Sound — 8
"Here And Now" is a huge improvement on Nickelback's last album "Dark Horse" which I found over produced and boring. Nickelback stated they wished to go back to the more organic sound of "All The Right Reasons" and I think they have achieved this with Here and now. The album has it's typical Nickelback sound, its ballads and rockers but I was quite pleased they didn't just release an album full of power ballads which they could easily do to appeal to the radio. When I heard the song "When We Stand Together" which I find to be possibly the most annoying song Nickelback has ever written, I had low expectations for the album. However as shown in the past the rest of the album is quite enjoyable and the songs are solid. I've always loved Nickelback's rock songs more than their pop ballads and they pleased me with the opening rock anthem "This Means War" A riff driven rock song reminding me of "because Of You" off of the long road and perhaps one of the more original songs on the album in comparison to their other works. "Bottoms Up" is really just "Burn it to the ground" part 2, however I find it much catchier than its predecessor. "Midnight Queen", "Gotta Get Me Some" and "Everything I Wanna Do" are you're typical riff heavy rock song to have sex to like "Next Go Round" and "Figured You Out", because lets face it everyones come to expect that from Nickelback, nothing new in these pieces. All three are upbeat and catchy with "Everything I Wanna Do" being a bit less generic sounding in it's breakdowns and the better of the three. "Trying Not To Love You" surprised me with a quite nice rock intro to this ballad having a tone to it like a Santana piece. Possibly one of the better songs musically. "Holding On To Heaven" is so similar to "If Today Was Your Last Day" it's ridiculous. But in saying this, it's catchy and not as bad as the albums lead single.
Lyrics — 3
Nickelback's lyrics have never been the most deep and meaningful really. This album is no exception with songs like "Bottoms Up" generic beer drinking lyrics "Another round, fill her up, hammer down, grab a cup, bottoms up". Then you've got the typical sex orientated "Gotta Get Me Some" and "Midnight Queen" reminiscent of "Something In Your Mouth" and "Animals". Nickelback try to get deep and meaningful with "When We Stand Together" and "Lullaby" but the lyrics to both came off as generic and cheesey. As with any Nickelback album if you're looking for something poetic and meaningful you're probably looking in the wrong place. But Chad's simplistic lyrics do seem catchy and will evoke some sort of emotion in the end.
Overall Impression — 8
Here and now blows "Dark Horse" out of the water. It is a much better album. It is quite similar to "All The Right Reasons" and "The Long Road". I actually quite enjoy this album when I didn't think much of their previous effort. Songs that stood out to me were definitely "This Is War", "Lullaby", "Everything I Wanna Do", "Kiss Is Goodbye" and lastly "Trying Not To Love You" with this being the best song on the album. It wouldn't be a Nickelback album without a few songs that you can tell will get annoying as hell on the radio with "When We Stand Together" being the worst song on the album by far. This album is not entirely different to their previous works, I can't see it winning over any new fans, it will keep the fanbase happy and keep the haters disgusted. I love it, it's Nickelback and you bet I'd buy it again if it were lost or stolen.