NICKELBACK — The Long Road (review)

NICKELBACK — The Long Road album cover Album · 2003 · Heavy Alternative Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
martindavey87
Nickelback’s fourth studio album, 2003’s ‘The Long Road’, sees the band finally do away with the post grunge sound of their earlier days and fully embrace the mainstream, radio-friendly hard rock vibe that gave them worldwide superstardom on 2001’s ‘Silver Side Up’ (which featured THAT song).

And to be honest, the band pulls it off perfectly. The songs are all well-written and catchy, yet rocking enough to get heads banging too. Unfortunately Nickelback would fall into that gray area where they’re not “metal enough” for metal fans, and too heavy for casual radio-listeners, however, the bands singles, which usually tend to be on the softer side, gives the band huge mainstream appeal, and it’s for this reason that fans of heavier music probably despise them.

However, with that said, when the band wants to rock, damn, they can rock hard! With pounding guitar riffs accompanied by a solid drum beat and bass line, the band can no doubt hold their own when it comes to heavier music, and their ballads... well, hell, I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for a catchy melody... and the Canadian four-piece are pretty nifty at that too. The production is also top-notch, giving the music a massive, driving sound, with every riff getting the punch it needs.

Frontman Chad Kroeger, one of the most hated rock stars on the planet, seems undaunted by his reputation, and delivers a fantastic performance, with a great range that emits power and emotion. Whether bellowing at the top of his voice or reflecting melancholically, the man has a great voice and is hugely underrated as a vocalist. (There, I said it).

Featuring guest appearances by Kid Rock and, surprisingly, Dimebag Darrell of Pantera fame (yep, you read that right), and with highlights including ‘Because of You’, ‘Flat on the Floor’, ‘Someday’, ‘Do This Anymore’, ‘Feelin’ Way Too Damn Good’, ‘Should’ve Listened’ and a bonus track cover of the Elton John classic ‘Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)’, ‘The Long Road’ is a fantastic album, which is neither too ambitious or complicated, but revels in its hard rocking simplicity, and is all the more better because of it.
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