Oh Nickelback, where do we even start with you? Let’s start with bringing a positive light to you since it seems like everyone and their moms try to hate on you for even breathing let alone making music. Just like any artist, sometimes the haters can make you successful and the fact that they released their 8th full length album after an almost two decade career.
The release of No Fixed Address coincides with the 6th anniversary of the release of their 6th full length album Dark Horse and while it seems that almost all their songs tend to sound the same they at lease know what works for them musically so they don’t feel the need to constantly keep reinventing their sound. Album opener “Million Miles An Hour” and first released single “Edge Of A Revolution” both very much consist of their typical hard rock, arena anthem instrumentation and even more anthem-like lyrics that any sold out stadium would belt out.
Nickelback is also known for their dirty rock songs, but No Fixed Address significantly lacks in those types of songs (which is probably brought on by frontman Chad Kroeger‘s marriage to Candian sweetheart Avril Lavigne) and the closest tracks that fit that criteria are the funky-yet-oddly Maroon 5-esque “She Keeps Me Up,” “Got Me Runnin’ Round” (which features rapper Flo Rida and surprisingly works), and ending track “Sister Sin.” They also revert back to the hockytonk vibe from Dark Horse‘s “This Afternoon” in tracks like “Miss You” and “Get ‘Em Up.”
Some standout tracks include the epic, over-the-top, perfect-for-any-superhero-film-soundtrack *cough cough* The Avengers: Age Of Ultron *cough* “The Hammer’s Coming Down” (with instrumental similarities that rival that of Kroeger and Saliva‘s Josey Scott‘s contribution to the 2002 Spider-Man soundtrack “Hero”) and relatively thought-provoking/’makes you question what you’re really looking for out of life’ 2nd single “What Are You Waiting For?”
I’ve always been more of a fan of Nickelback’s ballad-y and emotional singles and both “Satellite” and “Make Me Believe Again” certainly take the cake for those. The former has the same emotional and instrumental appeal as Here and Now‘s “Lullaby” while the latter can have more than one storyline. “Satellite” can easily be regarded as your run-of-the-mill rock love song, but on a deeper level it can also be a song written through the eyes of someone who has lost someone close to them (especially with lines like “life slips by without a warning” and “not about to let you go/until the morning light”). Let’s just say I can already feel a sad video coming out for this and all of the feels are starting to break through.
I’m not afraid to call myself a fan of Nickelback, but No Fixed Address lacks a spark that’s more apparent in their past albums. Since this album coincides with the release of Dark Horse, it was a little obvious that they used similar elements from that album and it wasn’t necessarily hard to compare the tracks to each other. However, this album is practically a watered-down version of that past album and they definitely could’ve done a lot better. Maybe they were thrown off their game by the label switch and Kroeger’s marriage. All in all, No Fixed Address still has some tracks to hit the stadiums with and that’s really all that matters right?