As we approach the end of the year, (you can expect my end of year lists to start appearing over the next few weeks) I have a tradition of making a list of albums I have somehow missed, so I can go back and check them out. While looking for some that might grab my attention, I stumbled on the fact that apparently everyone’s least favourite twats, Nickelback, released a new album. Now, I was kind of surprised I’d missed this. As much as I despise their bland, soulless radio rock, I was of the opinion that Nickelback were still a rather big deal and therefore, I would have heard when they were releasing a new album. All of this led, out of some masochistic need to hurt myself, to me sitting down and listening to it this morning.
Now let’s be clear. This is pish. I also know that me saying that isn’t a revelation. Me not liking Nickelback is about as surprising as the sun coming up (although as a resident of Scotland at this time of year, it does sometimes feel like that doesn’t happen), it’s not an album that is made for me. It’s an album that is made for rock fans who don’t actually like rock music. However, I think I’ve been quite positive this year, so give me one chance to just slag something off.
Picking out the shit is hard, there is a lot of it. However, “What Are You Waiting For” comes to mind as being particularly offensive. Its blend of modern-day R’N’B and Nickelback’s faux rock, is particularly excruciating and I genuinely struggle to understand how anyone could have come to the opinion that this was a good song. I actually quite like some pop music, I have an unhealthy love of Taylor Swift for a man who spends a lot of time listening to very heavy metal, but this isn’t even good pop. It’s just shit.
Even that pales in comparison to the laughable ‘funk’ of “She Keeps Me Up”. It feels like a soulless attempt to hit the club audience and it’s disco sound is actually painful to listen too. By the time Flo Rida turns up on “Got Me Runnin’ Round”, I’m sure it will be no surprise to hear that I was banging my head against a brick wall. Strangely, that was actually more enjoyable than listening to the album.
There are some less offensive moments. “Make Me Believe Again” is bland radio rock, which even I struggle to get angry about. While there is no denying that Kroeger has an ear for a ballad, something he shows on “Satellite” and “Miss You”. While both of these are about as soppy as a wet fish, they have a certain charm mixed up in that wetness and I find hard to not bob along too.
You know every now and then I go into an album like this, expecting to hate it, but kind of hoping I won’t. It happened with BabyMetal. I expected to find that album as abhorrent as I did their live show, which I’d seen only a month or so beforehand, but actually found myself caught up in its sugar sweet vocals and crushing riffs. Sadly, Nickelback have had no such luck. Chad Kroeger and co are no doubt smart, this album is an obvious attempt to connect themselves with modern trends, but their music is still about as enjoyable as slamming your hand in a car door. I’m sure there are those of you out there who enjoy it and fair enough. Who I am to tell you not too, but I can tell you that if you genuinely believe this is good, you are wrong.