Nickelback are Canada’s most successful music act ever[EDITOR’s NOTE - excluding Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Shania Twain, Alannis Morissette and Anne Murray], though to many people, they are also Canada’s worse and that view is somewhat justified as their previous few albums have been simple sounding and mostly about booze, drugs and sex with the occasional “message” song thrown in. That said, they are the kind of band that you can just kick back to and listen without having to try and find deep meanings in their songs. Will their latest album Here and Now finally change that perception on the band?
The album kicks off with the track This Means War and starts off quietly before building up into a crunching guitar opening as Chad Kroeger’s indistinguishable voice bellows in soon, almost growling as he spits out lines like “But you went and brought a knife to an all-out gunfight” and “Say anything you want, but that’s not gonna get you nowhere”. So far, it’s a decent opening, but the next track Bottoms Up slips back into familiar territory for the band as the guitars continue to crunch to a similar tune as previous Nickelback songs while the lyrics describe how to drink and what you should do, it’s typical Nickelback though the song does have a great solo in the middle of it, one of the best on the album.
The next track When We Stand Together is one of the best on the album but is one of the weirdest tracks I’ve listened to this year when you compare the sound of the music to the lyrics. The song is quite an upbeat track with acoustic guitars and near the end almost turns into somewhat of an African-like song but the lyrics about how western cultures waste food and ignore the plight of Africans in wars in their countries. It’s an odd combination but does work; though you’ll have to get your head around it first.
Midnight Queen is next and is just shamelessly about sex, the innuendos in the song are so thinly veiled with lines like “She’s gonna lick my pistol clean” and “I’m like a pony in my own rodeo” . That said, it is a fun track and does have a good tune and is one of the better on the album. The following track is Gotta Get Me Some is one of the weakest on the album with the overall sound not being too great and the lyrics being awful in points, it’s definitely one to skip.
Lullaby is next and is the softest song on the album and comes off as quite a sincere track. The sound is less cluttered than the rest of the album as it is mainly just Kroeger’s voice that is the focal point of the song, one of the better songs on the album. Kiss It Goodbye follows and one of the best riffs on the album while Kroeger’s vocals are some of the best on the album though the lyrics aren’t brilliant, mainly just describing the pursuit that some people have of fame.
The next two tracks Trying Not to Love You and Holding onto Heaven are mediocre, as the overall sound in both is good but the lyrics and vocals in both tracks just come across as too whiny at times, they’re ok songs but they’re songs that you wouldn’t miss if you skipped them.
The next track Everything I Wanna Do is once again about sex with Kroeger singing about his perfect girl who has the magical tongue and will do anything that he wants to do. The playground song K-I-S-S-I-N-G also manages to make its way into the background of the song, while the overall sound of the track is ok, just not great.
The finale of the album is Don’t Ever Let It End which is a good song to finish on as it’s quite an upbeat and catchy track with a summer feel. It is somewhat like Last Afternoon from the previous album but does a good job of finishing album.
Overall, the album is ok, it’s not bad but it isn’t great either with the first four tracks of the album being the strongest and then it somewhat tails off and just gets boring before the final track picks it up somewhat. Nickelback aren’t a band that you come to find something revolutionary from, they play it safe and fair play to the band, their albums sell and they do have great songs but this album is only really worth it for the first four tracks so I can’t really recommend the whole album as something you should rush out to buy.