OPINION: Nickelbacklash

//DAVID ROBINSON//

 

Can I tell you a secret? Come closer. Are you listening? I’m a Nickelback fan. Wait! Wait! Don’t leave yet! Let me at least tell you why I am a fan;

I am fully aware that Nickelback is not the greatest band in the world; they rely heavily on autotune, some of their songs sound incredibly repetitive and their lyrics can be really “eyebrow-raising”. Take this set of lyrics from “Figured You Out” (2005) for example:

“And I love the way you pass the check

And I love the good times that you wreck

And I love your lack of self-respect

While you passed out on the deck

I love my hands around your neck!”

Yeah, there definitely is no denying that “Figured You Out” is not one of their best songs or one you and your friends should be head-banging in the car to, but let me ask you this: why do people complain about these Nickelback lyrics and say Nickelback sucks and then say virtually nothing about Eminem’s set of lyrics from “Kill You” (2000):

“S**t, you think I won’t choke no w***e

Til the vocal cords don’t work in her throat no more?!

These motherf***ers are thinkin’ I’m playin’

Thinkin’ I’m sayin’ the s**t

Cause I’m thinkin’ it just to be sayin’ it

Put your hands down b***h, I ain’t goin’ shoot you

I’m a pull you to this bullet, and put it through you

Shut up s**t, you’re causin’ too much chaos

Just bend over and take it like a s**t, okay Ma?”

To be fair, “Kill You” was from a completely different point in Eminem’s career and he has since apologized for these lyrics and admitted that he cringes every time he hears them, but that still does not take away from the fact that Nickelback’s hits far outweigh their edgy songs and prove that they are not a terrible band at all. Just take a look at their lyrics from “Lullaby” (2011) if you do not believe me:

“Well, I know the feeling

Of finding yourself stuck out on the ledge

And there ain’t no healing

From cutting yourself with the jagged edge

I’m telling you that, it’s never that bad

Take it from someone who’s been where you’re at

Laid out on the floor

And you’re not sure you can take this anymore

So just give it one more try to a lullaby

And turn this up on the radio

If you can hear me now

I’m reaching out

To let you know that you’re not alone

And if you can’t tell, I’m scared as hell

‘Cause I can’t get you on the telephone

So just close your eyes

Oh, honey here comes a lullaby

Your very own lullaby.”

Do you see what I mean? This is a heart touching and compassionate song intended to reach out to self-harm addicts and those who are depressed and/or suicidal. I think “Lullaby” alone outweighs their creepier and sketchier songs but if you still need another example, let’s take a look at “If Everyone Cared” (2005):

“If everyone cared and nobody cried

If everyone loved and nobody lied

If everyone shared and swallowed their pride

Then we’d see the day when nobody died

And I’m singing

Amen I, Amen I, I’m alive

Amen I, Amen I, Amen I, I’m alive

And in the air the fireflies

Our only light in paradise

We’ll show the world they were wrong

And teach them all to sing along.”

Here we have a beautiful and emotional cry for peace and unity in society and the world from Nickelback. Need more proof? Let’s look at “If Today Was Your Last Day” (2008):

“My best friend gave me the best advice

He said each day’s a gift and not a given right

Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind

And try to take the path less traveled by

That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day

And tomorrow was too late

Could you say goodbye to yesterday?

Would you live each moment like your last?

Leave old pictures in the past

Donate every dime you have?

If today was your last day

(If today was your last day)

Against the grain should be a way of life

What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight

Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try

So live like you’ll never live it twice

Don’t take the free ride in your own life.”

Nickelback is trying to convey to listeners that you should make every single last day count, be a kind and good person, forgive your enemies and let go of grudges, face your fears, leave pain in the past and give back to the community. And guess what? These are only three of Nickelback’s extremely emotional and powerful songs. Let’s look at more:

“Far Away” (2005) (A song about the power of love, the fear of losing the one you love and being away from him/her, and never giving up on who you love):

“This time, this place misused, mistakes

Too long, too late, who was I to make you wait

Just one chance, just one breath

Just in case there’s just one left

‘Cause you know, you know, you know

That I love you

I’ve loved you all along

And I miss you

Been far away for far too long

I keep dreaming you’ll be with me

And you’ll never go

Stop breathing if I don’t see you anymore

On my knees, I’ll ask last chance for one last dance

‘Cause with you, I’d withstand

All of hell to hold your hand

I’d give it all I’d give for us

Give anything, but I won’t give up.”

