So I’ve had an opportunity to listen to the new Nickelback album in its entirety. And I must say, as I’ve commented to a few people by now, that Nickelback would gain much respect from me if they shedded their formula and went with something fresh, i.e. not incorporating the How You Remind Me riff into some of their songs four years after it hit the charts. They did it with Someday on The Long Road and the offender on their new album All The Right Reasons is Savin’ Me. It’s not a bad song, but it’s like the third time I’ve heard How You Remind Me, and I dunno…it’s starting to get old.
All The Right Reasons is notable because it’s the first Nickelback album since the firing of Ryan Vikedal, their long-time drummer. They replaced him with Daniel Adair, formerly of Three Doors Down. Adair’s not that bad of a drummer. I just wish Nickelback’s song structure would let him cut loose some more. Briefly, in the opening song of the album “Follow You Home,” Adair does some sweet double-drumming reminiscent of Lars Ulrich, and then the standard Nickelback Drop-D Song Formula ensues. That’s the thing that’s always bugged me about this band since Silver Side Up – they’ve been very formulaic. Listen to Curb and The State, and you’ll hear a much freer band, which is more liberal about their song diversity. I just feel like Nickelback’s painted themselves into a corner as a “solid rock band.” While they’re not necessarily as repetitive about their music as Brian Johnson-era AC/DC, I still think they could do some work branching out a bit. Using pianos on a couple songs is a good start toward that, but I think – hell, I know they can, listen to Worthy to Say on The State – do some outstanding, funky stuff.
All The Right Reasons is another solid rock album, but I think Nickelback is long overdue for a reinvention.