No Fixed Address review by Nickelback

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  • Released: Nov 17, 2014
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 4.3 (94 votes)
Nickelback: No Fixed Address
8

Sound — 8
Nickelback is the band that everybody loves to hate. It is understandable that people would not like a band that is immensely famous from rewriting the same album three or four times. Yet, AC/DC doesn't get nearly as much criticism. Personally, I like both bands. I think the criticism is for the most part unfounded. I think "Dark Horse" is one of the best albums of the 2000s (every song was exceptional) and I was a fan of all the top twenty singles from "All the Right Reasons" except for "Photograph." At the same time, most of their albums have exactly eleven songs, run almost precisely forty minutes, and the order of the first three songs go: hard rock opener - catchy hard rock single - ballad/soft single. And then of course there was that time when lead singer/guitarist Chad Kroeger said that he intensely studies radio hits and attempts to embody their elements in Nickelback songs. Even if Nickelback's songwriting does get formulaic at times, it always has the potential to blossom into something new and exciting.

With "No Fixed Address," Nickelback more or less sticks with their established formula. The album has eleven songs, runs about forty minutes, and the first three songs are in the order I described above. There is a a mix of hard songs and soft songs, there are few guitar solos, and the guitars are always in a drop tuning. Thankfully, there is also barely any using of electronic/MIDI instruments, maybe a keyboard here or there.

From a production standpoint, "No Fixed Address" may be Nickelback's most polished record. All of their albums before "Dark Horse" had a raw production feel, but ever since Nickelback collaborated with John "Mutt" Lange on "Dark Horse," their sound has steadily become more practiced and polished. On this album, there are many instances of volume swells, vocal effects, or instrument tones that are changed from a natural tone to something tailored to a specific situation. Sometimes these effects are used well, but most of the time, they are just a reminder of the softening of Nickelback's sound.

Nickelback does however get creative with a couple of songs on the album. "Edge of a Revolution" is new territory for Nickelback on two fronts; it is a politically charged song (though it criticizes the already most criticized parts of the government while offering no solution) and it is also the first time, I believe, where Nickelback dedicates a section of the song to a crowd sing-along. In fact, it is probably the first good sing-along song released by Nickelback since "Rockstar."

"Got Me Runnin' Round" is uniquely tailored to fit the rapper Flo Rida, who makes a guest appearance on this song. "She Keeps Me Up" is a nice departure from Nickelback's signature style. This song features some female vocals as well as a distinct funk feel. While Nickelback is not known for taking risks, they do not fall short when they do.

Lyrics — 7
Chad Kroeger's vocals are as powerful as they always are. If there's one thing that defines Nickelback, it his voice. Likewise, if there's one thing on this album that is exactly same as past albums, it is his voice. Kroeger's vocal style is pretty one-dimensional, but at least it is a very good one dimension. His vocals are so similar from track to track, that I often find myself interchanging choruses from different songs. Nevertheless, his voice is unique and considering it isn't cracking under pressure, Kroeger still has one of the best voices in rock.

From a lyrical standpoint, Kroeger discusses the standard subjects: sex with girls, drugs with girls, relationships with girls, and (I know you saw this one coming) politics. See, since Nickelback songs usually deal exclusively with girls or partying, a political song, even a pretty normal one, is new ground for Nickelback. One other noticeable thing from a lyrical standpoint is that there are no songs about domestic abuse (or violence in general). It appears that this transition to softer lyrics mirrors the transition to a softer sound in general. On a positive note, Chad Kroeger's lyrics, no matter how trivial the topic, always flow well. His lyrics are never disjointed, abstract ideas; they are definite, solid thoughts and feelings that flow well in sequence, although the -ution rhymes in "Edge of a Revolution" are a bit of a stretch.

Here are some lyrics from that song: "Hey, hey, just obey/Your secret's safe with the NSA/In God we trust or the CIA?/Standing on the edge of a revolution/No we won't give up, we won't go away/'Cause we're not about to live in this mass delusion/No we don't wanna hear another word you say/'Cause we know they're all depending on mass confusion/No we can't turn back, we can't turn away/'Cause it's time we all relied on the last solution/No we won't lay down and accept this fate/'Cause we're standing on the edge of a revolution"

Overall Impression — 7
Overall, this album is an improvement from "Here and Now" but it is still worse than most of their albums before that. The main problem with this album is that only one or two of the songs are memorable, and even then, they are not as memorable as Nickelback's past hits. Considering that Nickelback albums are really more like collections of singles, it is fitting to denote a few worth listening to. The best hard rock song is "Edge of a Revolution." The best ballad/soft rock song is "Satellite." The most unique song is "She Keeps Me Up" and the best all-around-sounds-like-Nickelback song is "The Hammer's Coming Down."

In conclusion, this album is good for a solid listen or two, but at the end of the day, I'm just going to go back to "Dark Horse."

