Nickelback is Overhated

Nickelback is Overhated

Nickelback is not as bad as society portrays them to be. Most people who hate Nickelback have probably only heard one song and not given the band a fair chance. Admittedly, songs like “Photograph” are genuinely bad, but if people took a closer look at their other work, they would realize that they are not really that bad. Their older work, like the album The State from 1998, is excellent, and I listen to it often. The song “Leader of Man” demonstrates their potential to create good music.


The primary issue with Nickelback nowadays is their focus on creating commercial-sounding rock. Back in their early days, when commercial success was not their primary aim, they made great music. Although they still make decent music, some of it is overshadowed by the commercial radio format. However, many of their commercial songs are catchy, and the song “Rockstar” is particularly memorable, with at least a quarter of the room recognizing the main hook.


The main reason people hate them is the amount of airplay they receive. In the late 2000s, Nickelback was everywhere, and songs like “Rockstar” and “How You Remind Me” were played incessantly. When they were just starting out, they did not receive as much airplay, so their songs were not as ingrained in people’s minds as a negative association. Similarly, the song “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons is overplayed, but it is genuinely good. If you played it to someone who had never heard it before, they would probably agree that it is a good song because they have not been overexposed to it.


Another reason for the hate is the media. In the early 2000s, comedian Brian Posehn made a joke about a study that tried to find a correlation between violent lyrics and behavior. He retorted, “No one talks about the studies that show that bad music makes people violent, but listening to Nickelback makes me want to kill Nickelback.” This clip was used in an ad for his show and played all over Comedy Central, exposing the hate toward Nickelback to many people.


Another reason for the hate is Nickelback’s inability to stick to a particular genre. Sometimes their albums can be all over the place. For instance, on their latest album, Get Rollin’ released in 2022, they have songs such as “San Quentin,” which is a fairly heavy and good song, but then they have “Those Days,” which is very poppy generic garbage like “Photograph.” This is also evident on their 2017 album Feed the Machine, where they have the excellent title track, but then they have songs like “Song on Fire,” which is also generic garbage. They are trying to appeal to everyone, which generally does not work. Some people like the generic garbage, but others, like me, prefer the heavier songs like “Feed The Machine.”


In conclusion, the band is not that bad. They have made some questionable creative choices and need to return to their roots. If Feed The Machine had songs all like the title track, it would have been one of the best albums of that year.