“Never Gonna Be Alone” (2008) (A song about sharing your emotions with those you care about, making the most out of each moment and dealing with loss of a loved one):

“Time is going by so much faster than I,

And I’m starting to regret not spending all of it with you.

Now I’m wondering wh  I’ve kept this bottled inside,

So I’m starting to regret not telling all of it to you.

So if I haven’t yet, I’ve gotta let you know

You’re never gonna be alone!

From this moment on, if you ever feel like letting go,

I won’t let you fall,

You’re never gonna be alone!

I’ll hold you ’till the hurt is gone.

And now, as long as I can, I’m holding on with both hands,

Cause forever I believe that there’s nothing I could need but you,

So if I haven’t yet, I’ve gotta let you know

You’re never gonna be alone!”

“Savin Me” (2005) (This is my favorite Nickelback song of all time. It possesses extreme religious symbolism by conveying a metaphorical call to God, it reflects the pains of being a member of modern society and it is a cry for help):

“Prison gates won’t open up for me

On these hands and knees I’m crawlin’

Oh, I reach for you, well I’m terrified of these four walls

These iron bars can’t hold my soul in

All I need is you, come please, I’m callin’

And, oh, I scream for you

Hurry, I’m fallin’, I’m fallin’

Show me what it’s like

To be the last one standing

And teach me wrong from right

And I’ll show you what I can be

Say it for me, say it to me

And I’ll leave this life behind me

Say it if it’s worth saving me

Heaven’s gates won’t open up for me

With these broken wings I’m fallin’ and all I see is you

These city walls ain’t got no love for me

I’m on the ledge of the eighteenth story

And, oh, I scream for you come please,

I’m callin’ and all I need from you, hurry, I’m fallin’, I’m fallin’.”

“I’d Come For You” (2008) (Here is another beautiful and powerful song from Nickelback about always being there for the one you love, sacrificing everything for him/her and letting them know how much you care about them):

“Just one more moment, that’s all that’s needed,

Like wounded soldiers in need of healing

Time to be honest, this time I’m pleading,

Please don’t dwell on it, ’cause I didn’t mean it

I can’t believe I said I’d lay our love on the ground,

But it doesn’t matter ’cause I made it up, forgive me now

Everyday I spend away, my soul’s inside out,

Gotta be some way that I can make it up to you now, somehow

By now you know that I’d come for you

No one but you, yes, I’d come for you

But only if you told me to

And I’d fight for you

I’d lie, it’s true

Give my life for you

You know I’d always come for you

I was blindfolded, but now I’m seeing,

My mind was closing, now I’m believing

I finally know just what it means to let someone in,

To see the side of me that no one does, or ever will

So if you’re ever lost and find yourself all alone,

I’d search forever just to bring you home,

Here and now, this I vow.”

“Someday” (2003) (“Someday” is one of Nickelback’s greatest songs. It is a song about the pains of regret and wishing you could go back and change your decisions/choices):

“How the hell’d we wind up like this

Why weren’t we able

To see the signs that we missed

Try and turn the tables

I wish you’d unclench your fists

And unpack your suitcase

Lately there’s been too much of this

But don’t think it’s too late

Nothing’s wrong just as long as you know that someday I will

Someday, somehow

I’m gonna make it alright but not right now

I know you’re wondering when

(You’re the only one who knows that)

Someday, somehow

I’m gonna make it alright but not right now

I know you’re wondering when

Well, I’d hope that since we’re here anyway

We could end up saying

Things we always needed to say

So we could end up staying

Now the story’s played out like this

Just like a paperback novel

Let’s rewrite an ending that fits

Instead of a Hollywood horror

Nothing’s wrong just as long as you know that someday I will.”

Do you know what the only thing that could make these songs more powerful is? Watching the music videoes. Nickelback’s music videos are honestly some of the best and most powerful music videos I have ever seen a band create. Visit Nickelback’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/nickelbacktv/videos if you think I am joking and view the accompanying music videos for all of these songs.

I am proud to say that I am a Nickelback fan because although they have made some really weird and edgy songs, they still are a band focused on human emotions and feelings which is fairly uncommon in today’s music popularity that generally focuses on sex, drugs and money. You are more than welcome to continue making fun of me for being a Nickelback fan, but I will take all of the “Nickelbacklash” proudly because I know the deeper meanings behind their songs.

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