat. Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North)
Move over Audio Adrenaline. You're not the only band that's navigating a successful reinvention this year. When lead singer Jason Dunn announced his departure from the band he started in 2000, fans were left wondering what would happen to such an iconic sound that they had grown to love over five major label releases. The answer came from within, as guitarist Jonathan Steingard proved ready to step into the spotlight and lead the band to a new label and a more mature sound.
The first taste of what was to come was the massive contemporary hit song, "Words," which features new label mate and MercyMe front man, Bart Millard. For a band that was more known for their goofy persona and youthful energy, not many would have guessed a Billboard Top 5 Christian Song of 2013 would come from Hawk Nelson. But it was a good peak at a more mature band.
That said; don't expect Hawk Nelson to become the next contemporary mainstay. These guys still know how to have fun, evident on tracks like "What I'm Looking For,""A Million Miles Away," and the infectious "Elevator." But beyond that, this is easily the most mellow Hawk Nelson album to date and I've got to say, the new sound suits them just fine. It might be a safe bet in the midst of a pretty huge change in the line-up, but for a band that has taken plenty of risks throughtout their career, safe seems to be paying off just fine.
On the final track, "Fighting For," Jonathan sings "we're not kids anymore." Message heard loud and clear gentlemen.
The New Hawk Nelson Shows What They're Made Of| Posted March 12, 2013
Hawk Nelson had become quite the staple of the Christian rock scene since they debuted on Tooth and Nail records in 2004. After five albums full of hits, the band released a curious hits project. Such projects usually only come before a major change for the band. Alas, this time was not to be an exception. Frontman Jason Dunn soon announced his departure from the band to focus on solo ventures.
Lead vocalists are often the most definitive parts of a band, and very few bands can successfully transition between them at all, let alone do so while still keeping the sound that has made them famous. But Hawk Nelson wasn't announcing a breakup, so it was clear that they were going to try and find another vocalist. And lo and behold, they found one, from within the three remaining remembers of the band. Guitarist Jonathan Steingard was promoted to lead vocalist and soon, a new era of Hawk Nelson would commence.
Fast forward about a year and we have the first full-length release with Steingard's vocals, Made, released on their new label home, Fair Trade Services. We were told that we'd get a stylistic shift with the new vocals. From the first track, this is fairly noticeable. While it's not hard to picture Jason Dunn singing any of these, the pop/punk/rock sound that had defined Hawk Nelson for five albums is largely replaced with a more radio pop/rock sound, with only a few hints of the band's previous sound remaining.
It's not that Hawk Nelson hasn't had softer, pop songs before; it's just now, that seems to be the focus of their albums. So yes, we are definitely dealing with a brand new Hawk Nelson here, even though the remaining three members are the same.
But the important question remains, is it any good? And the short answer is: definitely.
"What I'm Looking For" is a peppy opener with enough rock to make it feel alive. It's definitely an appealing radio-ready song with just enough of Hawk Nelson in it to make it feel at home on the record. Steingard's vocals are crisp and upbeat. It's difficult to picture him singing some of the edgier HN classics and so the style shift is understandable. This style complements his vocals quite well and makes for an appealing musical experience.
Lead single "Words" (featuring MercyMe's Bart Millard) is arguably the best song on the album and an excellent choice to introduce the new Hawk Nelson to listeners. It's got a terrific message about making everything we say glorify the Lord: "Let my words be life / Let my words be truth / I don't wanna say a word / Unless it points the world back to You," and it's got an infectious melody that you'll be singing to yourself for months. There's even a bit of the old Hawk Nelson in this too, while still feeling like its fresh and new.
The title track, "Made," is another standout. Its message of self-acceptance is a common one but the band makes it feel fresh and relevant. Plus, these lyrics are particularly heartwarming, calling to mind the love God had for each of us when he created us: "Brighter than stars that shine / You light up the Maker's eyes / And you'd believe if you could see / The smile on His face / The moment you were made."
"Love Like That" and "Faithful" are other great moments on the record. Some of the songs are clearly more memorable than others, but there's not a bad song in the bunch. The album is solid start to finish.
