Since 2004, music lovers have enjoyed a real camaraderie with rising pop-punk band Hawk Nelson, helping the quartet sell nearly half a million albums, land personal appearances on major television and motion picture projects, and gain high-profile song placement ("Bring 'Em Out") with NBC's NFL Sunday Night Football campaign. "Going into this record, we sat down and thought about how we've always had this mentality of not so much winning fans as making friends," says frontman Jason Dunn. "We want to be clear that we're all about being on the same level as the audience." Now the true bond of friendship between the group and others continues to strengthen, mature, and be more overtly celebrated than even before with the Ontario-originated act's third Tooth & Nail release, Hawk Nelson Is My Friend. For all of their adventures and successes thus far, the members of Hawk Nelson still see themselves as "four guys just trying to make it," says Dunn. "We'll always be working toward that, trying to be THE band and write the best songs possible." Hawk Nelson Is My Friend most definitely lives up to that goal.
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Some Good Fun| Posted June 18, 2010
Hawk Nelson Is My Friend is the third release from the Canadian punk-rockers. It doesn't change their sound much, or at all really. Everything here is to be expected from the band. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing, cause it sounds good.
The band offers some good punk-rock in "Friend Like That" and "Let's Dance" as well as some nice slower tunes in "Arms Around Me" and "One Little Miracle."
Not every tune is golden and this is hardly among the more memorable releases of the decade, but it's good and enjoyable, a worthy entry into Hawk Nelson's discography.
The Hawk Circles Overhead| Posted October 22, 2008
After an awesome debut that put Hawk on the map and an inconsistent follow-up, Hawk Nelson is apparently self-conscious about how many friend they have on MySpace, following after my MySpace satire tune, "1 Million Friends On MySpace Can't Be Wrong." So, since they couldn't get Stellar Kart's "Me & Jesus," they produce the more rockin' "Friend Like That." Along with that song, and "One Little Miracle," you've probably already had your share of the new Hawk. But the million dollar question is, is the album any good?
The album finds a happy medium between their first two albums, which is usually the case with third efforts. The first thing you'll notice is the band reverts back to its heavy punk pop sound as in "You Have What I Need," and the band largely keeps the album upbeat and fun shown in "Turn It On," only tackling the heavier stuff on the surprising last track "I Still Miss You." This is clearly a rock party mixed with positive the lyrics seen in "One Little Miracle."
"Ancient History" highlights the album with its catchy verses and totally awesome chorus. Its a very strong track all the way through, and will certainly make their inevitable 'best-of' release.
Of course, not all the songs are completely up to snuff. "Somebody Else" delivers on the chorus, but bores on the verses. The same goes for "Arms Around Me," and "Words We Speak. "Just Like Me" on the other hand sounds like an MxPx cover.
In asking what's the better Hawk Nelson release, it's kind of hard to judge because they're different in tone. "Letters to the President" still holds up with their raw and unabashedly simple-minded pop punk, but they also knew how to create a serious political track and punch out a killer ballad. "Hawk Nelson Is My Friend" is a radio friendly happy medium that mixes the band's maturity while still holding onto their pop punk sound. But I contend that this at least equals 'President.' But, before buying, get the special edition which gives you the most bang for your buck, adding some awesome bonus tracks.
HAWK NELSON IS MY FRIEND| Posted September 29, 2008
Listening to Hawk Nelson’s third studio CD, Hawk Nelson Is My Friend, is the sonic equivalent to running a marathon or more aptly, sprinting a marathon. The Tooth & Nail band opens the disc with intense energy, thanks to front man Jason Dunn’s impassioned vocals, Jonathan Steingard’s edgy electrics and Daniel Biro and Aaron Tosti’s pulsating, erratic rhythm section. The explosion of sound from the electrifying opener (“You Have What I Need”) to the honest, unfettered closer (“I Still Miss You”) charges on for nearly 40 minutes. It’s spiked with adrenaline like a runner’s high and leaves the listener exhausted, but exilerated, at the album’s end.
Produced by David Bendeth (Elvis, Paramore, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus), HNIMF is stacked with co-writing appearances from a line-up of tunesmiths including Richard Marx (“Right Here Waiting”) and Thousand Foot Krutch’s Trevor McNevan. McNevan is credited for discovering the band and had a hand in writing or co-producing both of Hawk’s previous outings.
The new disc picks up where the Canadian-bred four-piece left off with its 2006 CHR smash, “Everything You Ever Wanted.” More pop than punk, HNIMF throws a few bones to punk purists with songs like the clangorous “Just Like Me.” But the album really excels on more accessible alternative pop anthems like first radio single, “Friend Like That,” which radiates a raucous energy. The sensitive, melodic “Arms Around Me” would be a perfect compliment to current mainstream pop radio playlists, as well as the hooky “Not The Same.” Even the slow songs (“Somebody Else”) are more mid-tempo than down-tempo, and like the rest of the album, don’t leave much space between the notes. - Lizza Connor Bowen
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CCMMagazine.com. Click here to visit CCMMagazine.com today!
