The question is..... how do you create hit single after hit single after hit single. Well the last band that did that in the modern rock world was Creed. To be honest, I´m not the hugest Nickelback fan, but that all changed with one listen to this record. Nickelback attacks radio with their singles that climb the charts more and more with every single release. The band recently released their latest record Dark Horse with full fledged radio rock in mind. The band has so many tunes on this album aimed directly for modern rock radio. With that said, the band does not compromise their songwriting in anyway and actually creates better music and catchier more radio friendly jams.
With the help of producer extraordinaire Mutt Lange, Nickelback released one of the best modern rock produced records of today. Being a person into production myself, i was eagerly awaiting the listening of this album knowing mastermind Lange was behind it (Def Leppard being my favorite band... you get it). The quality and clarity on the album are in perfect sequence on the songwriting outside the boundaries the band is used to. This album has the hit single Gotta Be Somebody which offers you average Nickelback sound but more in depth with emotion and driving bass drum along the lines of Snow Patrol. The band creates this massive sound on this record that is sure to hit home with any Nickelback fan already or ones to come. The band turns to the almost Def Leppard sound with Shakin Hands as it inquires a Leppardized guitar riff in the beginning and the famous gang vocal "Yeah’s!" in the background at certain parts.
Nickelback makes sure that everyone knows that can write a great tune on this record and show it off with an almost flawless record for the band. Many different styles are engaged on the records and many boundaries exceeded for the band. Many tunes like Never Gonna Be Alone, I´d Come For You , Shakin´ Hands and If Today Was Your Last Day can all be radio smash hits. Of course there are some tunes that are straight forward rocking which the band is known for also but the emotion and passion that fills the vocals and the melodic hooks from the music are sure to make this album a top contender for the year.
There you have it, this is just as much a Mutt Lange record as it is a Nickelback record, and that is why you like it and that is why this is going to be big. If my memory serves me right, just about anything this man touches becomes hit records. "Post grunge" could not be further from the truth, this is pure american radio rock.
I as well was not a huge fan of Nickelback, but I enjoyed this CD too! Great review Tom. It is one of those surprisingly good CD's that a lot of people will enjoy. I just hope people who hate them give it a chance.