Hawk Nelson
Hawk Nelson Is My Friend


1.5
very poor

Review

by Caleb McAlpine USER (108 Reviews)
May 21st, 2009 | 127 replies | 7,706 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Worst friend ever.

9 of 10 thought this review was well written

In the "Christian" subculture, there seems to be an elite set of pop-punk bands that make suburban pre-teens of conservative Baptist parents feel rocking and rebellious without upsetting their superiors. Naturally, this musical coalition, led by the likes of Relient K and Switchfoot, has spawned a fleet of lesser known but strangely appreciated bands that tap the toes of their target market. Hawk Nelson happens to be one of these bands. Booming power chords, relatively lifeless vocal delivery and laughably terrible lyrics mar the by-now-veterans of Christian pop-punk, who have come only a short way (a journey that can be documented by Steven McMahan) since their Tooth and Nail debut Letters to the President. With their latest award-winning release (2009 Grammy award winner of Best Recording Package) Hawk Nelson is My Friend, the quartet further plants their feet deeper into the mud of mediocrity, further satisfying the hungry ears of their brainless fans.

The complete lack of originality and creativity really illustrates that Hawk Nelson have been progressing like snails in molasses; inching forward album by album with little to no improvement and boring instrumentation. While lead vocalist Jason Dunn mundanely mumbles that "I'm not a wannabe, I'm who I want to be" in lead single Friend Like That, rest assured that everything that happens on the 37 minutes of Is Your Friend is something you've heard before. Actually, Friend Like That is a prime example of what's in store during the record: awkward lyrical rhymes with too many syllables sung lifelessly over 1-3-5 power chord choruses and chant vocals. It's not just that Hawk Nelson's latest offering is mundane and unoriginal, it's that it's actually painful to listen to. Is Your Friend is so poppy, so sweet and so overwrought with cheesy feel-good lyrics that it manages to do the exact opposite of it's noble intention -- the album is so bland and uninspired that it depresses me to think that so many eager fans are grabbing this up like sweet manna from heaven. Every song on Is Your Friend does nothing but fuel the gas tank of immaturity and send it speeding away into a sugary wreckage of kittenish harmonies and angsty clich├ęs.

When trying to think of an example to illustrate these lofty claims of terribleness, every single song on the album comes to mind -- in all honesty, no song is better than another and each song is disappointingly bad. From the "life's super-okay!" message of Let's Dance to the "life sucks but there's super-hope!" structure of Friend Like That, each minute of Is Your Friend tries so hard to make the listener feel better about themselves, which may work brilliantly for your typical pre-pubescent adolescents, but it misses the mark by far when it comes to impressing a casual listener with any semblance of music taste. Naturally, this fault could've been saved by at least tolerable musicianship, but from the yawn-worthy drumming to the been-there-done-that guitar work, nothing new or even appetizing is brought to the table. Ultimately, whether they're explaining the girl-guy dynamic in Ancient History or portraying teen-angst ("She woke up with a tear-stained pillow, she just broke up with a nice young fellow") in Words We Speak, Hawk Nelson ultimately fails to back up their music with an ounce of conviction or dedication.

I could go on explaining why Hawk Nelson is a stain on Tooth and Nail's relatively benign roster or why America's consuming youth is completely doomed, but it's fair to say that I've got my point across: this album just isn't worth it. Unless you have an inexplicable hankering for cliches and bland musicianship, I suggest you stray away. For those who were looking to listen to this for a good laugh, trust me, it's not worth it. However, for those looking for a torturous experience of mind-numbing pop-punk, look no further.



Recent reviews by this author
The Oh Hellos Through The Deep, Dark ValleyDan Mangan Oh Fortune
The Decemberists Long Live the KingThe Reign Of Kindo Rhythm, Chord & Melody
Antoine Dufour ConvergencesThe Head And The Heart The Head And The Heart
user ratings (45)
Chart.
2.3
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
Waior
May 21st 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

wham bam thank you Pam. Album sucks.

KILL
May 21st 2009



70379 Comments


hawks lol good review man i posd coz i did

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Waior
May 21st 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

best pos ever, yep.

Fugue
May 21st 2009



7351 Comments


The complete lack of originality and creativity really illustrates that Hawk Nelson have been progressing like snails in molasses


loved this.

Review doesn't deserve a neg.

Waior
May 21st 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Ahh, neg. Shoot, that was fast.

marksellsuswallets
May 21st 2009



4848 Comments


Probably just fanboy troll neg...'salright though review is good pos'd.

Waior
May 21st 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Yeah, there is a lone classic vote. Thanks though.

Fugue
May 21st 2009



7351 Comments


yeah, sucks when that happens.

Mordecai.
May 21st 2009



8270 Comments


nice review. i'll just stick with Anberlin i think. Pos.

joshuatree
Emeritus
May 21st 2009



3743 Comments


fuck hawk nelson

Waior
May 21st 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

fuck hawk nelson


That.

About the fanboy negs, I got plenty of those on my TWDP review... haha. Thanks, Mordecai. These guys are nothing like Anberlin, but they somehow are in the same genre.

Mordecai.
May 21st 2009



8270 Comments


yeah i hate how bands like Anberlin, mewithoutYou and even Underoath are lumped into Christian Rock or Gospel when they fit into completely different genres

burnafterbreeding
May 21st 2009



1466 Comments


Band bad. Review good.

Waior
May 21st 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Comment better.

joshuatree
Emeritus
May 21st 2009



3743 Comments


waior i made a avatar fr you:
[img]http://gickr.com/results/anim_a081c95a-8915-7614-bdef-17b045291e0d.gif[/img]

Waior
May 21st 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

HAHA, dear God. You were so close until the last two frames.

Douglas
May 21st 2009



9051 Comments


Comment good.

joshuatree
Emeritus
May 21st 2009



3743 Comments


that penis didn't turn out too well D:

Waior
May 21st 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

someguest, yeah. A stain on an already dingy blanket, I know.

Dougie, I'd say so.

joshuatree, haha perhaps not. But I'm giving you the benefit of a doubt that that's something you don't draw all the time. Or I hope.

burnafterbreeding
May 21st 2009



1466 Comments


I've always found it a little off putting how often a person draws a dick as soon as they're given a pen. Off putting, but respectable all the same.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy