Review Summary: The only Nickelback album that doesn't deserve the hate it receives.
Nickelback is one of those bands everyone loves to hate, and most of it is just. They have horrid lyrics most of the time, simple instrumentals, and the goal of putting out the same sound on every album. Only a few songs receive praise from the outside world ("How You Remind Me"), but even their hits are generally written off as radio rock trash. I happen to enjoy their radio singles, but not much else off their albums, except for this one. All the Right Reasons is the only complete album Nickelback has released. Aside from it containing the most hits (every ballad is a #1 hit I believe), It shows off the band's ability to entertain throughout an entire record. Now technicality still isn't great and never will be, but most mainstream rock isn't.
"Side of a Bullet" is the heaviest song Nickelback has ever released (except for maybe "Because of You"). The entire guitar part is power chord riffs, backed by a simple drum beat, even though the double bass is a nice touch in the verses (sort of unexpected). There is no pick-up in the chorus and the entire song sounds the same. "Someone That You're With" has a catchy guitar part... for the first couple of seconds, but after hearing it 100 times back to back in the verses, it gets old and annoying quickly. The chorus isn't great (and sounds like it belongs on a different Nickelback album), but the second half picks up and brings the overplayed guitar part back, and it seems to fit better here. "Far Away" is the cheesiest ballad Nickelback has written, with a chorus that's as simple as any love song can be. Instrumentalism is out of the picture on this song, but I can't give it less than a 3/5 for some reason. I guess the lyrics touch me and I can't admit it; whatever.
"Next Contestant" would never get this high of a rating if the chorus didn't kick as much as it does. The transition from the annoying synthesized guitar to the power riff/vocal tradeoff grabs attention quickly and keeps it. I find myself waiting for the chorus just to hear the combo, which sounds great together. That one section of this song may be the highlight of the album. "Fight for all the Wrong Reasons" is one of the few songs I can easily hear the bass in, even if its simple. I still enjoy the fact they show it off. The verses are nothing special, but the chorus it catchy, even if bit perverted (what a surprise); not as bad as some of their other songs. I love the bridge though which is the instrumental highlight of the album. This would be the only song I'll probably admit I over-rated, but I still enjoy it. "Animals" is the sexy song we all were waiting for (not). This is the only obviously perverted song. I find this song quite funny from the racist lines to cheesy chorus. I somehow enjoy the poorly done song and have no reason to back it up besides the fact that I enjoy the listen. "Follow you Home" is easily the biggest surprise for me on the album. The double bass at the beginning is very misleading, but the chorus is only of the melodic gems that goes unappreciated. I love the phrase setup and the lack of instrumental complexity covering the rhythm of the words. The chorus is easily my favorite on the album, but the verses bring it down to a 4.5/5.
I'm going to throw "Rockstar" in the mix of the ballads, even though it isn't a textbook ballad. It is softer than the rest of the heavier songs, but I'm assuming everyone has heard this song, and if you haven't, the radio still probably plays it. It is one of those songs radio killed, but if you forget the fact that you've heard it a hundred times, It's an enjoyable song that focuses on the stupidity of rockstars these days. I find it hard to believe he wrote this seriously as a model for himself because it's so ridiculously stuck up. "Photograph" is my favorite song on the album, just because of it's laid back feel that most people can relate to. It's got a Jack Johnson chill feel to it with lyrics that tell a story that isn't clouded with sex or fighting. Nothing instrumentally specially about either of these songs, but no one expects technical genius for radio play. "Savin' Me" has a guitar part I really enjoy. It is different from most styles we've all heard before. There is no surprise why this is popular with the catchy lyrics and the pick-up in the middle of the chorus (which I always like). "If Everyone Cared" is one of those songs that is just a guilty pleasure listen. The verses are stupid lyrically, as is the chorus, but the song has a certain melodic style that easily gets stuck in your head. Again, there is nothing instrumentally worth noting.
There is no true explanation I gave this a 5. And there is no way to convince anyone without sounding like an idiot. The best way I find to word it is that All The Right Reasons is an album that has a certain catchiness and memorability in every song that makes it impossible to forget. Even though the music has no complication factor at all, the album does a magnificent job of duping listeners into not caring with the simple-minded catchiness of every song.