37 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Josh100_3
    They have a song with flo rida now? You have got to be kidding me.
    Machineflame
    And a horn section! Cause you know, when Nickelback starts to blow, they leave no Blowable bubbles Unblown! Now seriously, this is my least favorite Nickelback Album (that I have fully heard) and I'm pretty neutral about them. I think I should give it a couple more listens cause I find that only the 2 first tracks pack any real punch so far.
    mattcapitano
    Dude i'll be honest, nickelback was treading on some very thin ice with their last few albums, im a big nickelback fan, too. It isnt even that songs sound the same, because they make it a point to differentiate. The issue i have with this album is that it just plain sucks, and its the one that broke the camels back. Here And Now was okay, but it at least had a TON of riffing on it, and even more catchy songs throughout. No Fixed Address is just like they decided to forget about their long time fanbase and just try to get into the mainstream and stay there. Everything i love about nickelback is nowhere to be found on this record- just an 11 song, 40 some odd minute album with a hard rock opener, a single, and ballads. And only "Edge" being the song i want to hear more than once. If there was ever an album to claim a dislike for nickelback, this is that album.
    hawksfan00
    Yeah, I'd agree. There's only two great songs and a couple good songs. I'm fairly dissappointed in this.
    mp8andrade
    Comparing the reviewer rating and the users rating I take it most people didn't even bother to give the album a real chance before rating.
    kindadumb
    I think it has more to do with error on the reviewer side. With statements like "I think 'Dark Horse' is one of the best albums of the 2000s (every song was exceptional)" and "people would not like a band that is immensely famous from rewriting the same album three or four times...I think the criticism is for the most part unfounded," it's clear that the reviewer is more of an outlier.
    mattcapitano
    Im gonna say that there are people who will give a positive review to a band they love, and then people like me who will be a fair critic to a band they love.
    Halcyonic_Alex
    I haven't checked this album out yet, and I'm unfamiliar with a lot of the material off 'Here and Now' but I gotta say, I really enjoy Dark Horse and For All The Right Reasons, if this album is anything similar to them I will probably enjoy it. I always try to keep an open mind when it comes to Nickelback aha!
    EpiExplorer
    Is Edge of Revolution in drop B or something? Wuts going on here. I'll still maintain that their only good song is 'This Means War'.
    taytay8b
    I will admit that this reviewer maybe comes off as a newer fan but who cares he is entitled to his opinion. I have been a fan since 2000 and I am able to say I enjoyed Dark Horse and I thoroughly enjoy this record also. Edge of a Revolution and What Are You Waiting For are a tad cringeworthy but Get Em Up, Satellite, The Hammer's Coming Down, Sister Sin and Million Miles an Hour are some of the best Nickelback songs ever written. Good album. Check it out. And as someone stated earlier, "I can't believe this has a higher rating than Sonic Highways".. Well the boys in Nickelback have delivered a solid and consistent record front to back while I can't say the same about Sonic Highways.
    KylebaDyle117
    Personally, I was disappointed with this album. Nickelback has always been good at attracting fans of both rock and pop to their fanbase. This is both clever and frustrating because you usually don't completely satisfy either group. I'm more of a rock fan, so I more enjoy some of their older albums (The Long Road, All The Right Reasons, Dark Horse). Here and Now was ok, bt this album feels almost half-baked. I've always enjoyed their music, and always will, but I felt slightly let down this time.
    TheBlisterer
    He did the album justice against the sheer volume of Nickleback haters on this site. Although I disagree that it's better than "Here and Now" I loved that album. But no way is this album a "4.5" according to the user ratings, just the Nickleback hate parade here to give them a bad rating no matter if the album is bad or good or if they've even heard it at all. Sad world we live in musically nowadays really. Nickleback haven't released a bad album yet and their lyrics are nearly always funny as hell in a good way when it comes to sex songs, just listen to "Shakin' Hands". Nickelback to me, are that band that never changes and delivers pretty much everytime, a modern AC/DC. Keep it up guys, I look forward to your next release in a couple of years if you choose to release another album.
    crazysam23_Atax
    The difference is, AC/DC still manages to be good, despite using the same formula for decades. Nickelback was never good; they just rode in on the wave of Grunge/Post-Grunge and never left.
    TheBlisterer
    You haven't listened to many Nickelback songs have you. Don't listen to "Someday", "Hero" or "Rockstar" to make your judgement on Nickelback. A lot of their albums are made up almost entirely of heavy rock, and a lot of it is brilliant.
    jimbob32292
    Ac/DC still manages to be good? That is a joke, same repetitive G-A-D chord progression since what 1979? At least Nickelback takes risks (albeit bad ones lol) AC/DC hasn't even tried to tune down their guitar or change their style. BTW Angus was all the talent, now that hes slowed down that band is what it is, innovative for the 70's and 80's, old and repetitive now.
    jaybrink10101
    You can rag on Nickleback as much as you want, but they're very, very solid musicians who put on a great sounding show, and Kroeger is personally responsible for some of the catchiest rock hooks of the past few decades. I'm not a huge fan or anything, yes these guys write some pretty mundane songs and they never do anything too out the box, plus Kroeger is a terrible lyricist, BUT you have to give credit where credit is due.
    wardyh
    If they write boring songs, never take risks, and can't write lyrics, what credit is there left to give? They might be catchy but to be fair, so is chlamydia. And I would still rather have that than this album.
    HugoPan
    I really enjoyed most albuns of Nickelback i've put my hands on. here in brazil we do not hate nickelback that much, so, to me, it is always weird when I see people bashing the band for no good reason all the time. the people in my country that I saw bashing nickelback are people who already hate the pop/rock genre in general. guess I'll never know.
    Cliffhopper
    I can't respect a review of this album from anyone who says that they loved Dark Horse. What a piece of crap that was, and this is coming from a massive fan of their stuff before it.
    jorisvanaken6
    if you dont like nickelback thats fine, but go tell your mom about it no one does really care ;p... about this album, i like the songs but the sound of the guitar is way to hard.The singing and guitar + drum isn't really in balance.
    GenerationKILL
    A song with a hip hop artist is better than the alternative. A song with Chad's whiny has-been wife, Avril Lavigne. That woman has THE WORST voice in female singers. I can't stand her whiny, nasally tone. She got famous for being anti-Britney Spears, when Britney Spears was the pinnacle of phoney, talentless pop. Now the genre has shifted slightly, and Britney Spears is a saggy titted 52 year old single mom, (or something like that.) So now there's no need for Avril Lavigne. I wish her and Nickelback would just go away. Chad should also drop the wannabe James Hetfield routine, it's insulting to James Hetfield.