Turn the same thing on (again).| Posted April 04, 2008
Hawk Nelson's third studio album release is here and it sends a clear message: Hawk Nelson wants to be your friend. The band doesn't want just fans, but loyal friends who feel that they are esteemed by this band. So their newest CD Hawk Nelson is my Friend is all about a tribute to their fans... err friends.
Even though their second album, Smile it's the end of the World, which had a more diverse sound than their debut, Letters to the President, It was not really better than it. So Hawk Nelson put out a straighter punk rock album, which cuts the verity of music some. But it does allow the Punk to really become good. Which is what happened, at least in the first half. Hawk Nelson always like to start off their CD's with good fast rock song, "you have what I need" is closer to "the one thing I have left" without the poor ending, and just a better punk/rock sound which is the hardest song on the album.
The first single "friend like that is a fun punk song that moves fast enough to avoid the bits that sound off. The album keeps on moving with "turn it on" which starts off with a intro that sounds like a slightly toned down "Meant to Live" intro (by Swicthfoot). The song itself is a good fast paced punk song that isn't perfect but it's really enjoyable. An excellent part in the album musically is "one little miracle" a medium rock song, with an absolutely great refrain, expect it to be a hit soon. The album kicks back into high gear with "let's dance" which is really good and a really up tempo beat. By the time the snappy punk song, "ancient history is better", ends its feels as though it's just getting started.It's really sad that the average song length is about three minutes long, but the song is still awesome.
Then begins the second half of Hawk Nelson CD, which is about as boring as a bad Stellar Kart CD (pick one). The soft rock song "somebody else" is nice but it stops the flow of the upbeat good punk which is not a bad thing except that "arms around me" is even softer. The upbeat punk track "just like me" is almost dreadful, especially the chorus, which sounds like Hawk Nelson at their worst. "Not the same" is a light rock song which really is nothing impressive. "words we speak has a great chorus which is a great punk sound. The soft and touching track "I still miss you" is very basic, but that is not the strength of the song.
Stop the press! Hawk Nelson actually says something in virtually all of their songs! That is a huge step up from every other Hawk Nelson song that was about girls and parties. However don't get too carried away yet, no one said the lyrics were really deep. "you have what I need" has some good things to say. Right after 'All I wanted was honesty/and that was something only you give' is the line "It took forever just to realize that I had to give myself away/ so I could see your face". Not really amazing but definitely a step up.
A good anthem for the youth is "friend like that", and "turn it on is about living with purpose. "Let's dance" conveys the importance of the individual while urging the hearer to be content with one's own skin. A song about a Grandmother who passed away ("I still miss you") is the best song writing done on this album and should be up there with total Hawk Nelson hits. Some pretty solid lyrics but don't try too hard to interpret "words we speak". Also on the down side is "ancient history", and it might be hard for many people to appreciate the message in "not the same".
Hawk Nelson is starting to anger me. Hawk Nelson is my Friend had such a fabulous start musically that is was very disappointing to see it fall so in the second half. The Punk has hit its peak so far for the band and it would be nicer to see some more diversity and keep the good punk rock. But if the last three albums have been any indication, that might be asking a little too much. Even though this wasn't the breakout CD it will still please friends.
great album| Posted February 05, 2011
this album is my favorite of hawk nelson, given to me by a friend. a great cd that has a range of great music, love this band and they are gerat christians and gerat examples and they make great music
Better lyrics, not so with the music| Posted February 02, 2011
This album has some of the band's best lyrics, but outside of "Friend, like that" there isn't much as far in the way of the music off of this album. But I would still recommend buying it if you are die hard fan, but if you aren't just go on itunes and buy the song "Friend, like that."
Great| Posted June 02, 2010
I thought this was a pretty great album. Best song off of it is Friend Like That, but most of the others were pretty good too. The song that I least like on it is I Still Miss You, I don’t hate it, it’s just not my favorite. This album seems to begin veering away from the previous albums, it’s a great album but this is the turning point in Hawk Nelson it seems.
more awesomeness!| Posted January 20, 2010
this album is one of their best ones. i really like all the songs on it but they dont really play them a lot in concert. i saw them a couple times during the summer and some in the fall. they were really good but they sang the same songs every time. this album is great but they need to sing more songd off of it! :)
Great Album| Posted November 13, 2009
Hawk Nelson had albums before this one but very few noteworthy songs. This album has so many songs that are great material, that it takes me forever to get to the end of the album, because after I hear a song that I like, I play it again and again, and I like every one on this album. Words We Speak has a great message behind it, Let's Dance is a lot of fun to listen to. One Little Miracle made me all sad and Somebody Else I could easily relate to. This album had the perfect mix of upbeat and serious songs. It was a great album and I would recommend it to anyone.