Review By: Stephanie Crail
Release Date: 03/17/15
Rating: [usr 8.5]
With their latest release Diamonds, pop/rock band Hawk Nelson delivers the encouraging, energetic music that fans have come to expect. The lyrical depth both challenges and comforts; the powerful message of hope is expertly woven throughout every song, and Jon Steingard’s soaring vocals convey that message flawlessly.
The album starts out on a spirited note with “Count On You.” This lively track speaks of God’s faithfulness, and reminds listeners that they can, in fact, count on God at all times, and He will always come through. The mid-tempo “Drops in the Ocean” paints a compelling picture of God’s vast love. And what could be more vast than the number of drops contained within the oceans?
Perhaps the most encouraging and comforting track is “Live Like You’re Loved.” Once the Son has set us free, we are indeed free to live like we are loved and our lives are of the utmost value. “Only You” slows things down a bit, opening with just acoustic guitar; simple yet captivating. The rest of this song follows in the same manner of simplicity, reflecting the truth that regardless of our tendency to chase after anything and everything to find fulfillment, God provides every need, and it is in His love where we find our true fulfillment. The song ends with a beautiful, quiet moment of heartfelt worship, asking Jesus to come close, confessing our great need for him, and the soft keyboard and lilting guitar only add to the atmosphere of reflection.
“Sold Out” is an impassioned anthem, calling all Christians to action, to be the leader amidst all the followers, the believer among all the doubters. The drums provide a steady pulse, God’s heartbeat, His desire to see His children share His love for all of humanity. “You can’t face this kind of grace and leave the way you came,” and that kind of life-changing encounter puts a fire in the hearts of Christians and emboldens them to put their faith into action. “Made to Live” begins with a choir, the family of God, singing to our Creator. This song declares that He created us for a higher purpose, and when we live out our faith, we are leaving behind fingerprints of God for the world to see.
Overall, this record is very successful at reminding believers of our purpose and challenging us to live boldly. The driving drum beats, sweet vocal harmonies, and catchy, memorable melodies will have listeners tapping their feet and singing and clapping along. These songs will play through listeners’ minds over and over, helping to recall the truths that God has imprinted upon our hearts. Diamonds is a very fun record and will leave you with a smile on your face and a warmth in your heart.