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Nickelback - 'Here And Now' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 29, 2011    
 
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The band's weakest album to date.

Usually when a poor film is released at the cinema critics aren't given an advance screening; the idea being that any negativity is hidden until the unsuspecting public has spent its hard earned cash on it, thereby making money on a film that will clearly be panned by the critics.

With that in mind, it was with some trepidation that I put pen to paper. You see Nickelback is just too big a beast these days to require the critics to give advance assessment of their albums and so no advance copy of this album was available for review. The record label doesn't want illegal copies hitting the streets prior to release date and the whole PR machine has gone into overdrive to maximize profit. Yes folks the band is so big now that they no longer do interviews with the magazines that helped them achieve success in the first place. I can understand the logic, but it still leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

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'Here and Now' is the band's seventh studio album and sees a return to the self-produced albums that preceded the Mutt Lange produced 'Dark Horse' from 2008. Lange's touch has clearly influenced the band and this can be heard on album closer 'Don't Ever Let It End'- a rerun of 'This Afternoon'- or the thudding 'Everything I Wanna Do'. Suffice to say there's much to like about this album, which sees Nickelback doing what Nickleback do, with very few surprises, save for the extremely pop orientated 'When We stand Together'. Sure, opener 'This Means War' is a worthy metallic opener that will translate well when the band inevitably takes the album on tour, 'Bottoms Up' is a riff monster that takes a tongue in cheek look at drinking and there's much to enjoy with the soaring 'Holding On To Heaven', yet some of the songs simply come across as ordinary. The syrupy 'Lullaby'- with a piano intro straight out of the Coldplay repertoire - does it exactly what it says it does.....send you off to sleep, whilst the equally dull 'Trying Not To Love You' follows the tried and tested formula and could have come from any one of their last three albums. 

'Here and Now' represents the band's weakest album to date, it's not a poor album by any stretch of the imagination but it seems like a step backwards after the band so successfully reinvented themselves with 'Dark Horse'.

Mike Newdeck

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