Living Life Loud Involves A Dog With 3D Glasses & Hawk Nelson | Posted September 23, 2009
In my top 5 most anticipated Christina music albums this came at #4, and I wondered if Hawk Nelson could keep up with their momentum-based music. The answer? Not really. It has its moments, but none of them are exactly memorable, and they seem to have lost something in-between albums. It's not bad, but it's not exactly up to the par of the band's previous albums, and any fan of Christian radio should find at least one thing to like about the album.
The Meaning of Life
'Tis So Sweet
Eggshells seems to be the highlight this time around, with a good mix of rock and acoustic elements. It's even catchy, even if the chorus does seem a bit disjointed. Alive is probably the biggest musical shift for the band, sound like a Thousand Foot Krutch song, it seems perfectly made for Christian Rock radio. The Job sounds a lot like their material from the last album, and it's a pretty fun listen.
Probably the strangest moment of the album, and there's a lot of them, is the "Ballad of Lord Stanley," which is about a Lord named Stanley, to the tune of something resembling Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours." You've never heard a pop/rock band tackle reggae before, have you? Didn't think so. 'Tis So Sweet is a great take on the classic hynm, and how many pop/rock bands have you heard that use bagpipes? Didn't think so.
But for all that it does right, it's has major issues with its sound. While it's largely new for the band, it's almost a greatest hits of what's popular in Christian radio nowadays. Sometimes it works, but especially with songs like "Shaken" and "Lest We Forget," it comes off as very generic, but with good lyrics. Hawk's strong suit was never ballads, and they've always had problems when they slowed down, and that's the whole last half of the album. Upon my sister's first listen to the album, by the time a song would finish, she'd have memorized and sing along with the chorus, during her first listen. This either means the album is very catchy, or the album is very predictable/simple.
Let it be known, when Hawk loses their adrenaline, which made them in the beginning, the results are less than stellar. In "Hawk Nelson Is My Friend," I felt the band had found their sound, and they just needed a bit more consistency in the quality. Instead it moves away from the previous sound, opting for something a bit more pleasing. The album cover has the image of 3D glasses, but instead of coming alive, it seems to be largely hindered by its 2D radio-friendly qualities.