Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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Artist: Hawk Nelson
Album: Crazy Love
Release Date: 2/8/11
Label: Tooth & Nail/BEC Recordings

Over the years, Hawk Nelson have been making a progression as a band, from their early start as youthful punk rockers, spanned across their first three albums, to more mature pop rock ballads, heard on Live Life Loud. One may not have known which direction they would be taking their newest studio album Crazy Love in, but it can be said that Hawk Nelson have put everything they've done well in the past and compiled it all onto one album. Not to say that Crazy Love isn't missing some more radio-friendly anthems and ballads, but it also includes many high energy punk tunes that I have been longing to hear from the band in a while.

The punk is immediately brought on the minute and a half intro, "Tally Ho," with intentions of pumping up the listener and to set an energetic feeling on Crazy Love. The next few songs however don't follow with the same intentions of the intro, but are instead more of the aforementioned, radio-friendly anthems, which are done well. "Your Love Is A Mystery" spreads the message of Jesus' accepting love, and the title track encourages us to spread His love to everyone. Taking a worshipful approach is "My Next Breath," one of the album's slower song that ends up moving into a bridge of surrendering our lives to God.

The energy then kicks into gear, with pop punk sound taking center stage on "We're Alright," preceding "Skeleton," a straight up punk rocker, bringing to mind a sound reminiscent of MxPx. To take a rest from the energy, a more CCM-like song comes along, "We Can Change The World," before a more general rocker, "One Shot," rolls around as well, that would have fit well on Live Life Loud.

Massive pop punk riffs start off "Fraud," one of the album's catchiest song, which ends up closing out with a capella vocal layers sung by frontman Jason Dunn and David Josiah Curtis of Run Kid Run. "Joanna" takes the band back to their earlier days, being a fun and upbeat love song. The craziest and heaviest song we've ever heard from the band follows, "LAX," a short tune that yells and screams about the band's apparent hate for airports. The album draws to a close with the slower "Done Holding On" and "Thanks For The Beautiful Memories," the latter being a look back on Hawk Nelson's career and their thankfulness to both the fans and God.

Overall: Although I feel at times that Hawk Nelson should have gone in either a punk or straight up slower direction on Crazy Love, it can be left unmentioned that they do a good job of mixing things up. Showing maturity on songs like "Your Love Is A Mystery" and "My Next Breath," and then having some fun on "Tally Ho" and "LAX," I'm sure that there is something for just about anyone's personal tastes on Crazy Love that may be enjoyed, if not the album as a whole.

Rating: 8/10

  1. Tally Ho
  2. Your Love Is A Mystery
  3. Crazy Love
  4. My Next Breath
  5. We're Alright
  6. Skeleton
  7. We Can Change The World
  8. One Shot
  9. Fraud
  10. Joanna
  11. LAX
  12. Done Holding On
  13. Thanks For The Beautiful Memories
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1 comment:

  1. Surprised to say it... but I actually really dig this album. Well written review!