For a city that claims to be the communications capital of the galaxy, the New York metropolitan area has always had nothing but shitty radio stations. The radio portion of my car stereo is only used to listen to Yankees games and get traffic updates. I rely 100% on CDs for music (the iPod didn’t exist in 1997, when Honda made my car, so I don’t have MP3 capability).
We’ve been using my fiancée’s car more and more, and she keeps top-40 radio on, confirming my suspicions that radio has gotten even worse since I gave up on it. The repetition is beyond brutal, making me quickly tire of the few songs I actually do like. And the biggest victim of that has been Nickelback.
I actually used to enjoy this band. They were never among my favorites, but before radio and cover bands utterly destroyed “How You Remind Me,” I liked their sound and own four of their CDs – The State, Silver Side Up, The Long Road and All the Right Reasons. While their sound is a little more pop than I generally like, I thought they had a bit of an edge to them, as well as a sense of humor in their lyrics.
I thought the first three songs on The State – “Breathe,” “Cowboy Hat” and “Leader of Men” – were pretty good. Aside from “How You Remind Me,” which put Nickelback on the map, I also thought “Never Again,” “Woke Up This Morning” and “Too Bad” were decent, edgy songs on Silver Side Up. From The Long Road, the same goes for “Flat on the Floor,” “Feelin’ Way Too Damn Good,” “Another Hole in the Head” and “Yanking Out My Heart.” And from All the Right Reasons, “Next Contestant” is probably my favorite Nickelback song, and I thought “Rockstar” was hilarious until it became the first Nickelback song to be murdered by radio.
But two things have happened. The first is that it’s impossible to turn on the radio without hearing Nickelback. The second is that success has taken away the band’s edge, and they have put out some songs that are pure shit. “Photograph,” “If Everyone Cared,” “Gotta Be Somebody” and “If Today Was Your Last Day” are, to put it simply, garbage.
I hate when bands lose their edge and forget what got them fans in the first place. But I can’t say I blame them. I could probably retire on the money they’ve made from any one of the songs I mentioned above. It just sucks that I own four CDs by a band I used to really like, and there’s now a layer of dust on the jewel cases, because I honestly don’t remember the last time I willingly listened to Nickelback.
And for anyone on Facebook who has seen the group, “Can this pickle get more fans than Nickleback?,” yes, I voted for the pickle. Now let’s see how radio manages to destroy the pickle.