Hawk Nelson's truly managed to pull off a stunning transition between lead singers. Their passion for God is as apparent as ever and this music is a great fit to CCM without sounding watered down or copycat. Steingard's vocals might make for a different Hawk Nelson than we're used to, but it's still great music.
I'll definitely miss the old Hawk Nelson, but the new Hawk Nelson has given us a new sound to love. The edge might be gone and the sound a tad more generic, but the heart and passion, as well as the clever and relevant lyrics, remain. This is an exciting new chapter in the band's life, and one I hope sticks around for a long time.
Bekah's view| Posted August 15, 2013
I have been a Hawk Nelson fan for forever, me and my dad both loved them. the one thing i dodn't like as i got older was how shallow there songs were. i was tired of all there songs being about pretty girl, there could hardly even be called christian music anymore. when they release "made" i was alittle hesitant about it, they had a new lead singer and i just wasn't sure it was going to work. It did, in my opinion it is by far the best CD they have released to date.
I love every song in the whole album, and i very rarely feel that way. My favorite songs are "Outside the Lines" "Faithful" " and "Love Like that.' This is an album i would recomemend to anyone.
HUGE FAN AS OF NOW!| Posted August 03, 2013
To tell you guys the truth, i didnt really like hawk nelson until now! The old stuff wasnt my style, but after Made came, i was like, i'll try it out! I FELL IN LOVE WITH HN's NEW ALBUM! The new album sounds like a lot of summer music festival songs! My favorite songs are.... Elevator, A Million Miles Away, What I'm Looking For, and Love Like That! Get this Album Everyone!
Made| Posted April 17, 2013
Let my words be light, let my words be true AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lord let my words be true for sure. Hawk Nelson this is an awesome song which makes me reflect on what my words are imarting on others. Keep on encouraging us in the Lord.
Smile, it's the end of the world| Posted April 07, 2013
I love this album! Honestly though, "Smile it's the end of the world" was their best contribution to music. I still listen to those song on a regular basis, just because it rocks so hard! My favorite Hawk Nelson song of all time is "One Thing I Have Left'. If you haven't heard it, you're missing out! Blessings, Jo.
Changes dont Change a band| Posted April 02, 2013
An amazing album. I fiend it crazy how though the band haschanged so much since there last album the music still feals like hawk nelson.This new album is amazing you can tell that after Jason Dun left the band made the decision to focous mor on God than how it sounded and when they did that they created the best sounding and the greatest colection of songs on one album that this band has released.
Hawk Nelson Made Album Rocks| Posted March 29, 2013
This album started with fan involvement with the Kickstarter project that Hawk did. Without the fans this record never would have been MADE! This record depended on Hawk's fan base to make the record. The record itself has a pop feel to it! Don't get me wrong it still has that Hawk feel to it. The songs on the record were written from the bands life experiences! The record features Bart Millard from MercyMe, Mike Donehey from Tenth Avenue North, and Blanca of Group One Crew. The records producer Seth Mosely and Matt Hammit from Sanctus Real also helped write the songs for the record! Jon Steingard stepping into the lead singer role is a good thing for the band. So make sure you check out this record! Made is so good my sister and I can not pick a favorite song from it! And that is the only Hawk Nelson record we can not pick a favorite on so this has to be an Awesome record! So go listen to it!
Awesome| Posted March 27, 2013
Just heard the new Hawk Nelson Album, Made, on NRT and i love it! i've only started using NRT and i love that we get to listen to new christian albums and that there is still wholesome music out there that still souns great! Keep writing those great songs!
Made| Posted March 26, 2013
Loved Hawk Nelson for forever and the new album, Made, certainly met the usual standard and didn't disappoint. Even with Jason Dunn gone, the sound of Hawk Nelson and lyrics are still amazing and fresh.
Hawk Gone Pop| Posted March 26, 2013
I'm still a fan of Hawk Nelson, but I feel as each album has gone forward, I hear more pop and more country, though it's more of a country voice than actual sound. They used to be more punk and I miss those days. This album isn't bad, but it's more in line with their last album. It's catchy and i'm sure will be something that will get radio play, but I prefer a bit more edgy. I'll probably listen to it for a while, but no song really jumps out as something that has the lasting power of some of their older stuff.