Album Review: Nickelback, 'Here and Now'

"Here and Now"
Producer: Nickelback
Roadrunner Records
Release Date: Nov. 21

Nickelback's dream girl apparently "smokes a little homegrown, drinks a little Cuervo" and drives a fast car. We're so surprised. But that's a welcome sign-especially for fans-that while the Canadian troupe has grown musically, it hasn't grown up on its seventh album, "Here and Now." The quartet comes out fixin' for a fight with the switchblade guitars of "This Means War," gets into full-on party mode with "Bottoms Up" and pursues that ideal female on "Gotta Get Me Some," "Midnight Queen" and "Everything I Wanna Do." The anthemic "When We Stand Together" offers a requisite bit of social consciousness, while frontman Chad Kroeger's melodic love songs-"Lullaby," "Trying Not to Love You," "Holding on to Heaven," the vividly characterized "Don't Ever Let It End"-boast a rich sheen that could be traced to producer Mutt Lange's work on 2008's "Dark Horse" but without quite as much bombast. It's a well-crafted brand of meat 'n potatoes hard rock.

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