Album Review :
Hawk Nelson - Smile It's the End of the World

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Band: Hawk Nelson
Album: Smile It’s the End of the World
Label: Tooth and Nail Records
www.hawknelson.com
www.toothandnail.com

Oh my gosh, Brandon is reviewing a Hawk Nelson disc! No way! Are you insane? Well I do live life with some insanity at times but this isn’t the time to talk about it. This is the time to discuss the insane and raddical new disc by famed Pop Punk band Simple Plan, I mean Hawk Nelson. Wow where do I begin? Ha. Yah know what, every part of me wanted to rip this album to shreds and insult it’s very being but in some twist of luck, I’m not going to. What the heck Brandon? Yeah I keep asking myself the same thing. As much as I want to hate Hawk Nelson, a hidden side of me pops out to embrace them. Dude, I’m not kidding. This is a band I listen to in the closet or in my car with the windows up. As much as I dislike the band, I am drawn to their music. How can you hate this addictive sugary sweet pop punk? I know alot of you are closet Hawk Nelson fans or you at least don’t want to admit it. I am too. I am just now coming out of the closet (no not in that way).

The album begins with the strong opener, “The One Thing I Have Left” , you can even take the heart inside my chest..whoa oh oh.. Deep. Still I like it. Bad Brandon, Bad. This guilty pleasure spread further with “The Show” with it’s bass and guitar isolated opening. Here we go, let’s take them to the show whoa oh. Dude, this band loves Whoa Oh’s. “Call me on the phone or two way pager, wont be coming home so see ya later..” Come on let’s take them to show, turn up your radiooo” My head is bobbing in an irratic motion. Kind of like a nervous jerk. My face is red,
“No way dude, uh, I was just listening to the radio, I had no idea what was playing..ha are you kidding me, I have no clue who this band is”
The song ends with it’s almost motown feel..really.
Oh man, “Bring Em Out”, where do I begin. Ha. “Pump up your fists till you twist like this till the lights go out, bring em out bring em out” For my son’s homework assignment he was asked to write album lyrics for a popular band and he won! Hawk Nelson used them. Kidding. Now to be serious, I just twisted the volume knob, did I turn it down? Ha, you guess. I’ll play a little ambigous here. Yikes, the ballad pops up next. Oh no, I am really starting to get red in the face, now the casual passerby is starting to stare into my car. I look the other way pretend to gaze into the rear view mirror and try not to take my vision off of the traffic lines before me. Suddenly I look over and a middle finger awaits my eyes. Yikes. I keep listening though. I can’t stop. This song is addicting and it’s sugary sweet ballad has me singing along. This is the best song Simple Plan never wrote. One of the best Hawk Nelson songs to hit radio in the past few years. It knocks “California” off the charts in the addicting charm department. It’s sweet and I am embarrassed to say I am singing along. I can’t help it. Next up is “Something On My Mind” with it’s subtle piano opening and bouncing rhythm section. This is a bouncy track, a Hawk Nelson dance number.”Nah you’ll never pull my lever, not today or never” Okay I admit, this one cranks up the cheese factor. With this track I am sensing a strange hint of a famous 90’s pop punk band. Hmmm? Yes, that Mxpx. Track 6 is up next and one of my least favorites on the disc. The cheese factor is again cranked up to 11 with the track(s) “Is Forever Enough” and “Zero”. I’ll tell you in all honesty, I like them. Punch me in the face, I’m not kidding. The New Found Glory cover “Head on Collision” comes up shortly after, following “Nothing Left to Show”. I’m kidding, it’s not a NFG cover, really. They just share the same titles and vocals. Wow. It’s still good and I’m singing at embarrassing levels. “Hello” “It’s Over” follow up closely with their addictive melodies and sing along chants. I’m the worst White man dancer ever but somehow I am busting a move. No really, I am. Look away in fright! The album closes with the strong ballad, tug at your heartstrings track “Fourteen” and it invokes my sympathy.

This is one heck of an emotional addictive and charming record from rising stars, Hawk Nelson. My hats go off to this band for coming off as the cheesiest and utterly repetitive pop punk band in history. In this repetition, somehow I find solace, an aching desire to dance along and sing at the top of my lungs. Edit: Actually I wouldn’t sing at the top of my lungs because even big guys can get beat up, especially with having a Social Distortion sticker on one’s car. Yikes. So all middle fingers aside, I sing along proudly and with a fond appreciation for addictive melodies and harmonies that get stuck in your head for weeks. This band might not last the seasons but their melodies are sure to bring a smile to every Mxpx and Simple Plan fan amidst our company of friends. Hey there’s an idea, how about we put Mxpx together with Hawk Nelson? Well, even Mike is afraid of getting beat up. Those beer bottles hurt.

Joking aside, this is a good album for what it is. They don’t claim to be anything other than themselves and for that I commend them. I’m sure their Tiger Beat and Teen People covers will grace the wall of every 14 year old girl in the nation. TRL, where are you?

Hey a guy can joke can’t he? Thanks for reading this with patience and understanding. I appreciate it. I write this all very tongue in cheek. Now get on with your bad selves.

Score amongst friends: 3 out of 10
The score I give it while cruising in the Charger with the windows up: 10/10
Replay Value: I feel a bit of possession here. It’s almost non human like. Of course you’ll play it…and play it…oh who am I kidding….

Shirt Factor: My son would wear a shirt but tough guys would never own one. Ha.

“All the girls and the boys and people making noise just let me hear you shout, Bring em out bring em out”
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