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CD Review – Nickelback – All The Right Reasons

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All The Right Reasons
Roadrunner Records

For years, I’ve singlehandedly been the president and leader of the organization known as the “Nickelback Ruined Rock” club. Not that it was a new concept, but Nickelback’s rise to prominence proved that if radio plays a song enough times, average talent can be heralded as great. “How You Remind Me” proved just that. Nickelback, with their marginal singer and average musical writing and playing ability, found their way to becoming the huge, thus opening the door for even less talented acts like Staind, Smile Empty Soul, and (insert your favorite generic “modern rock” band name here) to become major players with the 15-24 crowd. Their followup album to the massive Silver Side Up, Long Road was best summed up by a reviewer on, who states “there are many things wrong with this album, not least of which is the appalling sameness that invades each and every song. if you have heard one song, you have heard them all. I bought this CD and promptly wanted my nickel back. Disappointing. End communication.” LONG ROAD was a flop overall, and left people wondering if the short, trendy reign of Nickelback was over.

Apparently, it isn’t. All The Right Reasons debuted at the top of the Billboard charts, and sold a very surprising 335,000 copies in it’s first week. There is a major difference between All The Right Reasons and Long Road though…it’s a damn good record. While I’d love to hate this, I just can’t. No, Nickelback isn’t any more talented than in the past, but they’ve written better songs this time out. Where most of their past work was filled with formulaic material without much substance, there are some very strong songs here. “Photograph”, for example, is the most meaningful song this band has ever put on an album. It’s instantly memorable, and relatable to anyone sitting at home listening to tunes while revisiting memories of their past. Nickelback has always tried to write songs of substance, but usually failed in an effort to fill the lyrics and song structure with hooks to make them successful at radio. While I won’t say that there’s material here that’s written for radio, it seems like the band has taken more of a “radio-be-damned” attitude this time out. Songs like “Next Contestant”, “Fight For All The Wrong Reasons” and “Animals” are prime examples of songs that are filled with sexual connotation that the FCC would feel listeners aren’t mature enough to handle.

Vocalist Chad Kroeger seems to really have found his stride as a songwriter on All The Right Reasons. On past records, he seemingly went out of his way to force lyrics that fit with the music (ie: “Never Again”). This time around, he’s really captured the message of each song a lot better. Songs like “Side Of A Bullet” especially capture the honesty of the message. The song, written about the murder of Ex-Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell and featuring a solo from Dimebag’s archives, is extremely poignant. You can feel the emotion pouring out of Kroeger on this one. Equally emotional is the theme song for finding that special someone, titled “If Everyone Cared”. While I’m certainly not saying that Kroeger has become Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan as a songwriter, I am saying that there’s a marked improvement here from past releases.

PITRIFF RATING – 8/10 – One of the absolute surprises of the year to date. Considering that most reviewers had their “it’s generic, it stinks, I wish they would go away” review pre-penned awaiting only the song titles to plug into it, this is a really strong effort from this Canadian quartet. It’s got radio hits on it, but more importantly, it doesn’t feel as if it’s written solely for radio airplay. It’s a good rock record, period. If you liked them before, you will undoubtedly like this. If you didn’t, you may still enjoy this one.

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About richwithhatred

  • DJRadiohead

    I can respect your willingness to be surprised and to not pre-pan an album.

    I have only heard the first single and I think “Photograph” is pap. I doubt there is anything else on the album I want to hear or need to hear. I still think these guys blow.

  • hypertalon7

    Man all of you Nickelback haters need to shut it up they are the best and I mean best band in the world yall just hating cause they making millions doing what you wish you could do so shut it up if you aint got anything good to say dont say anything at all

  • Matt

    I’m so sick of reviewers belittling Nickelback for writing “radio-friendly” hits. When did this become a bad thing? So many people are anti-mainstream, when in reality, all of their favorite underground no-namers would kill for Nickelback’s success, and would certainly (as many say)’sell out’ to get a piece of it. Ever think unknown groups remain unknown and off the radio because they’re, oh I don’t know, NOT GOOD ENOUGH?!? And where does this dude get off saying Staind isn’t a talented group? Aaron Lewis has a fantastic voice — and — like Chad K., has an exceptional ability to write melodies that are instantly addicting. Enough bashing and a little more respect. Yes, I agree Nickelback’s new album is the group’s finest to date. However, don’t dismiss The Long Road — it’s a really strong rock ‘n’ roll record, with one of the most face-melting openers you’ll ever hear.

  • Joe Slue

    People love to come down on Nickelback for being radio friendly, or writing using a formula, and these people use these things with negative connotation. It’s exactly like literature. Some authors write with a message and some writers write to simply entertain. Music is in the entertainment industry, and Nickelback entertains millions of fans each and every year. Chad writes songs for numerous bands, so yes, I would consider him an above average songwriter. But hey, critics are just those who can’t make it in the business themselves.

