Review: Jack Foley
NICKELBACK are a strange band in that they have always promised
more than they ultimately deliver (to me).
Their chart hits are addictively catchy, such as How You
Remind Me (from Silver Side Up), but all too often
they resort to easy formula.
Whether it's pounding, stadium-style rock tracks, or limp soft-rock
ballads, their albums are over-populated by routine efforts.
All The Right Reasons, their latest long-player, is
a classic case in point, in that you can practically pick the
singles off it.
The album was spear-headed by the catchy first single, Photograph,
which updated the How You Remind Me formula with more
of Chad Kroeger’s distinct vocals and some easy-going guitar
But the rest of the album fails to match that standard, flitting
between macho, testosterone-driven rock cuts and wimpy, doey-eyed
The machismo (and chauvinism) is best exemplified in tracks like
Fight For All The Wrong Reasons, which includes such
choice lines as 'I guess it wasn't really right, I guess it wasn't
meant to be, it didn't matter what they said, cos we were good
in bed' and 'it's just a little hard to leave when you're going
down on me'.
It's supposedly offset by the more tender moments, such as Far
Away, which drips in the sort of Hollywood-style sentiment
that has helped reduce many a big rock act to a laughing stock.
We're supposed to swoon at lyrics like 'that I love you, I have
loved you all along, And I miss you, Been far away for far too
long' - but the result is more nauseating than invigorating.
Elsewhere, the album is stocked with the usual foot-stompers
such as Next Contestant, another of the macho power tracks
that relates how a beautiful girl is continually pulled by low-life
men lining up like contestants ('I wish she'd take the night off
so I don't have to fight off every asshole coming on to her').
Or the future single, If Everyone Cared, a soft-rock
ballad that reflects on the state of the world and attempts to
use Kroeger’s vocals as a softer, more contemplative Kurt
Cobain. It's passable and easy to pick out as a single but it
sounds as though it's been written with the fast bucks in mind.
The rest of the album delivers pretty much of the same chalk
and cheese variations, all of which tend to muster the same sort
Listeners should therefore approach advisedly.