Artist: Hawk Nelson
If you like: Sum 41, Simple Plan, Bowling for Soup
For some people, including myself, high school had a certain magic: freedom to relax with friends or get into mischief…and all without bills. It wasn’t too long after graduating that I no longer found myself at the local hangout (Taco Bell), leaving shopping carts on friend’s front yards, or soaping fountains. It was time to grow up, head to college, and spend countless hours in pursuit of that oh so necessary degree while trying to maintain some level of a social life.
For all those looking to go back to an era that allowed a little more innocence, Hawk Nelson is what you have been waiting for.
For all those looking to go back to an era that allowed a little more innocence, Hawk Nelson is what you have been waiting for. Each song is constructed under your typical pop-punk formula, very peppy with memorable rifts. This band cleverly captures the essence of endless summers, life’s beginning and all the wholesome goodness of a bowl of cereal.
While their style is completely pop-punk, it really is a solid album. Each song plays like an anthem to youth, from relationships between boys and girls to relations with God. Hawk Nelson’s lyrics are simple and to the point. They convey their meaning by painting the picture through witty phrases and provoking messages.
Their title track, “Letters to the President,” covers many issues in the world of teenagers that most bands only allude to. While the other tracks are not as stern in their message, and focus more on friendship relations, they are all worthy of a listen. Hawk Nelson doesn’t only have that sugarcoated punk sound; these boys can also rock hard. “Like a Racecar” is a hard thrash song that emphasizes holding on when things are not the way you planned. Mixed in with your standard punk ballad, “36 Days,” Hawk Nelson has pieced together an album that is a treat to rock out to in the car or at home.
If you are looking for something to listen to while you sport your high school jacket cruising down an open road, you need to pick this album up.
Originally released in 2004, this quartet’s hard work, dedication and catchy songs earned a 2005 re-release. If you already went out and bought the 2004 release, you might be missing out on some good material. As a bonus to the great fourteen original tracks, you get some acoustic versions to “Every Little Thing,” “Take Me,” and “Letters to the President.” Just to warn you, though, some verses were omitted from the acoustic version of “Letters to the President” to allow a good rendition. It is perhaps one of the best on the album. The expanded version also includes the song “My Generation,” a cover of The Who, which Hawk Nelson performed on NBC’s show American Dreams. Last on the album is a track of front man Jason’s thoughts in French. (I don’t speak French or know anyone who does, so if anyone could translate this track, that would be fantastic.) If you are looking for something to listen to while you sport your high school jacket cruising down an open road, you need to pick this album up.