The Canadian quartet have, in an era dominated largely by dance pop and hip-hop, eked out considerable success with straightforward rock ‘n’ roll. Breakthrough single “How You Remind Me,” released in 2001, remains one of the last traditional rock songs to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100; follow-up singles “Someday,” “Photograph,” “Far Away,” “Rockstar” and “Gotta Be Somebody” all peaked within the Top 10 of those charts, while their last six albums have gone gold or platinum (2005’s All the Right Reasons shipped eight million copies).
What makes all of that interesting is how quickly critics are to write off the band. If the only people you talk to are media gadflies and record collectors, Nickelback make Matchbox Twenty look like Led Zeppelin. They’re hated for frontman Chad Kroeger’s hangdog long-hair/bro-goatee countenance, the maniacal similarity of their songs, their schizophrenic lyrical content (wistful stadium ballads like “Photograph” and “If Everyone Cared” mix it up with rockers like “Something in Your Mouth,” the “something” of which I’m not comfortable spelling out) and what’s perceived as a humorless approach to music (the band rarely give interviews, and have stopped at least one concert thanks to some hecklers). Things perhaps reached a fever point in 2010, when the Facebook page “Can this pickle get more fans than Nickleback?” [sic] did exactly that.
But, for better or worse, Nickelback remain bulletproof, continuing to enjoy a financial windfall of rock and keeping moderately visible in the music star scene (Kroeger recently married fellow Canadian pop-rocker Avril Lavigne). They even seem to be warming to the idea of poking fun at themselves. And – your catalogue correspondent owes it to you to be honest – the group have mastered the art of MOR pop-rock, which is a far more admirable vocation than, say, manufacturing nuclear weapons.
Featuring 19 singles from the past dozen years (but no new material), The Best of Nickelback Volume 1 awaits your judgment in stores tomorrow. Hit the jump to order your copy and check out the track list.
The Best of Nickelback Volume 1 (Roadrunner RR7592-2, 2013)
- How You Remind Me
- Burn It to the Ground
- Savin’ Me
- Figured You Out
- Too Bad
- If Today Was Your Last Day
- Far Away
- Feelin’ Way Too Damn Good
- Never Again
- If Everyone Cared
- Gotta Be Somebody
- When We Stand Together
- This Afternoon
- Something in Your Mouth
Tracks 1, 4, 5, 9, 14 and 17 from All the Right Reasons (Roadrunner, 2005)
Tracks 2, 7 and 12 from Silver Side Up (Roadrunner, 2001)
Tracks 3, 8, 15 and 18-19 from Dark Horse (Roadrunner, 2008)
Tracks 6 and 10-11 from The Long Road (Roadrunner, 2003)
Tracks 13 and 16 from Here and Now (Roadrunner, 2011)