Hawk Nelson

Crazy Love

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Billed as a “return to our roots” affair, Hawk Nelson’s fifth album is similar to the band’s 2000 debut, with punky vocals and high-octane guitar riffs that stick close to the millennial punk-pop of Simple Plan, Good Charlotte, and Sum 41. As before, the guys continue to set themselves apart from the pack by espousing overtly Christian beliefs, replacing the usual lyrical trifecta of booze, broads, and bacchanalia with faith and fellowship. They’re up-front about their spirituality -- if a song is about the band’s devotion to God, there’s no mistaking it for a love song written for a girlfriend -- but they don’t shoehorn those sacred beliefs into every tune. “We’re Alright” is a teenaged anthem about going to a concert and returning with a pumped-up carpe diem attitude -- a theme that’s applicable to the Christian faith, perhaps, but is still secular at heart. Hawk Nelson show more of the same versatility on Crazy Love’s bonus disc, The Light Sides, which features stripped-down acoustic versions of the band’s older songs. The Light Sides doesn’t pack the amplified wallop of Crazy Love, but the songs are uniformly peppy and punctual, proof that Hawk Nelson have been consistent in their decade-long delivery of unique CCM.

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