The Long Road


Roadrunner Records, 2003

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


It must've been tough to be in Chad Kroeger's shoes when he was writing this release. Not only did he have to follow the success of Silver Side Up, a radio-hit heavy release that put their name on the radar of rock radio stations, but he also had teamed up with Saliva to have a huge hit "Hero" for the Spider-Man soundtrack. Like any band that attempts to carry on the success of a blockbuster release, Nickelback have a lot riding on this release.

First track "Flat on the Floor" is a 2:02 fast-paced kick-in-the-face track that sets the tone of the release. Driving drums and Kroeger's vocals propel this song to make it one of the best lead-off tracks to come from a successful band, unlike bands that start out their releases with a slow drippy ballad (I'm thinking of Tesla's "Caught in a Dream" from their Into the Now release). "Flat on the Floor" definitely starts the release on the right foot.

Unfortunately, I don't understand why the band chose to place "Do this Anymore" as the second track. This track starts out slow before transforming into a good rock song. This is followed by the radio single "Someday," a song that has successfully been repackaged as a track on one of those Kid Bop releases that get advertised on cable TV. I think the fourth track "Believe it Or Not" should have been track two so the momentum didn't slip with the intro to "Do this Anymore."my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

It's interesting to take note of how a songwriter writes their material. A typical Nickelback song is a verse, a chorus, repeat the verse, repeat the chorus. Kroeger follows this pattern on "Someday" and others here. As chief lyricist, Kroeger paints a world of chaos. The morning after a drunken fight soliloquy "Should have Listened" causes sympathy for Kroeger as he sings, "There's three new holes on the wall / Where the hell's my credit cards? Why's my wallet in the yard? . . . I should've listened / when you said you'd had enough / a little trick I picked up from my father." I could relate to the ideas Kroeger is singing about, even though I haven't had a night like that since the early 90s.

"Feelin' Way Too Damn Good" is another example of the chaotic world Kroeger inhabits. He invites his woman to join him, but spends the time together worrying about "Something's gotta go wrong / Cause I'm feelin' way too damn good." The subject of the sexually overtoned "Figured You Out" is another example of the chaotic relationships in the speaker's life. "I love your lack of self-respect / while you're passed out on the deck."

Another theme is faith in a higher being. In "Throw Yourself Away," Kroeger addresses God and asks the subject, a mother that gives birth to a baby on a bathroom floor, "You notice how God ain't even helping you." In "Believe it Or Not," these lyrics address a higher being as Kroeger sings, "Could someone deliver us / Just send us some kind of sign / so close to giving up / 'Cause faith is so hard to find."

In the end, the band sorrowfully closes this chapter in their history with a sappy homage-to-the-fans. Kroeger sings, "If you don't come, we'll never know." He sings about "After hours and alcohol / Every club, we've seen 'em all / We'll go out on the town / and light it up till we burn it down." I really wish they would have left this track on the cutting room floor. I understand the band's "need" to have a lighter raiser at their concerts, but the song immediately preceeding this one "Another Hole in the Head" would have been a better end to this chapter.

In the end, Nickelback have already gotten some singles from this release. There are probably a couple more that you will hear on the radio before the band stops touring and prepares their next release. "Should've Listened" and "Feelin' Way Too Damn Good" are my picks.

I liked this release. The band sounds good and I listen to this release a lot. If you like their songs on the radio, this CD will probably live in your CD player. It's not perfect, but it's reasonably good.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2004 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Roadrunner Records, and is used for informational purposes only.