Totally Honest Review of Nickelback’s New Album “No Fixed Address”
Ok, now that I've gotten the humor out of the way and made some Nickelback haters chuckle with the picture, here's an actual critical take on the new album "No Fixed Address".
This is the Canadian post-grunge pop-rock act's eighth studio album, featuring rock single "Edge of a Revolution" and pop single "What Are You Waiting For?". 'Revolution' saw decent chart success following the single's release, while the more ballad-centric pop single had lesser success.
The album opens with one of the band's formulaic gritty, "heavy" tracks that features largely-distorted vocals from Kroeger. "Million Miles an Hour" takes you on what sounds like a drug-induced, uncontrollable ride that was probably intended to be a party anthem by the writers and producers. Meh, feels like a lame ride to me.
The album chugs along with more grit and an attempt to make a political statement. "Edge of a Revolution" has the Canadian act offering commentary on some U.S. centric headlines from the CIA spying on citizens to Wall Street corruption. How appropriate, right? While the song feels catchy and fun, the anthem's attempt to cheer on a 'revolution' feels forced, like they are trying to be a part of a party they weren't invited to.
From there, we get the first ballad of the album. Released for radio earlier this fall, "What Are You Waiting For?" offers the other formulated sound we're used to from Nickelback. This song, and the other ballady tracks ("Make Me Believe Again", "Satellite", and "Miss You") are exactly what you'd expect, radio-friendly pop tracks that you might like initially if you're a fan, but get tired of in a hurry.
We're used to Nickelback having two gears; ballad mode and gritty guitar (kinda heavy) rocking mode. There is plenty of both, but they mix things up some with a few songs on the album. "She Keeps Me Up" adds a lick of funk to the album; and while it sounds like you'd hear it at a strip club, I found the track to be catchy and refreshing compared to much of the rest of the album.
The other major departure comes toward the end of the album with "Got Me Runnin' Round", which features Flo Rida. This may sound like a vomit-inducing mismatch, but the song surprisingly won't make your ears bleed. The track features a more rhythmic vibe with horns and a half-rap delivery from Chad that's accompanied by a few lines from Flo Rida. I'm not a huge a fan of this track, but it isn't painfully awful - and it's certainly something a little different than the sound of the majority of the album.
Tracks I found most enjoyable (or, if you're a hardcore Nickelback hater, you may prefer the word "tolerable") are the funky sounding "She Keeps Me Up" and the bluesy rock anthem "Get 'Em Up". Like I said before, "She Keeps Me Up" is refreshing and catchy, so I found some enjoyment in the track. The other song of note, while it's stereotypical-sounding Nickelback, is well-executed and it sounds natural, as opposed to some of the other "heavier" tracks, which sound like they're trying to be more badass than they really are.
"No Fixed Address" is essentially more of the same from a band many people love to hate. They seem to have a formula that works for their fans and drives their critics crazy. Maybe that isn't such a bad thing, though. We fall in love with bands and musicians based on their sound, and while some people get disenchanted or tired of a sound after a while, a majority of hardcore fans gripe when their favorite act drastically changes their sound.
All things considered, I'll give "No Fixed Address" a 2.5/5 rating. I'm not a passionate hater or lover of the band, but I can appreciate what makes a song popular and what makes a band successful. The album provides a handful of relatively decent, catchy tracks with some filler, but there's nothing mind-blowing on this album.