Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Nickelback - The Long Road

Album cover:  I really like the subtleness of this particular cover.  Compared to most of the bands artwork, this one probably wouldn't jump out at you immediately.  But the more you look at, the more you can appreciate the soft hues of color and the distinct image of a bridge.  It kind of gives you a sense of either an early morning scene or one at dusk.  Perhaps a bit of a play on life's journey so to speak.  This cover is also the first one to include the redesigned and (now) standard Nickelback logo.  

Overall album:  Well as the popular saying goes "love them or hate them, you just can't ignore them."  Personally, I've been a fan of the band for a long time (ever since Silver Side Up! was released actually.)  And like most fans there are albums and songs that I really like and there are some that I am not fond of at all.  But having said so, overall I think Nickelback as a band is great and I do enjoy listening to them.  Coming to this album - The Long Road - I feel like it is a forgotten classic sandwiched between two massive hit albums by the band, which were its predecessor - Silver Side Up - and the epic follow up - All The Right Reasons.  But from my point of view, this album to me is the perfect crossroad, so to speak, where Nickelback went from a raw grunge type of sound to the more commercial arena rock sound that has dominated subsequent releases.  I feel The Long Road is the perfect blend of those two eras and contains some interesting moments within it. 


Songs: 

Flat On The Floor: This song kicks the album off in high gear.  There's a strong and aggressive attitude that envelopes this track.  It certainly is a favorite among many fans.  There are some noticeable breaks between the rhythm and the drums kicking in.  Ryan Peake and Ryan Vikedal show off their chops on this one. 

Do This Anymore:  This track contains some of the vocal delivery and electronica elements that later came to be a signature trait of other songs from the band's discography.  But having said so, Chad Kroeger drives this song along with an interesting bitterness and menace in his vocals. 

Someday:  Oh yes! This is the classic track of the band that has remained my favorite for many years.  It has some great acoustic elements giving it a ballad like quality, while also combining some pretty hard rock sections.  It is a great anthem song but at the same time holds a level of delicateness to it. 

Believe It Or Not: A hard hitting number that has a certain 90's vibe to it.  Not sure why but the overall groove has a neat retro feel.  The chorus is big and ascends really nicely. 

Feelin' Way Too Damn Good:  Now the band have released a set of pretty neat ballads over the years.  But let me add that with some more recent ones, the ingredients feel a bit too similar.  That's why this track is really good because of its distinct nature and mix of varying musical elements.  

Because Of You: It kind of gives you an idea of artillery fire the way the riff comes bouncing out.  I like how Mike Kroeger and Ryan Vikedal keep the axle of this song really tight.  Definitely one of the album's heavier pieces. 

Figured You Out:  Now let me be honest and say that I love the music on this track.  It's killer for sure.  But I am too found of the lyrics.  As a song, by itself, its edgy and has a very "in your face" attitude to it.  A definite fan favorite when the band plays live. 

Should've Listened:  This one takes a while to get into.  A pretty heavily dominated acoustic track.  The thing is you have to give this song a chance to grow on you and after which, you can really start to appreciate it for it truly is. 

Throw Yourself Away:  A kind of grunge heavy metal number.  Very mid-tempo in its approach.  It has a brooding and melancholic vibe that runs through it from start to finish.  Again another track you have to let grow on you. 

Another Hole In The Head: This one rumbles all over the place.  Mike thunders his bass along with Ryan and lays out a pretty bombastic rhythm section here.  Chad's vocal delivery reminds me of and seems quite heavily influenced by the grunge band Nirvana

See You At The Show:  Quite a self-indulgent track and one that describes what it's like being at a concert.  Ryan's drumming is epic out here and he gives this number a really nice beat.  It's a pretty cool way to conclude this classic record. 

Ultimate Album Song: Someday

The Band: Ryan Peake (Rhythm Guitar), Mike Kroeger (Bass), Chad Kroeger (Vocals/ Lead Guitar), Ryan Vikedal (Drums) 

Image source: rocktotick.com

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