Dark Horse review by Nickelback

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Nov 18, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.4 (283 votes)
Nickelback: Dark Horse
0

Sound — 9
Nickelback is undoubtedly one of few modern bands who cover so many styles in one outing. Their main style, which is their own very distinct take on metal, is let loose from the word go. The track in question is the mega-catchy 'Something in Your Mouth', which breaks the album exceptionally well, showing Nickelback's trademark portrayal of heavy rock/metal, mixed with aspects of country etc. They keep the feel going through to the next track, a riff-driven song called 'Burn It to the Ground'. A good track, though not Nickelback at their best - the solo isn't brilliant and doesn't compliment them as a band too well. 'Gotta Be Somebody' sees Nickelback flip styles and play the first mainstream rock 'anthem' on the album -. It's a beautiful song which allows the band to show their softer side. It keeps the guitars and bass down, allowing the vocals to take near-total charge of the song. That feel is then continued in 'I'd Come for You', which is a similar song in the way it has been written/recorded. The hard rock comes back again for the next few tracks. 'Next Go Round', like the first couple of tracks, is driven by heavy guitars/bass and pounding drums. It also contains a pretty good solo that is sadly spoilt by effects. Some may not think so, but I do. Then comes more classic Nickelback in the form of 'Just to Get High' which opens with a nice reverb-enhanced guitar line, going heavier in the choruses/solo. Nice, clever song which should be a fan favourite. 'Never Gonna Be Alone' then comes and turns the amps down from 11, and out come the acoustic guitars - definitely one of the best, most relaxed tracks on the album. The next two tracks, 'Shakin' Heads' and 'S.E.X.', bring the heavy rock back for another encore, both letting Nickelback do what they do best. The first shows more country influence in the guitars again. The second is another maxed-out distortion track. Both are pretty good. 'If Today Was Your Last Day' shows remnants of their work with Carlos Santana in the style that it is played, being a relaxed, almost Spanish sounding song. The finale of the album comes with 'This Afternoon', which is a very different song for Nickelback. Ending on a high note, the song remains very up-beat and feels pretty positive all the way through, and leaves the listener wanting more.

Lyrics — 9
When I think of any band that plays any form of metal, I usually expect the lyrics to be fairly un-imaginative, but the lyrics throughout this album are both clever and meaningful. The pun on the letters of the word 'Sex' in the song of the same name is clever - S is for the simple need, E is for the ecstasy, X is just to mark the spot 'cause that's the one you really want - sex is always the answer, it's never a question 'cause the answer's yes, the answer's yes. - Clever and catchy. That wit and ability to hook the listener is laden throughout the album. Songs like 'Just to Get High' flip it and change the wit to make you think about the lyrics more than the music itself. The vocals, mainly handled by Chad, are as well performed as ever, especially his take on the melodies etc. The harmonies on most of the tracks are great too, citing the bands ability to handle backing vocals as well as anyone else - something that was slightly lacking in various earlier Nickelback outings. Lyrics/vocals are great, overall.

Overall Impression — 9
The album in a sentence; something that will satisfy both the mainstream market and the fans. The wide musical range covered should satisfy most people without question, so don't pass it up just because you don't like whatever they release as singles or whatever. It's a good album, and that's coming from someone who doesn't normally listen to Nickelback a lot. Dark Horse is far from good-for-nothing, as the term suggests. Give it a listen, it's worth it.

