Nickelback – Is it time for a re-evaluation of the Canadian arena rockers?
Next week, Nickelback release their first ‘Greatest Hits’ collection, titled The Best of Nickelback Volume 1, it’s 19 songs and taken from across their five recent studio albums.
Thing is, over the last few years, the Canadian arena rockers have begun to feel like the internet’s personalised punchbag. First came the app that allowed users to remove all mentions of Nickelback from the internet, then the story that thousands of fans in Detroit had protested against Nickelback playing a half-time show at the Thanksgiving Day football game.
There have been numerous barbs from other musicians, most famously from the Black Keys and, more recently, a news story did the rounds that showed that US viewers were so fed up with Congress that they actually preferred Nickelback, which might be the ultimate definition of damning with faint praise.
This is something the band are clearly fine about, with frontman Chad Kroeger revelling in their unfashionable status, even telling the Edmonton Journal: "We may be dead by then but I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will probably show up the same time as our first Grammy."
The reasons Kroeger can afford to be so bullish are pretty obvious, his band have sold over 50 million albums, they headline arenas all over the world and are all clearly very rich men.
He can also be rightly proud of his back catalogue too. If you go through the 19 tracks on this compilation, there are lots of huge hits that you’ll know from repeated humming, but may well have forgotten about.
‘How You Remind Me’, the track that first catapulted the band into public consciousness, still stands up as a catchy, affecting pop song, while ‘Too Bad’, also taken from the mega-selling Silver Side Up, remains a punchy, naggingly hummable rocker.
Add to this the stomping rock of ‘Burn It To The Ground’, ‘Never Again’ and ‘Figured You Out’ and soaring, lighters-in-the-air moments like ‘Photograph’ and ‘If Everyone Cared’ and you’ve got a pretty damn fine collection of songs.
If this is first exposure to Nickelback, try to ignore the naysayers and judge for yourself, most of these tracks are very good indeed.
Nickelback’s The Best of Nickelback Volume 1 is released on November 4.