by Kristin Battestella
Okay my title makes no sense whatsoever, but people not in the Gibb-know have no idea what I mean anyway, so boo on them. Hawks was a Barry solo project released in 1988. There was quite a bit of hoopla around this album, but I was fortunate enough to trade Penny for it!
System of Love leads off the album with the eighties synthesized sound. Although dated in sound, the guitar opening is cool. The lyrics are a bit generic and tough to understand, but I liked the Hair Bands, what can I say? Childhood Days was the single released for the film. It a quiet pop staple, yet most of the songs here are not quite elevator easy listening either. The story in the song is more serious than the happy go lucky music admits, but Barry’s natural voice is the treat.
Barry is on lyrical form for My Eternal Love. Even with the falsetto singing, you hear what touches you in the words. Reading this one alone is great, and the sound has held up over the past decade or two. A solid chorus delivers again with great internal rhymes and a bit of a different turnaround each time.
Moonlight Madness returns to the Spirits Having Flown style and is the longest track here at 5:15 my count. Madness has a tropical feel to it, and you would expect to hear it playing while traveling on a cruise in the Caribbean. It gets you in a sex on the beach mood, the drink or otherwise ;0)
Who knew? Celebration de la Vie is an instrumental theme done by Barry for the film. Although it could never be a film score in this current day and age ;0) I’ve listened to far worse over end credits! Where Tomorrow Is is the best of the modern synthesized songs presented here. It succeeds where System of Love and later Cover You missed. The delivery is not competing with the music, and its lyrics present a unique dilemma of hoping for good when you are surrounded by the baddies.
Dang some of this is hot stuff! Chain Reaction is my favorite track on this album. Written by the brothers for Diana Ross, the song appears on her 1985 release Eaten Alive. How it got here is beyond me, but I’m glad it did. Ms. Ross and Barry’s harmony and lyrics is Motown truly recaptured. (Some pop twits actually remade this, and it was a hit of course.)
Cover You is a bit of a let down from Chain Reaction in that its too far at the other end of the spectrum to follow it. This sounds like the bad guy theme or the song for the big car chase onscreen. The technical synthesizers blow out Barry’s breathy and hot lyrics.
Not In Love At All returns to the sweet eighties metaphors. It may sound a little dated now in tone, but the pun and play on the words in the song is cute. Similar in style to My Eternal Love, but Love is the fight for her song. I’ll win you someday! With Not In Love At All, he’s professing he’s like, so, over you, but yeah right. Letting Go continues the somber story in Childhood Days, yet the last track makes no secret of its sad lyrics. The slow track is eerie in its foretelling of losing a loved one. Although written in 1986, Hawks was finally released the September after Andy Gibb’s death. Sniff.Hawks, like most solo Gibb material, is not perfect. It’s a unique look at Barry’s style alone and is a must for any of his fans. Hawks however, does inadvertently again prove The Brothers Gibb are best together. Like Maurice said in the Tales booklet, “One of us is okay. Two of us is pretty good. But three of us together is magic.”