NICKELBACK – Here And Now

Nickelback - Here and Now albumNever in a million years did I think that I would be the one who looks forward to a new Nickelback release!

I used to hate that band. Then I got myself a copy of their brilliant Mutt Lange produced album Dark Horse and it blew
me away. I also looked into their back catalogue and found that their two previous albums weren’t that bad either. So now it looks like I am a fan. Who would have thought?

Therefore, not only did I look forward to their new album, I also had some very high expectations. This time the boys didn’t work with Mutt Lange (Def Leppard, AC/DC, Bryan Adams, Shania Twain), but decided to produce the whole album themselves and to be honest, the sound isn’t that different to Dark Horse. I guess they learned a lot from working with Lange.

This time the album is a little bit harder around the edges and it isn’t that polished as its predecessor and even though I loved that sound, it doesn’t really matter because it suits Nickelback very well to be a real heavy band.

The album’s opening track ”This Means War” is a really heavy M.F. It’s a metal song, and it is great. One the best songs I have heard from this band. First single ”Bottom’s Up” follows and that too is a heavy number although a bit catchier than the opener but still, it’s great that they choose a really heavy tune as their first single instead of the pop tunes they usually release.

That one follows next! The song is single no.2 and is called ”When We Stand Together”, a good pop song that follows their other pop song singles. It’s good enough, but it doesn’t really move me. ”Gotta Get Me Some” is a Nickelback take on Def Leppard’s ”Pour Some Sugar On Me”. That kind of theft usually doesn’t work unless you’re Steel Panther, but this one actually does, a killer track that will probably go down great live and my guess is that it will be single no.3.

Also, the albums two ballads are really good this time around. ”Lullabye” is a grand ballad and ”Trying Not To Love You” is more of an uptempo ballad and both songs has HIT written all over them. No bad songs here at all, although ”Midnite Queen” doesn’t really cut it. I love the hardness and heaviness of the song but it just doesn’t have what it takes. It might grow on me though.

Once again has Nickelback recorded a fantastic album. It may not be as brilliant as Dark Horse, but it is pretty damn close. Sounds more like a mix of older Nickelback and Dark Horse. If you are already into the band, you will love this album, no doubt. But for all of those who have dismissed the band as a useless pop band or a banal bunch of American rock radio wannabes should maybe lend this CD an ear. You just might be surprised. Just like I was the last time around…

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

Tracklist:

1. This Means War
2. Bottoms Up
3. When We Stand Together
4. Midnight Queen
5. Gotta Get Me Some
6. Lullaby
7. Kiss It Goodbye
8. Trying Not To Love You
9. Holding On To Heaven
10. Everything I Wanna Do
11. Don’t Ever Let It End

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