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    red157
    MonsterOfRock wrote: Nickelback is, well, nowhere near the best of them... but hey I'd rather hear Nickelback in the video charts than effing Rihanna
    Rihanna sings pleasant sounding pop songs and is easy on the eye. Much better addition to the charts than Nickelback who sound about as good as they look.
    Forbidden Beat
    I enjoy Nickelback's music. They've got some funny songs that it took me a fair few listens to really like. (ie. Animals, Something In Your Mouth, etc.) I think they have a fantastic sound and it just goes off peoples tastes in music. If you don't like it them as a band, why bother posting bad reviews. Constructive reviews i'd be more interested in, but when people come on here and say it's shit...that doesn't do anything for me. Only the 'basic unit' type would say something like that. I think they're doing a great job. =D
    HELLAWAITS88
    nickelback was NEVER a metal band...if you think nickelback is metal, you don't know what metal is. And I dissed this albulm before I listened to it and now after giving it a chance I must say...yeah...its terrible. Immature lyrics, minimalist (wannabe) metal riffs, and extremly sappy slow songs. They know how to make money preying on simple minded people that just wanna party, but if your the type of person that enjoys well made, quality rock and roll...this is not for you.
    BurnzyRock
    i never really liked All the Right Reasons because Nickelback was always a metal band, and now this album takes them back to it.
    Zwack09
    the album is very catchy, those who hate nickelback shouldn't even be commenting on this forum, what makes you so special that you can come in here and say shit about nickelback and probably you never even listened to their songs, hell i bet most of you think that just cause their on the radio and are overplayed that they suck, its called mainstream, thats how you make money stupids...try this, instead of critizing what we like how about you go critize the music you like, like oh i don't know metallica, come on their new album blows and i their songs drag on forever, they never end, its the same shit over and over speed metal or thrash is just the same shit over and over played really fast, you know whats real talent, classical guitar, lets see them play some of that....if you want i'll come into your forums and say random shit about your band, but i'm more cizilized... now for the album its very good, i think its almost a tie with "all the right reasons" its a close race to me, but i think the song on the album is "shakin hands" that one is very catchy...all have a good day, except you *****s
    KingXNothing
    SoftParade1967 wrote: gibson0809 wrote: i dont know why you haters come on here and post how you "hate nickelback and all they stand for blah blah blah" it doesnt make any sense to waste your time telling us your opinion when it really doesnt affect us at all. nickelback are a musically sound band who have managed to stay strong in the music business for a long time, which is no easy feat. no kind of music appeals to everybody, because there is always going to be a group of people who dislike it. thats the music business. obviously there are more people out there who like them than dont because they've been so successful. i personally think that they're a great band. good guitar and catchy hooks. sure they cant be compared to the greats of rock like the stones or aerosmith and GNR, but they dont have to be compared. nickelback arent trying to imitate anybody, and in my books, they deserve to be applauded for doing so. AMEN brother!
    A-FUCKIN-MEN!!! ya no it pisses me off when people just go onto forums just to try n annoy the others n spark up arguments. all u slipknot, trivium n dragonforce lovers, ima go on theres n rite how shit they are! just to piss u off! ya like that?! no, u dont. **** off. (altho i have to say that i hate the songs trivium rites, n i hate matt heafys voice, i guess im not into all the screamo stuff, but they are preti damn good at wat they do)
    KingXNothing
    Minds_iron wrote: painful voice
    gta admit, his voice does sound painful. like itd hurt if anyone else tried it. but hey, thats his normal voice, n its the best thing about the band!
    EL2T
    I don't know who is worse here, the 'OMG Nickelback are the BEST' people or the 'OMG Nickelback are SHIT' people. I bought the ablum and I liked it, yes they are not shredding or prodcing guitar solos that people will be listening to for years to come but their producing songs that are decent enough for what they are. Equally, they aren't the best thing since sliced bread so I wish people would stop treating them as such. I just hate it when people over react to a band because others do the same. It isn't funny, it isn't cool and it isn't impressive, so stop doing it for ****'s sake!
    jess schneider
    seriously grow some balls and grow up all you haters. the sooner you realise all the crap music you listen to is shit compared to nickelback the better!!! nickelback is a fantastic band. their music is unreal and their lyrics are awsome!!! nickelback are one of the most ledgendary band ever discovered and will still be around for a while. they are a geuine band who you dont see big noting themselves and making a fool out of themselves give them a break they aint doin nothing wrong.!!!!!>;|
    dropdead
    People wake up and listen to something not played on the radio for once, Nickleback makes music for hillbilies and average joes. At least this band used o be real for a while back when they made SSU and the State, but Dark Horse is just a money grab. Iron Maiden frontman said it best: Why would you do anything if you aren't going to give it all you've got?
    thedarkblues06
