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Album Review: Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (2005) 
22nd-Nov-2005 12:40 am
Andy Dreamy
Despite the title, there are no right reasons...

Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (2005)

Track Listing:
1. Follow You Home
2. Fight for All the Wrong Reasons
3. Photograph
4. Animals
5. Savin' Me
6. Far Away
7. Next Contestant
8. Side of a Bullet
9. If Everyone Cared
10. Someone That You're With
1.. Rockstar

Since this album has been at or near the top of the charts since I started back at my crappy music store job, and since they're from a town that's only about an hour and a half away from my hometown of Calgary, Alberta, I felt it my duty to review the Nickelback album. Not that I'll be paying it tribute, mind you, but a review is in order nonetheless.

Nickelback falls into that grouping of horrors my homeland has inflicted upon the U.S. of A, along with Céline Dion and Mad Cow Disease. But I refuse to allow Canada to accept the blame for this one. Here's why: they were just another nameless band with two poorly selling albums (1996's Curb and 2000's The State) until "How You Remind Me" blew up on the American charts. That's right, no one in Canada cared about this band, or their third album (2001's Silver Side Up) until you Americans started playing it. It didn't even get much radio play up here until Rick Dee's or Dick Clark or whoever it was started playing it down south, and we have laws demanding that radio stations play a certain percentage of Canadian-made music. If it weren't for Americans, this band would've dried up and blown away years ago, with other Canadian bands like Glass Tiger, Big Sugar, and other bands no one else but theskooch still listens to.

Instead, Silver Side Up goes 6 times platinum, their 2003 follow-up The Long Road goes triple platinum, and this new album is well on its way to achieving platinum status as well (it already has up here). I hope you're happy America. First two terms for Dubya, then this.

On to All the Right Reasons specifically, and what can be said about this album that hasn't been said about their other albums that sound just like it? I've never heard, nor will I ever hear, Curb, so I'll leave it alone here and simply say that they've at least made the same album four times now, and no, getting the drummer from 3 Doors Down did not significantly change their sound. The crazy part about All the Right Reasons being essentially the same album as The Long Road (which was essentially the same album as Silver Side Up, which was essentially... you get the point), is that you'd think they'd at least be getting better at making the same album. Instead, this is easily the worst Nickelback album I've ever heard. On the bright side, that'll probably only be true until the next Nickelback comes out, unless I'm blessed enough to not work in a music store that forces me to hear the next one.

You know its bad when even the band themselves are tired of their sound. And that's how All the Right Reasons plays to me. I guess they know they can just throw some shit together and their legion of fans (and they are legion, god help us all) will buy it anyway, so they didn't even put together the minimum of effort it requires to record an album and then clean it all up in post-production. Say what you will about their hits like "How You Remind Me", "Too Bad", "Someday", or "Figured You Out", at least they were catchy... like a virus. Sure, they were devoid of anything resembling artistry, but damn if they weren't catchy. Power chords (or "power" chords) in the right (predictable) places, catchy hooks, and that ol' Chad Kroeger voice burrowed their way into your brain, and I'd find myself singing along in spite of myself (or, possibly, to spite myself). Cause who doesn't love singing like someone had just punched you in the gut?

Well, this album has no catchy single like those of yore. Instead, they have all the suck from previous efforts, only this time they've added some piano and acoustic guitars, for extra-sucky effect. The best thing I can say about this terrible, terrible album is that it's laughably terrible more than its painfully terrible. You listen to it and just have to laugh. Laugh at the attempts at earnestness and irony that fall way out of the band's reach. Laugh at the pained and obvious lyrics ("It's just a little hard to leave/When you're going down on me", ooohhh... subtle). And laugh at all the people who buy this and think it's hardcore.

In a collection of terrible songs, Nickelback saves the worst for last with "Rockstar". In it, Kroeger tries to be all ironic about the hazards of fame, while also trying to make himself sound as cool as possible. It's a truly horrific song that makes the listener silently wish, if only for a moment, that they were deaf. Which makes it the absolute perfect way to end a big, steaming pile of music. Or "music".


A great site for Nickelback fans

22nd-Nov-2005 01:21 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
23rd-Nov-2005 03:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, writing a scathing review about Nickelback is kinda like shooting fish in a barrel, but it had to be done.
22nd-Nov-2005 10:50 pm (UTC)
Dammit. I thought the review on your LJ was the community one. ... I still don't need shout outs in the midst of a Nickelback review.
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