  • http://none bethany

    all the nickelback haters… one word… jealousy

  • Andre

    Ok im no nickelback hater, and i don’t care if millions like it or not, i just think they are in the middle of everything, i mean, underrated by reviewers and critics and overrated by the “clients”. Just one thing, if all who thinks that a certain musician can’t write music, why don’t you try to create your own?

  • DX

    Im not a huge fan of Nickelback but i do like listening to their stuff. I have to say their latest album seems very much improved on what was already pretty good as far as im concerned.

    I dont know why you all feel the need to analyze everything, if you like it great listen to it! If you dont, go listen to something else. Simple as, why all the bashing… its not gonna achieve anything!

  • david

    You know, Nickelback may be just like every other band, but if everyone is listening to them what would be the point to change. They are making millions doing what they love and obviously by the number of record sales more people are liking the album than complaining about it. Personally I love all of their music. I have all of their cd’s and could not be happier about them. Especially All the Right Reasons, I am a 15 year old kid and I have days when im feeling down and out and sometimes even contemplating suicide, but just by listening to that album it gives me hope that maybe one day I could do something with my life just like they did. So all of you haters out there just remember that everytime that you bash this album it may just turn one more kid away like me and they might end up commiting suicide because you didn’t like the music. Simple theory: if you dont like the music, dont listen to it and you should be fine.

  • Josh

    Obviously, this guy has never really listened to Nickelback. Otherwise, he would realize that almost almost every song has some kind of deeper meaning. An example would be Too Bad, which is about how a father leaves his wife and kid. Like david, when I’m feeling down, I listen to one of thier songs and I feel better.

  • Tay

    This is a great, pure Rock album that falls right beside other classic bands such as Metallica. I think all you Nickelback haters and critics out there are totally wrong. I agree, their singles are not the best, but if you listen to the rest of the album and previous albums (Silver Side Up, the best Nickelback album to date) you’ll find something called pure Rock and classic, catchy tunes. You guys watch, 10 years from now or not even that long, we’ll all be looking down on these albums saying how great they were, and they’ll be classics.

  • what this is dum

    i hate band so i dont like dis band at all

  • what this is dum

    oh and one more thing how could you guys leave a stupied comment when no one ever reads it????? and by the way to all emo pplz change ur style and become a gangter like me…..peace out emosssssssssss lolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

  • Tay

    obviously you did.

  • Britt22

    I really enjoyed this cd I believe this was there best cd yet.I really liked how they actually had the rock they were madeto play in their songs!

  • Dave I.

    It baffles me to death why all you tune-deaf listeners adore Nickelback. Their music is unbearably ugly. They sound like their voices were recorded through a muffler. They’re an ugly, ugly version of Chicago. Whenever any of their hits play on radio, my switch to another station is faster than Superman’s rush to the can after a krypto-laced burrito.

  • charles

    this album is a classic. i’m gonna walk the long road just to get my nickelback.

  • Gazza

    I’m the first to admit that I don’t always like what Nickelback have done in the past. OK, there were some good tracks, and some bad tracks, but their new album is easily the best they’ve done. I don’t see how people can be critical of them for writing songs which will get radio airplay – at least they’re a change from all the manufactured rap/r&b crap we have forced upon us all the time. Give credit where it’s due – this is simply a great album, and it’s a refreshing change to the rubbish we’ve been forced to endure recently!

  • Mike

    To know where you are going you need to know where you have been. Anyone who thinks this music is “heavy” or “deep” obviously is not aware of the state of the artform and the musical acheivements of the last 50 years. Nickelback is watered-down-commercially-rehashed crap. Anyone that has studied music, or actually spent time listening to the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Tool or any band that has helped to define a generation will understand what I am talking about.

  • Voice of reason?

    I think if you like them great. However, this band may not be for some people. Do we really need to have people fight over if they do or don’t like the band?

  • tomcat3

    Nowadays people are so jaded…You can get everything on your computer:music,video…
    Concerning music critics,i don’t understand why they always have to intellectualize pop-music…perhaps the same old story of the guy who can’t shine enough in his life:”look at me i’m not enthusiastic,no one can fool me i’m a guitar player too and the chord progressions in their songs blablabla…”
    Haters are failures and unfortunatelly or fortunatelly for us they can’t get a life out of the internet…

  • chadkrugershair

    nickelback sucks major crusty goatdick

  • ashley

    i love nickleback with all my heart

  • JEss

    Well, it’s true, it is pretty unoriginal.
    But that’s why we love it.
    Deal with it critics