    I think everyone hates on Nickelback because they are just jealous of them. Sure, a lot of people could on here could probably outplay Chad Kroeger in a heartbeat, and they are at home broke. Too bad, he got to the system, so get over it. As for the album, it's pretty intense, about like The Long Road. I love it, personally. I don't care if it's musically complex...I love the sound of 1. Kroeger's grungy voice. 2. The certain sound of the guitars. and 3. The drumming...which, in concert on a solo, is pretty freakin' good. What Nickelback does that I can't STAND is repeat all the same shit over and over again. That bothers me. And to all who have the Someday/How You Remind Me track played over on top of each other...maybe you've yet to realise that they are TWO DIFFERENT songs in the SAME KEY and SAME FORMAT. So what? Bet all you other song writers have done that before. All in all, don't hate the player, hate the game. If you think you're better, you get famous/mainstream, so you can be rich. Don't like mainstream? Okay, be broke. If you think you won't let mainstream affect you, you do it for awhile and see if you can do it any better, because I bet with millions of dollars to your name, you'll forget about the music too.
    taytay8b
    Nickelback is more of a song oriented band than a guitar one. Which is why most guitar players hate them, because it's all the same on guitar. But, they are amazing songwriters, and i'd like to see any of you write a song as good and catchy as them. Anyways, new album is pretty good.
    tilleking
    Bought the CD today, absolutely love it. I hated "Gotta Be Somebody" when I heard it a few weeks ago, but it sounds really good on the album if you listen to it as an album as a whole.
    Snoopz
    gibson0809 wrote: i dont know why you haters come on here and post how you "hate nickelback and all they stand for blah blah blah" it doesnt make any sense to waste your time telling us your opinion when it really doesnt affect us at all. nickelback are a musically sound band who have managed to stay strong in the music business for a long time, which is no easy feat. no kind of music appeals to everybody, because there is always going to be a group of people who dislike it. thats the music business. obviously there are more people out there who like them than dont because they've been so successful. i personally think that they're a great band. good guitar and catchy hooks. sure they cant be compared to the greats of rock like the stones or aerosmith and GNR, but they dont have to be compared. nickelback arent trying to imitate anybody, and in my books, they deserve to be applauded for doing so.
    I Can't agree more , Nickelback are the best (Y) \m/
    Ginger-les-tom
    Okay i admit, I'm no Nickleback fan at all. And i also hate Chinese Democracy, crap album (LOVE GUNS N ROSES). However, this album may be better than Chinese Democracy but it will never be as popular as Chinese Democracy, which is a shame cos it will show how shit Axl is.....not having a bash at Nickleback, i'm glad theyre here and can rpove, that theyre better than Axl's little solo album . Thanks Nickleback
    SoftParade1967
    gibson0809 wrote: i dont know why you haters come on here and post how you "hate nickelback and all they stand for blah blah blah" it doesnt make any sense to waste your time telling us your opinion when it really doesnt affect us at all. nickelback are a musically sound band who have managed to stay strong in the music business for a long time, which is no easy feat. no kind of music appeals to everybody, because there is always going to be a group of people who dislike it. thats the music business. obviously there are more people out there who like them than dont because they've been so successful. i personally think that they're a great band. good guitar and catchy hooks. sure they cant be compared to the greats of rock like the stones or aerosmith and GNR, but they dont have to be compared. nickelback arent trying to imitate anybody, and in my books, they deserve to be applauded for doing so.
    AMEN brother!
    AdamOnDrums
    People, People, we all need nickelback! not to listen too when you're hungry for rock, not to hear at a concert, not to buy their cd's, no. We need them to sing a long to, when you're wasted at party's, to play in bad commercials and to keep viewers off mtv! We don't like them, but were would we be without them?
    |Heretic|
    |Heretic| wrote: Nirvana6722 wrote: luigbvb wrote: highvoltage7268 wrote: Their lyrics are shit.your mums shit! Its spelled mOm No, that is the American way of spelling it, American's also say it a slightly differently. For us Brits its mum. I think ive posted somewhere here already, but I've heard the album now. I agree with the earlier statement 'they can do better'. The album's all right, but I think All the right reasons had a much more diverse song base, where as I think this album is all the same style.Overall, O.K. I also think if they re-arranged the songs slightly on the CD it could have been better, as I'm a firm believer in getting your song list right to create a certain mood. It just seemed a bit all over the place in that respect.
    |Heretic|
    Nirvana6722 wrote: luigbvb wrote: highvoltage7268 wrote: Their lyrics are shit.your mums shit! Its spelled mOm
    No, that is the American way of spelling it, American's also say it a slightly differently. For us Brits its mum. I think ive posted somewhere here already, but I've heard the album now. I agree with the earlier statement of
    98Timberwolf
    I love their earlier albums, especially The Long Road, but I can only take so many songs with childish lyrics about sex. Sure there are a few good songs here, but today's Nickelback is not for me.
    HELLAWAITS88
    Forbidden Beat when people come on here and say it's shit...that doesn't do anything for me. people say it's shit because the music doesn't do anything for them...except make them feel like they're in high school again just hitting puberty...I'm talkin to you something in your mouth, what a dumb f***** song.