Nickelback has returned with their party-rock sound with their seventh studio album, “Here and Now.” The band (consisting of lead singer Chad Kroeger, guitarist Ryan Peake, drummer Daniel Adair and bassist Mike Kroeger) has received a negative reception from critics and some rock fans throughout the years, especially on their past couple albums “All the Right Reasons” and “Dark Horse” for their themes and similar sounds. But the band has paid no attention to the criticism and fans looking for something new will be disappointed to hear the same thing they have heard on the previous albums, while fans that love the traditional Nickelback sound will enjoy every song.
“Here and Now,” like the couple previous albums, has the fight song, “This Means War,” the drinking song, “Bottoms Up,” the relationship songs like “Trying Not to Love You” and “Holding on to Heaven;” the sex related song with “Everything I Wanna Do” and “Midnight Queen,” as well as the song about saving the world, “When We Stand Together.” This is also the one acoustic song that appears on the album. Similar to their previous songs “Photograph,” which appears on “All the Right Reasons” and “This Afternoon,” appears on “Dark Horse.”
Along with the same sound and themes, Chad Kroeger’s writing ability has stayed the same as well. Whether it is the love songs or the song about helping the world, the lyrics are average and straight forward. They get the point across and have a good rhythm to them, but none of them are really-award winning quality, especially with one of the catchiest new lyrics that you get from this album comes on the song “Everything I Wanna Do,” where Kroeger sings: “You and me, sitting in a tree, f – – – i n g.”
Nickelback is not the classiest band, but they are not afraid to embrace that and they do not care what kind of reception they receive, because with over 50 million albums sold and multiple awards, they have no reason to change the style that makes them Nickelback. “Here and Now” has proven to be no exception to that philosophy. Although the topics of the songs always tend to deal with sex, relationships, violence, drinking and helping the world, they are all subjects that people deal with and can relate to in their lives. Then add the heavy guitar riffs and loud drums, the fact that the lyrics may not be the words of John Lennon disappears because one thing that Nickelback does very well is to create a strong sound.
Only time will tell how well “Here and Now” will fair amongst everyone and if Nickelback can silence any of their haters, but whether you are a fan of change or not, “Here and Now” is still worth taking a chance on.
-Published in The Oswegonian