Review Summary: The well done vocals don't make up for the sub-par lyrics. Album is good but nothing more than that.
Nickelback is a band that needs no introduction. Whether you love them or hate them... let me try that again, whether you don't mind them or you despise them, we are all very aware of who they are. The group is well known for recycling their songs and providing little innovation to the rock genre at all. This part in itself is mostly true though it doesn't always mean its bad. Nickelback managed to take the mainstream rock genre and add a little edge to it, while still maintaining the accessibility of it.
From the albums first track "Follow You Home" we are immediately hit with something no one would expect... double bass pedal. Already you have to admit that it caught you off guard and this no doubt gives the listener some hope for the rest of the song that follows. The hard hitting but simple drum beat matches up to the crunchy, edgy guitar work very well. The vocals however are bland and uninspired until the chorus starts up, which still makes up for it.
The album obviously isn't all good though, in fact as many would have guessed a lot of it is just plain bad. It features a few throw away tracks that just seem to bleed into one another. "Fight For All The Wrong Reasons" sounds very similar to many songs they have written in the past and even though the band tries to incorporate a heavy "pump-up" sound, they just don't pull it off and the listener daydreams until its conclusion. Tracks like "Side Of A Bullet" and "Someone that you're with" follow the same routine. I had to force myself to pay attention through these tracks.
"Photograph" is a song that follows the exact same formula as any other radio ballad but is executed very well. The song is no doubt a guilty pleasure for many though it may be hard to admit. Sure there is no originality here but the vocals sound very sincere throughout the whole thing and are spot on with the instrumentals. "Animals" follows directly after the conclusion of the third track and is instrumentally superb. The lyrics however are borderline awful and make you feel embarrassed to listen to in public. They tell a story of a girl sneaking out of her house to meet a guy in his truck, driving off and engaging in coitus. Yes coitus. The dad then catches them and what a big surprise, the guy can't find the keys and gets busted. Yeah that pretty much sums it up, good sound brought down by immature lyrics.
Other catchy tracks like "If Everyone Cared" and "Rockstar" are likely to be heard on the radio and maybe spark some emotion in the listener or cause them to turn it off completely. Regardless, the songs aren't bad and are a fun time to listen to.
Basically to sum up the album: Its not great but certainly not terrible, its good and nothing more than that. The band doesn't deserve all the criticism (at least not this album anyway) but definitely doesn't deserve the many awards they've won.