In defense of Nickelback

Joshua Waddles
Staff Writer

Nickelback has a lot of fans. They also have a lot of haters and for a long time, I had no idea why.

While looking around on Amazon, I read some of the negative reviews on an album I already owned. The most common complaint I read was that the songs were too much alike. One reviewer said that he played How You Remind Me and Someday at the same time and loled because it was the same song. I listened to both of them several times afterwards and they certainly were not the same song. They were pretty similar, that’s true, but each album has about 12 songs in it. How different do each of them have to be? And listening to Nickelback, the band has a lot more variety than a lot of bands I’ve heard.

Most music fans are familiar with the metal-ish How You Remind Me. Photograph is also a pretty popular song and it’s the complete opposite of metal, it’s a soft feel-good like you’d expect to hear from the Dave Matthews band. Hero has a more smooth tone to it also, though it’s by no means soft, and gives an epic feel with Chad Kroeger’s belting notes.

I read one article that asked the same question I’d been asking, why the hate on Nickelback? My theory is that they’re seen as too commercial, the same way Styx was. Evidence is on my side; if you listen to Rockstar, that song is literally about selling out. This article I’d read had a similar theory, saying the hate comes from the perception that they’re inauthentic.

I can certainly see that. For a while, I had a recording of one of their concerts on my DVR. Between songs, Kroeger paused and overly enunciated as he talked to the crowd, as if he were trying to remember how to pronounce all of the swear words he was throwing around. When Nickelback started the songs, that put Kroeger back into his comfort zone and, in my (arguable) opinion, he sounded much more natural.

I don’t buy the CDs to hear him talk on stage and I couldn’t care less if he eats all-organic, whole-grain vegetables. I buy the CDs to hear him sing and to hear the band play. And so what if they’re commercial? I guarantee you, if my fiction ever takes off, I’m going to sell out faster than John Cena at the Kid’s Choice Awards. Every successful musician I’ve ever heard of took the money when it was offered, and why shouldn’t they? They paid their dues. Musicians make very little money unless and until they make it big. Taking that huge of a risk and being good enough to make it, they deserve to bring that money in.



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