By the mid-2000s, Nickelback were a well-oiled machine. Four albums in – including their breakthrough, Silver Side Up, which featured the juggernaut single How You Remind Me– the band’s radio-ready post-grunge sound had brought them huge commercial success. However, going into the recording of their fifth record, All The Right Reasons, the group felt the need to shake things up a bit. The result turned out to be their biggest release to date.
Listen to ‘All The Right Reasons’ here.
“We were a little scared of using piano”
Speaking around the time of the album’s release, in late 2005, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger revealed that the group had previously been afraid of using any instruments that didn’t fit their concept of rock music. “We were a little scared of using piano,” the singer said. “We just didn’t think it was very rock’n’roll.” After realising they could branch out and still make it work, however, the group decided not to be “so narrow-minded about any instrument, no matter what it is or what sort of stigma might be attached to it”. Adding piano and strings to their sound for the first time, the songs on All The Right Reasons benefited from having much fuller arrangements that found the group expanding upon their rock-solid songwriting foundations.
Not that Nickelback were wholly re-inventing themselves. Indeed, the group left plenty of space for the signature classic-rock sound they had built their career on. Highlights on All The Right Reasons include Rockstar and the ferocious Side Of A Bullet, the latter of which features a sampled guitar solo from Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell. Elsewhere on the album, the reflective ballad Photograph proved that, even basking a song on acoustic guitar, the group could be as anthemic as ever.