Review Summary: *insert obligatory blank CD joke here*
Let's address the title before we discuss anything else. Other than it obviously being incredibly generous, this is an example of false advertising in contemporary rock music at its worst. First off, every single song on this compilation is naturally a hit single from the band. Furthermore, the majority of this is comprised of all and only the most popular singles from their best selling/highest charting album All the Right Reasons
; with even singles from their most recent effort Here and Now
overlooked, and songs from their least popular LPs left out completely. So this is a "Greatest Hits" release through and through, and should promptly be titled as such instead of boasting this undeserved "Best of" name that would imply Nickelback actually had the decency and consideration towards their fan base to put the time and effort into selecting what they honestly believe to be their best songs. With that being said, whatever microscopic hope of this possessing any semblance of unique interest or appeal has been snuffed.
So how does this fare as a standard compilation album? Well, it's uneven as all hell because a hefty portion of it is made up of basically more than half of All the Right Reasons
, and the rest of the songs chosen here only cover approximately 20 – 40% of each of the group's major label albums before and after that grand milestone in their discography. If that doesn't sound unbalanced enough, this collection really doesn't even flow in a way that’s fluent or makes sense. Since Nickelback sit atop the power ballad throne this century, the bulk of this is their poppy soft rock cuts (every hard rock charter off of Here and Now
didn’t make the cut in favor of both of its positive-thinking Top 40 hits), but they’re arranged in a way that makes this album’s track list seem like an iPod playlist constructed by an adolescent fan. “If Today Was Your Last Day,” “Far Away,” “Feelin' Way Too Damn Good,” and “Someday” are all clumsily jumbled right in a row at the compilation’s midpoint. That’s four sluggish crooners all ordered directly after one another. But hey, maybe that was the point. See? Nickelback clearly has the best interests of their fans in mind; going out of their way to make their playlists for
them and then charging them more money than an average album for it. What a bunch of stand up guys.
The album blasts off with knucklehead-sentiment-acoustic-anthems “Photograph” and “How You Remind Me” following one another and embarrassingly showing their similarities – and in a side-by-side comparison that’s so obliviously set up, it’s almost too good to be true – only to come to an end on the male chauvinist rallying fist-pumper “Something in Your Mouth.” So, since it’s clearly not sorted chronologically, it can’t serve as a documentation piece of the band’s evolution over the years, and due to tracks from different albums being scattered all over the place, the grimy post-grunge songs of Nickelback’s youth texturally conflict with the polished sheen of their lean and clean ballads. This makes it a constantly rough and inconsistent trek across their catalog with stark tonal contrasts abound.
So, when all is said and done, the question remains: who really needs this album? It’s nothing that a die-hard Nickelback fan couldn’t have compiled themselves, and even at 19 tracks and despite Chad Kroger’s pre-release claims of it containing new material, there aren’t any special features of any kind to be found on the final product. No deluxe edition, no unreleased tracks, demos, or even a lowly remix here that would give this compilation the vital aspect of exclusivity. You could argue that it provides the typical Nickelback fan with the convenience of all the hits on one disc, but that trait is appealing to a very narrow minority, and since Nickelback’s singles have always been their songs with the least substance, forget converting anyone, it won’t grant any Nickelback detester anything but a place where all their worst nightmares have been gathered together. However, for all its redundancy and pointlessness, the release of this album unveils one new revelatory truth about the band, and it’s that they’re not even good at praising