Review Summary: If you're going to rip off a band, at least make sure you're not ripping off Nickelback.
Surely you’ve all heard of Nickelback? This is their latest album, and I have a few issues with it – no wait, this isn’t Nickelback, this is the debut album of a rip-off artist of theirs, Saving Abel.
Saving Abel is:
Jared Weeks – Vocals
Jason Null – Lead guitar
Scott Bartlett – Rhythm guitar
Eric Taylor – Bass guitar
Blake Dixon – Drums
The three singles from this album – “Addicted”, “18 Days”, and “Drowning (Face Down)” – all led me to think that Saving Abel was a decent band. But sadly, those are really some of the only great songs on here. Track 1 sucks, tracks 2-5 show an improvement, then from track 6 onward Saving Abel just seems to spiral into an endless pit of uncreative music and repetitive themes.
1.) “New Tattoo” – 4:23
If you are one of the many people who consider Nickelback to be crappy c**k rock, then you probably won’t like the album opener, “New Tattoo”. “New Tattoo” is catchy on the surface, but a deeper look inside reveals that it’s rather a Nickelback rip-off, and a bad one at that. OK, so I personally like Nickelback, but being a bad rip-off song earns this number a 1/5
2.) “Addicted” – 3:43
Here is where things get a bit better. The truth is, “Addicted” is pretty catchy, but it’s still somewhat forgettable. No wait, it’s not, you couldn’t get away from this song if you tried when it first hit the radio airwaves. The main problem is that it’s yet ANOTHER mainstream rock song about sex. Just the song your mom warned you about, kids. Still, it’s a pretty good song, so I’ll give it a 3.2/5.
3.) “She Got Over Me” – 4:03
OK, I like this tune. It’s a nice, solid rocker. One drawback, though, is that it’s about your girlfriend – a (overused) theme on this album so far. 3/5
4.) “18 Days” – 3:52
I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, this is basically the same song as the last one on the album, but with an adult-pop ballad format. Now, normally that would be enough to earn this song a 1.5/5, but the major point in this song is that Jared Weeks actually shows some emotion, as opposed to “She Got Over Me”, where he sang just like he would with any rock song. In the end, “18 Days” is a nice ballad, but a forgettable one. 2.5/5
5.) “Drowning (Face Down)” – 3:56
“Drowning” is easily the strongest song on the album, and my personal favorite by them. The Nickelback influence that effectively ruined “New Tattoo” can’t be easily found in this track at all. The track opens with a nice acoustic guitar and piano fill, and then Jared Weeks starts singing with some pretty impressive lyrics – “Times before I’ve walked through / The valley below the sun”. After a couple verses, “Drowning” just EXPLODES with some real kick-ass guitar work. Just wait until the cycle repeats itself – the guitar solo is just incredible, and quite fitting with the rest of this song. 5/5
6.) “In God’s Eyes” – 3:56
Unfortunately, this is where the four-song streak of serious improvement ends, with the album’s second Nickelback rip-off. I do give it credit, though, for being marginally better than the appalling “New Tattoo”, and for having a neat guitar solo. 2/5
7.) “Sailed Away” – 4:19
A bit of a disappointing tune. I thought this would be competition with “Drowning” as the best song on the album when I heard the aesthetically pleasing acoustic guitar intro. It’s like “18 Days” (a ballad about breaking up with your girlfriend), only better organized. 2.75/5
8.) “Beautiful Day” – 4:14
OK, let’s compare this one to – bet you didn’t see this coming – Shinedown. On an album of theirs, where there are much more varied lyrical topics, a song like this would be a beautiful addition. On this album, however, “Beautiful Day”’s theme of breakup is really starting to get tiresome. The love ballad trick is also getting a bit old – love ballads are nice, but when used too many times on an album they can really get boring. 2/5
9.) “Out of My Face” – 3:40
Shut up about your girlfriend, already! 1/5
10.) “Running from You” – 3:29
Isn’t this a Nickelback cover? No wait, it’s another rip-off. And you’re STILL overusing the ever-exhausting girlfriend/breakup theme? Oh, well. 1/5
11.) “Beautiful You” – 2:52
Are you SURE Chad Kroeger didn’t die in a car crash, and then Jared Weeks took over? And after that happened, did Jared Weeks get sued for leading the band under Nickelback (ala Sublime), and they changed their name to Saving Abel? Just checked the news archives and I have good news and bad news. The good news is that Chad Kroeger is still alive and fronting Nickelback. The bad news is that Saving Abel have exhausted all possibilities, wasted all potential, and created an album loaded with exhaustive girlfriend themes and Nickelback rip-offs. 1/5
Despite this, I’m not going to lie to you – Saving Abel has potential. If they can refocus their efforts and create original music that isn’t about your girlfriend, Saving Abel really could become a formidable force on rock radio.
“She Got Over Me”
“Drowning (Face Down)”