Sound — 7
Well to start off, this is Nickelback, so don't expect anything new or anything to be majorly changed in terms of their sound or lyrical content. Being a fan though, I instantly loved the album and found it to be worth the wait. The sound covers everything we're used to, from their alternative metal anthems to the soft rock / pop ballads. The heaviest track is the opening "This Means War" which has also been released as a single. Other songs that keep the driving 'metal' sound include "Bottoms Up" (also a single) & "Kiss It Goodbye" (both of which utilise driven guitars well, the drums stand out especially). Where as the ballads include songs like "Lullaby" (which features piano work as well as the usual instruments we're all used to) & "When We Stand Together" (which is primarily an acoustic ballad) and have both also released as singles from the album. The album features great guitar work & vocals from frontman Chad Kroeger & guitarist Ryan Peake, solid basslines from Mike Kroeger & awesome drums from Daniel Adair. They stick to the formula which the fans love & the haters are obviously going to hate.
Lyrics — 6
Overall, the lyrics (much like the music) are what you'd expect with Nickelback, a mixture of the party songs which include lyrical themes about sex & women, but also the ballad-esque songs which discuss themes of love, death & life as a whole. In general the vocal work mixes with the instrumental work very well. Chad Kroeger's powerful voice soars above the music in some songs and helps get the point across, songs like "Midnight Queen" really do show off his ability to sing about what he wants to do (this one obviously talking about sex) but this aside, the ballads also show off this voice and lyrical talent as songs like "Trying Not To Love You" discuss the loving and psychological side of relationships as opposed to just the sex and fun side of them.
Overall Impression — 7
Nickelback's "Here And Now" is the seventh studio album in their career and being a long-time fan it didn't disappoint me at all, granted it's not as good as some previous releases (Such as "All The Right Reasons" but the band have done well in creating something the fans will love & possibly gain some new fans in the process. The most impressive songs on the album were definitely "Trying Not To Love You" with it's heavy hearted lyrics & overall tone "This Means War" which is essentially (in my opinion) a call out to everyone who has ever doubted them as a band & "Don't Ever Let It End" which tells a story of lust between friends which has grown in to love. The weakest song on the album would have to be the lead single "When We Stand Together" not because it's a bad track but because of all I could have listed, it is the one I liked the least. This is definitely a must buy album if you're a Nickelback fan & worth a try if you're interested in getting in to their music. I'd definitely buy it again if stolen/lost.