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Dark Horse

Nickelback’s trying to follow up the band’s monster album, “All the Right Reasons”, with an album that’s catered to even larger audiences, “Dark Horse.” “Dark Horse” is the band’s first legitimate arena rock record. They’ve been at that status for a long time, but this is the first record where they actually sound like it. The perfect example of that; the kick drum isn’t just prevalent on the record- it dominates the overall mix of a lot of the songs. It takes away from the sincerity of a lot of the softer songs, but it adds a little bit to the harder /faster-paced songs on the album. If you want to hear examples of the band trying to incorporate arena rock into their sound more than in the past, listen through “Burn it to the Ground” and “Next Go Round”. The stadium quality works half the time on “Dark Horse”, but that’s not production’s fault it’s song writing. As an overall set from Nickelback, this album doesn’t touch “All the Right Reasons” in quality. Out of the eleven songs here, four of the tracks are terrible. Those four songs are; “Something in Your Mouth”, “Shakin’ Hands”, “S.E.X.” and “Just To Get High.” The first three of those songs feel forced, like the band is trying to play toward the mindless side of their songs, songs like “Rockstar”, a huge hit, but a song that you either love, you hate, or you’re sick of. “Something in Your Mouth” is the perfect model of the “Rockstar” influence. It’s incredibly crass and that’s fine, but it doesn’t come off as being risqué, just mindless. Three songs force themselves into that side of Nickelback’s music, the other terrible song on the record is the cookie cutter, feel bad then feel good song, “Just to Get High.” “Just to Get High” seems kind of ridiculous for a Nickelback song. There are drug references at other points in this album, and Chad Kroeger sings about the horrible life of a drug addict on the song. It’s a good enough song, it just can’t escape its own hypocrisy. One thing “Dark Hose” doesn’t fall short of again are singles. They’re already two in “Gotta Be Somebody” and “Something In Your Mouth” and there’s at least two other potential singles on the album in “This Afternoon” and “Never Gonna Be Alone.” It’s not “All the Right Reasons”, and it’s definitely not “Silver Side Up”, but for every two reasons to hate this record there’s a reason to like it. While it definitely has its flaws, it’s not without its merit. Not an amazing album, but it will suffice.


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