Band of the decade for 2000-2010. Not bad. Even as their detractor create a lot of hate and vitriol at the 4some from Vancouver, Nickelback themselves are laughing all the way to the bank. They remain classy in not responding in kind to all the nonsense that the haters put out in the internet. Does it make one difference to them or their fans? No! And hats off to you guys! Nickelback has received large amounts of criticism for their repetition of the same sound, same themes and nearly identical albums. But it is this no-selling out and not changing their sound to what is new & trendy, much like previously similarly maligned band AC/DC, is what makes a lot of their fans stay loyal.
Released on November 21, 2011, Here And Now is the seventh studio album by the band, their first since 2008’s Dark Horse. The artwork for the album is the Gastown Steam Clock in Vancouver and the clock is set at 11:21, the date the album was released. he album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 selling approximately 227,000 copies in its first week, just 0.18% below the number one spot. Marching out with the groovy This Means War, which encourages us to headband long from the start to the finish. Booming drums from drummer extraordinaire Daniel Adair herald Bottom Ups, a drinkers anthem inviting everyone to have fun, party and drink up. The track also has a nice solo from Chad Kroeger.
The next track & first single is the global awareness, call for peace and cooperation When We Stand Together, the kind of track that the band always seem to slip in amongst the songs about drinking, women, strippers & partying hard. Yet with this track, catchy bouncy feel-good rhythmic and singable song, it’s time to admit – their hearts are always in the right place. Having said that and as the wonderful lyrics of that track fade away, we do get a sex-themed song next Midnight Queen has lyrics like “She’s got the bottle of Tequila and’a lime for her lips / Laid her body on the bar and put the salt on her hips, / I was lyin’ when I told her that I’m only gunna’ lick her tonight!” which doesn’t leave much to the imagination. And Gotta Get Me Some is similar – drinking with a chick and then getting it on! About the perfect hottie, dance & rock star.
Lullaby comes out from left field, a ballad that’s about suicide and a message of hope to someone who is about to contemplate killing themselves. Chad has always been fascinated with Hollywood and it’s lifestyle and in the next song, Kiss It Goodbye, he adds New York City and it’s excesses compared to the ones in LA along with it. This seems like a criticism of the tv culture that is present in the West. We have another semi-ballad in Trying Not To Love You in which home improvement loans interest rates the protagonist wants out of a relationship but the harder he tries, he falls deeper & deeper into the relationship. Holding On To Heavenis a similar styled semi-ballad professing love. We get another sex laden lyrics rocker in Everything I Wanna Do (You and me, sitting in a tree F-U-C-K-I-N-G sung in a distorted whisper) – probably one of the songs that a stripper could shake her things as she writhes onstage.
As the last song Don’t Ever Let It End, a nostalgic love song which makes us look back at the feelings that we had in our life, you get a typical Nickelback album – rockers, semi-ballads & ballads. The themes are the same and it doesn’t ask too much of you other than clear your schedule for 40 minutes and rock on. Ryan Peake & Mike Kroeger add their contributions very well in making this a great album to have. Another success for the Canadian quartet, more world tours and gold / platinum records and a few awards. Life’s good for Nickelback and they always have the last laugh. I leave you with the fabulous first single.