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Nickelback - 'No Fixed Address' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     February 19, 2015    
 
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There's a sense that 'No Fixed Address' is a manufactured album.

It's hard to believe that this is Nickelback's eighth album and that the Vancouver outfit has been around for almost twenty years, selling thirty million albums in the process. Despite the same perceived hatred afforded to them as Justin Bieber, Nickelback are clearly liked by someone; their success since 'How You Remind Me' proves it.

"Too Pop to Rock" and "too Rock to Pop" is one of the many taglines given to Nickelback. Here lies the genius of the band and Chad Kroeger, they're both; simultaneously churning out lightweight Pop tunes (think 'When We Stand Together') combined with active Rock staples like 'Burn It To The Ground'. But all the songs sound the same right? All the hits are rehashes of 'How You Remind Me' right? Wrong... 'No Fixed Address' is the antithesis of that formulaic perception.

A small change was evident on the ballad heavy 'Here And Now'; perhaps the bands worst since 'The Long Road'. '...Address' goes the whole nine yards highlighting a trend for Rock bands to chance their arm in the Pop genre. But it feels contrived, as if Kroeger has analysed what's current in mainstream Pop music using a computer programme and then copied and pasted all the relevant bits. The Maroon 5-like 'She Keeps Me Up' – a song about cocaine – is an uncomfortable slice of Funk Pop, likewise the horn-led Funk of 'Got Me Running Round' featuring rapper Flo Rida.

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Other clunkers arrive thick and fast in the form of the mawkish 'Satellite' or the even more maudlin 'Miss You'; the faux Country Rock of 'Sister Sin' sounds tired and can't hold a torch to a song like 'This Afternoon'. It's really left to the excellent opener 'Million Miles An Hour' – a typical Nickelback Rocker in the mold of 'This Means War' – the anti-establishment 'Edge Of A Revolution' and 'Get Em Up' (a tongue in cheek song about a botched bank robbery) to identify this as a Nickelback album. The mid-paced staples such as 'Make Me Believe Again', 'The Hammer's Coming Down' and generic single 'What Are You Waiting For?' are decent enough but become tainted by the other dross on offer.

Nickelback perhaps should be congratulated for trying something different but in trying to do so they've tried to be all things to all men and it feels artificial. Trying to capitalise on every music genre is a great business idea but there's a sense that 'No Fixed Address' is a manufactured album; an album that is as far away from the meaningful angst ridden Rock of 'Silver Side Up' as it can be and who's eclectic nature is the stick that its critics will now seek to beat them with rather than laud them.

Mike Newdeck

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