In 2005, Nickelback Were on Top for 'All the Right Reasons'
The cold war between Canadian rockers Nickelback and...a good portion of the music press heated up on Oct. 4, 2005, when the band released their most successful album, All the Right Reasons.
Since bursting onto the scene in 2001 with the chart-topping "How You Remind Me," one of the year's most-played songs, the group (frontman Chad Kroeger, his brother Mike on bass, guitarist Ryan Peake and new drummer Daniel Adair, then recently joined from fellow '00s rockers 3 Doors Down) kept their heads down making riff-heavy rock songs about hurt, heartbreak and other universal sentiments. All the Right Reasons was no different: there were songs about carefree nostalgia ("Photograph"), the pain of being separated from someone you love ("Far Away"), simple pleas for harmony ("If Everyone Cared") and at least one tongue-in-cheek song about being a rock star (the appropriately titled "Rockstar," one of a handful of tracks featuring guest contributions by ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons).
And critics...hated it. The New York Times held little back, calling the album "another brash but sullen CD with more of the worst rock lyrics ever recorded." (This anticipated the era where people would pit foods against the band in Facebook popularity contests.) But here's the thing: audiences loved it. All the Right Reasons was Nickelback's first to top the charts in both Canada and America, and put three of those songs ("Photograph," "Far Away" and "Rockstar") in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 - a considerably rare feat at the time for a guitar-based band. When all was said and done, the album sold more than 15 million copies worldwide - more than any of their albums before or since.
Entertainment Weekly might've gotten it right at the time, asking, "What if Nickelback's decision to let the music speak for itself is, ironically, their biggest selling point of all?" Indeed, the band is still going strong, and the anger that people had toward them has dissipated into a more muted, semi-ironic appreciation. And the guys are more than willing to poke fun at themselves, as a Google ad involving a version of "Photograph" with different lyrics showcases.
If nothing else, Nickelback are still doing it for all the right reasons.