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All the Right Reasons (Special Edition)

Nickelback

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Album Review

With their fourth album, All the Right Reasons, Nickelback ditches any pretense of being a grunge band and finally acknowledges they're a straight-up heavy rock band. Not that they've left the angst of grunge behind: they're a modern rock band living in a post-grunge world, so there's lots of tortured emotions threaded throughout the 11 songs here. But where their previous albums roiled with anger — their breakthrough "How You Remind Me" was not affectionate, it was snide and cynical — there's a surprisingly large sentimental streak running throughout All the Right Reasons, and it's not just limited to heart-on-sleeve power ballads like "Far Away" and "Savin' Me," the latter being the latest entry in their soundalike sweepstakes. No, lead singer/songwriter Chad Kroeger is in a particularly pensive mood here, looking back fondly at his crazy times in high school on "Photograph" ("Look at this photograph/Every time I do it makes me laugh/How did our eyes get so red?/And what the hell is on Joey's head?"), lamenting the murder of Dimebag Darrell on "Side of a Bullet" (where a Dimebag solo is overdubbed), and, most touching of all, imagining "the day when nobody died" on "If Everyone Cared" (which would be brought about "If everyone cared and nobody cried/If everyone loved and nobody lied"). Appropriately enough for an album that finds Kroeger's emotional palette opening up, Nickelback tries a few new things here, adding more pianos, keyboards, and acoustic guitars to not just ballads, but a few of their big, anthemic rockers; they even sound a little bit light and limber on "Someone That You're With," the fastest tune here and a bit of relief after all the heavy guitars. All this makes for a more varied Nickelback album, but it doesn't really change their essence.

Biography

Formed: 1996 in Hanna, Alberta, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Few bands did more than Nickelback to establish the force of slick, commercially minded post-grunge in the 2000s. Led by vocalist Chad Kroeger, the band initially emerged in the late '90s as Canada's answer to Creed, prizing a blend of gruff vocals and distorted (yet radio-friendly) guitars. After a handful of singles failed to gain much traction in Canada, "How You Remind Me" caught hold in 2001, eventually topping the charts in several countries while gathering four Grammy nominations and four...
Full bio
All the Right Reasons (Special Edition), Nickelback
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