Sound — 10
I've loved Nickelback for quite some time now. While I didn't care for "The State" and much of "Curb", the albums after those two I have really enjoyed! "Here And Now" is just another in a long line of great albums from Nickelback. Like most of their other albums, "Here And Now" mixes hard, driving rock/metal with softer, more sensitive power ballads. Granted, I don't think it's anything new from the band, which is fine in my opinion since their formula has worked for a while now. "Here And Now" is somewhat of a departure from the sound and production of "Dark Horse" and gets closer to the sound of "All The Right Reasons". That's not to say that "Dark Horse" was a bad album though, I enjoyed most of the songs on it. "Here And Now" may follow the same formula that Nickelback is known for, it is still a great sounding album. The sound Chad and Ryan lay down on many songs such as "Bottoms Up", "Gotta Get Me Some", "This Means War", and "Midnight Queen" are fantastic! Daniel Adair's drumming is once again superb especially on "Bottoms Up". And Mike Kroeger's bass is solid on the entire album. There is something on this album for everyone from heavy, head banging rock to the power ballads which are very well written and sound great in my opinion. The ballads will never achieve the popularity of "Savin' Me" or "Far Away" off of "All The Right Reasons", but they are still listenable. I love the riffs on "This Means War", "Bottoms Up", and "Gotta Get Me Some"! Those are probably my favorite songs on this album even though the entire album is great, except for "Kiss It Goodbye", which is probably the only song I don't like. In my opinion that song is a little over the top with voice distortion. There is something here that everyone can enjoy, except for the Nickelback haters which are unlikely to change their opinion of the band with "Here And Now".
Lyrics — 9
There really is only two sides to Nickelback in my opinion. One side is the balls to the walls party side where themes and lyrics revolving around sex and drinking are prevalent and then you have the sensitive side where the lyrics revolve around love and relationships, the more personal side of things. "Here And Now" follows this same pattern. The album doesn't depart from these themes in the slightest as songs like "Bottoms Up", "Midnight Queen", "Gotta Get Me Some", and "Everything I Wanna Do" share the sex and drinking themes while other songs like "Lullaby", "Don't Ever Let It End", "Holding On To Heaven", and "Trying Not To Love You" are the other side to Nickelback. I enjoy the lyrics on most of these songs. The lyrics go with the sound and feel of the music quite well and everything flows great. People hate on Nickelback because their lyrics and songwriting never seems to change that much, but I don't find that an issue. They know what their fans want and they deliver it everytime! I have no issues singing along to any of the songs on this album. Chad's voice is once again amazing. He has great range and can sing with the best of them. I know some don't like his voice but I think the growl or gravelly voice works well with the music. Chad may write songs that have the same theme over and over but they lyrics are catchy and enjoyable in my opinion. The lyrics on the ballads can be quite emotional at points. Those are the songs people can relate to especially on "Trying Not To Love You", "Don't Ever Let It End", and "Lullaby".
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I love "Here And Now". It's a great sounding album with songs that I can play over and over again. Everything sounds like classic Nickelback. They give their fans more of what they love and the songs are fun! Like on most of their recent albums "Here And Now" combines hard driving rock songs with power ballads which is great! I like their hard stuff a lot, but I also enjoy a good ballad sometimes and Nickelback is really good at writing them. It's hard to get as good as "Savin' Me", "Far Away", or "Photograph" and honestly the ballads on "Here and Now" are not as epic or grand as those, but they are definitely some good songs. The heavier songs on this album are right up there with Nickelback's greatest. My favorites off the album - "This Means War", "Gotta Get Me Some", and "Bottoms Up" rank up there with some of the heavy stuff from previous albums. The main riffs to each of these songs are really great and just sound really cool. There isn't much that I don't like about "Here And Now" however I think some other themes and more variation would be nice sometimes. Every artist has a theme or style they usually use and Nickelback's just happens to be sex, drinking, and more sex. I happen to like the lyrics and music, however, I think they would get even more fans if they wrote about other things and mixed new styles in with what they already do. It could make them a stronger group and have more sales for their music or it could break them. Overall, "Here And Now" is a great album but may not ever be as popular as "All The Right Reasons" was. However, the album still deserves a look if you are a true Nickelback fan. I would definitely buy this album again. If you are a true Nickelback fan, you won't be disappointed. If you don't like Nickelback because of the themes or the voice, this album is not for you, since nothing has really changed. Nickelback knows what it's fans want and they once again cater to them with "Here And Now".