No Fixed Address

Written by: PP on 12/12/2014 22:18:04

When exactly did Nickelback become such a caricature of rock music? Looking back at the last eighteen years of their recorded music career (yes, they've been around longer than you think), I'd probably point the finger somewhere around the release of 2003's "The Long Road" and 2005's "All The Right Reasons", which featured mega hits "Someday" and "Photograph", respectively, and moved the band away from their core sound towards a more radio/pop rock oriented approach. Today, thanks to a string of records ranging from generic to awful clouding everyone's judgment, it has become increasingly difficult to argue that this band wrote a trio of excellent albums at the beginning of their career without losing your credibility as a music critic and/or a music enthusiast. But fact is, "Curb" (1996), "The State" (1999) and "Silver Side Up" (2001) are all rock solid examples of post-grunge near its best. Listening to their disgracefully bad 8th studio album "No Fixed Address" makes you wonder how/why the band lost it and resorted into writing garbage like this instead.

Not only are the songs on the album generic, totally predictable and safe radio rock versions of alternative rock for the most part, some of them are downright insulting in their direct attack on your intellect. "She Keeps Me Up" is a prime example with its staggeringly horrific chorus of "Funky little monkey, she's a twisted trickster / Everybody wants to be the sister's mister / Coca-Cola Rollercoaster", delivered in funk-driven pop rhythm that simply makes you irritated from having to listen to it. "Get 'Em Up" is equally awful with its annoyingly in-your-face tone oozing of arrogance and shameless contempt of people treating music as an art form given how manufactured and fake it is. The guest cameo by rapper Flo Rida on "Got Me Runnin' Around" is just terrible and totally unsuitable on a record that tries to pass itself as a contemporary alternative rock release. Again, the songs are simply irritating; I snapped back at a few of my colleagues asking me questions because of how annoyed I was over having to repeat listen to this garbage.

But as is usual to Nickelback releases, there are always a couple of decent tracks that are designed to sell the album even if it's otherwise an insult to rock music in general. Opener "Million Miles An Hour", for instance, opens with muscular guitars and has a great chorus, even if the song is otherwise ruined by unexplainable liquid-effects poured on top of the verse vocals. Whoever thought that was a good idea in the studio should be fired. Likewise, "Edge Of A Revolution" (uh-oh, Nickelback going political!) is fairly catchy, despite consisting of ultra simplistic instrumentation. But here, the slightly rougher and coarse vocals make it at least worth a single listen as you force yourself through the album that one time necessary for every Nickelback record so you can rightfully claim moral right to insult the band and this shambolic release.

Overall though, "No Fixed Address" is the weakest Nickelback album and arguably their most generic, forgettable work to date. Few tracks designed as radio singles are not comparable to their mega hits, and the rest of the album is basically an insult to rock music. The worst thing is that because they have so much mainstream exposure people with little knowledge to rock music might actually believe this is what rock music is all about, which of course couldn't be farther from the truth. Frankly, "No Fixed Address" is the worst thing Nickelback have written throughout their career, which is quite an accomplishment considering the debacles of "Dark Horse", "Here And Now" and "All The Right Reasons".


Download: Edge Of A Revolution, Million Miles An Hour
For the fans of: 3 Doors Down, Hinder, Seether, Breaking Benjamin
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.11.2014

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