Nickelback - Dark Horse

2009-01-07 08:44
 
Nickelback
 
Some of Dark Horse, Nickelback’s sixth studio album, rocks much harder than you might expect from a poster band for teenagers and older tenderhearts who missed the whole 'emo' thing. No echoes of "How You Remind Me" in these words: "I gotta fist full of whisky / The bottle just bit me / That shit makes me / Bat shit crazy". And on it goes: heavy distortion, metal riffs and more lyrics from the bathroom wall at Stones.

Of course, Chad has been hanging with Mutt Lange, the producer who practically invented bawdy bar rock with AC/DC in 1980’s Back in Black. Lange, it seems, has not only coaxed Kroeger’s inner rock star to come out and play, but also lashed him across the back with Nickelback's 'sissy' label. Why else a song like "Next Go Round", a (heterosexual) wet dream on steroids proposing "(We) go so long your parents think you've died / They’re gonna call the cops, the C.I.A. and the F.B.I." You’ve been warned. Better disconnect her phone.

But there's a reason Nickelback never became famous as "them angry Canadians": their gentler, melodramatic fare is much more infectious. "If Today Was Your Last Day", "I'd Come For You" and "Never Gonna Be Alone" all aim for heavy rotation, but miss the bulls eye, which has shifted somewhat since 2001. Instead, the best moment comes right at the very end, when Nickelback finally stop posturing and begin to have a good time. "This Afternoon", a summery strum about good times with friends, transforms their fire-and-bubbles dichotomy into something far more likeable: a bunch of normal guys. The beers and the booze are still there, but even a good son-in-law is allowed to knock one back every now and then, right?

Dark Horse may surprise the band’s long-time detractors, but it takes more to live up to their international stature and the expectations of their long-time fans. The 'a-ha!' moments are there, but perhaps just too few to make this a memorable record.


Chad Kroeger wants to date your daughter. And you should say ‘no’, because Chad Kroeger is a tough guy who sings about strippers and drinks out of the bottle. Ain’t it touching, though, how he sings her love songs, treats her right and tells her she’s “Never Gonna Be Alone”?

MP3 2009/01/07 9:20 AM
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Niel, thankfully your sad opinion of a great album will never get much coverage.
Barry 2009/01/07 9:45 AM
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A great album, Nickelback went back to their roots for this one. Glad to see less of the bubblegum rock, even if it is 'radio friendly'.
Niel 2009/01/07 12:31 PM
Sorry to upset you, MP3. I gave it twice as much as the All Music Guide, the same score as MOJO magazine and half a star less than the New York Times. The media isn't exactly brimming with glowing reviews of this album.
loose 2009/01/08 9:06 AM
While it's difficult to imagine these guys pushing the envelope, it sounds like they've tried to step out of their comfort zone. Thanks for the tip Niel. I might just give them another listen.
Andrew 2009/01/08 12:00 PM
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Havn't given the whole album a listen yet, but defintely appears to be heavier than earlier installments. I have a question, if this is their 6th album then what are the names of the first 5?
Andrew 2009/01/08 12:01 PM
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Havn't given the whole album a listen yet, but defintely appears to be heavier than earlier installments. I have a question, if this is their 6th album then what are the names of the first 5?
Mike 2009/01/08 1:12 PM
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To be really honest, I dont like it. It feels like Chad is trying too hard to put on a bad-ass image, and it comes across a little fake. Guitar effects are awsome though. Nickelback always come through in that department. I agree with Barry that this album is radio friendly, wish they would push the envelope a little more.
Lottie 2009/01/08 1:53 PM
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I absolutely love this album. I can't get enough of it. I really think it rocks. I think it is very gritty and the beauty of it is that radio stations won't be able to ruin it with overplay.
Pearl Jam fan 2009/01/08 3:46 PM
They rock!!
Riaan 2009/01/08 4:58 PM
@ Andrew... I think I can remember about 4: The Long Road, All The Right Reasons, Silver Side Up and State... there's another one somewhere...
Mariè 2009/02/26 9:07 AM
It's an Awesome Album! Just Love it! Have been listening to all of their songs on it and of course there are a couple of songs that which takes preference, like with most artists BUT an Amazing Album - if you love rock I highly recommend it! )
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