NICKELBACK – The Long Road

NICKELBACK - The Long Road


Roadrunner Records
Release date: September 23, 2003

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Post-grunge rock band Nickelback is not as bad as most critics want you to believe, but they are not as good as their CD sales numbers indicates either. A seven-numbered amount of people has bought Nickelback records. A lot of critics aren’t too understanding about that, saying this only is thanks to the band’s commercialized approach and some very radio friendly hit songs.

Sometimes it looks like the only post-grunge bands accepted are those who still have got members who actually survived ( …literally ) a band career in the early 90s. The world is not too rich on new bands that modify the sound of the long time dead grunge era and bring it alive for a less depressed 2003 crowd. …and make it big! Bands like these are not given a fair enough chance by the press. ( Brit-pop’ers went through a similar thing.)

Canadian Nickelback, born only one borderline away from the cradle of grunge, Seattle, plays it safe. They know for sure that radio air time helps sell records, but believe me, only a few tracks on The Long Road will be played on regular radio stations.

The album’s major parts deliver much more interesting stuff than easy rock listening. Though the sound is clean, the edge of it is jagged. The songs might not cut deep, but they will get beyond your surface. The lyrics sure are, from time to time, touchy, telling about heartaches and bad childhood memories and related power ballad ingredients. Still, The Long Road contains lyrics that one can guess are meant to shake of the reputation Nickelback has got as a band recruiting youngsters as fans only. Or, what do we say to lines like “Too many long lines in a row / I love the powder on your nose / (…) and I like the way you like me best ( …) I like the white stains on your dress”? I won’t assume this is something singer/front man Chad Kroeger wants to tell thirteen years old fans about? ( Eh…but who, then? )

The single Someday ( the successor of their big hit How You remind Me from the Silver Side up album ) won’t put you on fire. Rather pay attention to the opening track “Flat on the Floor” or “Figured You Out,” “Because of You,” and “See You at the Show.” Not inventive in any way, but sure songs that rocks. Straight rollers. Tracks that, by the way, prove that bands don’t need better drummers than Nickelback’s.

Now I’ll alphabetize Nickelback between Willie Nelson and No Doubt in my CD collection. That’s what radio does to you you, folks!


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