Album review: Nickelback, The Long Road (2003)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 18, 2003

By Steve Newton

The Long Road, the highly anticipated follow-up to Nickelback’s hugely successful Silver Side Up, wasn’t worth getting excited about. It starts off okay with the riotous “Flat on the Floor”, but by the second tune, “Do This Anymore”, it’s clear the Alberta-raised, Vancouver-based quartet is mainly concerned with re-creating its breakthrough monster hit, “How You Remind Me”.

They make an even more blatant attempt on the next track, “Someday”, which is also—you guessed it—the CD’s first single and video. Nickelback is definitely struggling for decent material these days, case in point being The Long Road’s “Figured You Out”, a plodding piece of crap the band used to kill time on its last arena tour. “I like your pants around your feet,” bellows singer-guitarist and main lyricist Chad Kroeger, “I like the dirt that’s on your knees”.

Come on, buddy, you can do better than that.

Nickelback delivered three or four catchy tunes on Silver Side Up, but can only manage one or two on The Long Road. So here’s a shopping tip for anyone who likes the grunge-flavoured style of music Kroeger and his mates make, but just wishes they would add a few more hooks. There’s another band from Alberta called the Jack Union that has an indie CD out called A Fine Madness. Strangely enough, it was coproduced and engineered by Joey Moi, just like The Long Road. And it was recorded at Burnaby’s Greenhouse Studios, just like The Long Road.

But it’s much better. You can order it through http://www.albertamusic.com/.

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