If you have ever heard of Nickelback you most probably fall into one of two categories. Die hard fans, or die hard haters. For the latter, Nickelback‘s new album, Here And Now will be another opportunity to tear the band apart for what ever it actually is you hate about them. However, for die hard fans, like myself, Here And Now will provide you with not only one of the best rock ‘n’ roll records in years, but quite possibly the best Nickelback album ever.
Nickelback‘s 2005 album All The Right Reasons has generally been seen by fans as the band’s best, and their follow up 2008 album, Dark Horse, as a close second. That’s all going to change now though with Here and Now, a fantastic mix of classic Nickelback music. The album provides the perfect blend of hard rock songs and ballads that have been made a signature of the band.
This Means War, the first track off Here And Now, comes at us with a bang. The heavy drums and guitar with the classic voice of lead singer Chad Kroeger provide us with a fantastic opening track filled with pure rock. If nothing else it reminds everyone that Nickelback is back and better than ever. We continue on the hard rock ‘n’ roll train as we hit Bottoms Up.
The songs follows in the vein of Burn it To The Ground, playing out as a fantastic hard hitting drinking song. Bottoms Up screams everything we love about Nickelback, drinking, partying and more drinking, as well as the tremendous guitar solo that shows us just why the band is one of the best around.
The album steers away from the partying for the next track, When We Stand Together. This emotive ballad combines the perfect twist of sharper instrumentals with a strong message, giving us another great track which follows closely to If Everyone Cared, while still keeping a strong rock vibe.
Midnight Queen, the fourth song off Here And Now is for me an instant classic. The song, which sounds like it has fallen right out of Sons Of Anarchy, explores Nickelback’s “Ace In The Hole.” The description of this Midnight Queen who “walks like a model and talks a like a trucker” gives us a new heroine forNickelback tracks.
As the hard rock continues with Gotta Get Me Some, we find a perfectly structured track with an excellent and totally awesome chorus that will have people jumping up on tables and screaming out of sun roofs. For fans of songs like Shakin Hands this track will be a definite classic, and though some of Here And Now mirrors previous songs, the album really shows Nickelback taking it to a new level.
We then slow down for the next track, Lullaby. This heart wrenching song that deals with depression, and shows the versatility in Nickelback‘s tracks, combines hard and soft rock but remains strong with great instrumentals and intriguing lyrics.
The next track, Kiss It Goodbye, throws us back in the deep end. The lifestyle of aspiring stars is detailed here and though the hard rock theme rings strong throughout the majority of the record, each track tells a different story, including this one.
Here and Now slips into a softer rock feel for the next two tracks. Trying Not To Love You provides us with another perfect Nickelback love ballad that will definitely attract a lot of the band’s female fans, as Chad Kroeger confesses how he “can’t see the silver lining”. This conflicting love song works perfectly with the follow up track Holding On To Heaven.
Holding On To Heaven kicks up the rock level a little more, but still provides fans with a soft track that again steers a little different to Nickelback‘s previous love songs, giving us something a bit different.
The next track may in fact be my new favourite song. Everything I Wanna Do shows the band’s dark side, leaving previous sex driven songs like Animals in the shadows. There is no doubt that this ridiculously perfect explosion of rock ‘n’ roll will make every guy want to find the girl this was written about.
The album once again slows down and closes on another love ballad. Don’t Ever Let It End is another great love story and a tremendous track to close on. It can definitely be described as “a guy’s love song” and the great lyrics again explore why this band is so damn good.
Overall, my expectations for this album were incredibly high and to be completely honest, those expectations where smashed. Here And Now is a perfect record for Nickelback fans. The thing is, if you don’t like the band, you’re going to hate everything they do. However, for true fans, Here And Now is fantastic.
The album really shows that the band are giving fans exactly what that want and that they are really taking it to the next level. Though many people will dispute the band’s originality in comparison to their other albums, if people wanted something that doesn’t sound like Nickelback they would listen to something other than Nickelback.
Really, the worst thing about this album is simply that there are only eleven tracks. If you call yourself a fan of the band then this album is a must buy. Run, don’t walk to the store to get this one.
Here And Now was released on November 17th, 2011.