Album Review: Here And Now

☆☆☆☆☆

Nickelback's new album Here and Now has got to be one of the worst albums of the year. 

Saying that Nickelback has the innate ability to write music lacking substance is an understatement. The band's songs involve a large quantity of repeated phrases and lyrics that purport to sound perhaps deeper – like on the track "When We Stand Together" – yet turn out sounding more inelegant than anything. 

On this album the band attempts to add to its incredibly mediocre music by using excessively loud drumbeats accompanied by frontman Chad Kroeger screaming – an action that only renders his voice even more like a caricature of itself than it already is. It also makes all the songs on the album sound exactly alike.

The album lacks both a strong beginning and a strong finish. The name of the first track, "This Means War," promises a solid lead, though the song quickly degrades into cheesy lyrics, excessively noisy drumbeats and Kroeger's headache-inducing voice. Drowned in cliché, "Don't Ever Let It End" brings the album to a sickeningly contrived end. Despite its name, the track constitutes one of the strongest on the album, letting up on the drumbeats and allowing some guitar to shine through. 

Nickelback has been notorious for producing laughably mediocre music for years and Here and Now fails to hoist them out of the gutter. There is simply nothing to the tracks of Here and Now that can appeal to listeners. If the instrumental portion of the album wasn't so lousy it might have been possible for listeners to look past the vocals and use it as background music.

Nickelback may continue to try to make music, but thus far they haven't been able to produce anything worth the average listener's money.