Nickelback Try To Bring Back The Times When People Actually Paid For Albums

noah | November 11, 2008 12:00 pm

ARTIST: Nickelback TITLE: Dark Horse WEB DEBUT: Nov. 10, 2008 RELEASE DATE: Nov. 18, 2008

ONE-LISTEN VERDICT: The sixth album from seemingly unkillable Canadian act Nickelback is co-produced by countryman Mutt Lange, a fact that’s belied by the pre-grunge sheen over so much of it. It starts off with the “Crazy Bitch” rewrite “Something In Your Mouth” and gets downer and dirtier from there: The Intervention-ready “Just To Get High” sounds like post-Dr. Feelgood Motley Crue, right down to the lyrics about junkiedom; “Shakin’ Hands,” which is about a woman who’s a gold-digger, a stripper, and a whore, recalls Poison’s “Fallen Angel,” only with a touch more misogyny. And then there’s the big ballad “Never Gonna Be Alone,” which could have just as easily been performed by longtime Lange pal Bryan Adams, and on which Chad Kroeger slips out of his post-grunge growl and into that “extra octave” territory mined by Def Leppard to great effect. There’s even a “silly outro” track–“This Afternoon,” which one could see as Nickelback’s attempt to answer the question, “What if there was a rock version of ‘Because I Got High,’ only without Afroman and with lots of guitar strumming?”

THE BEST TRACK: It’s gotta be “Gotta Be Somebody,” on which Kroeger dispenses with the sort of icky bro-dom that’s going to ensure this album sells as many copies as an album can in late 2008 and indulges in some Alphaville-biting “Up With People” schtick.