David Hawkins is in good company. The singer-songwriter and visual artist’s long-running but strangely unknown band Hawk features a heavyweight cast that includes Ken Stringfellow of Posies and Big Star, drummer Pete Thomas from Elvis Costello’s Attractions and even former Mott the Hoople keyboardist Morgan Fisher. With a lineup like that, you would presume that Hawk could do no wrong. And you could quite reasonably expect their fifth full-length Fly to be a solid-gold power-pop smash from stem to stern. But sadly — and somewhat surprisingly — you’d mostly be wrong. Maybe the fault lies with Hawkins’ so-so songs, which are generally generic and usually unengaging. Or maybe it’s the basic, uninspired production and flat mix. Or maybe the whole project is just one of those things that didn’t gel the way everybody thought it would. Whatever the cause — and despite a couple of decent tracks laced with stellar playing from all concerned — Fly never really gets off the ground. Pity.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Hawk, led by the American artist David Hawkins, will release its highly anticipated new album, Fly, featuring the all-star lineup of Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Elliot Smith) on drums, Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, R.E.M., Big Star) on bass, vocals, keyboards, synths and guitar, keyboardist Morgan Fisher (Mott the Hoople, Queen, Yoko Ono) and Hawk and Be guitarist Aaron Bakker. Hawkins, also leader of the orchestral folk-rock band Be, is an acclaimed abstract painter and co-founder of the avant-garde ‘happening’ group The Black Mountain Collective.”