“Too Bad” describes the pain felt by a child whose dad abandoned the family (“Father’s hands are lined with guilt from tearing us apart”). The singer on “Money Bought” is unimpressed by a superficial rich girl. “Never Again” condemns drunkenness and domestic violence, but . . .
When mom shoots dad dead (in self-defense?), the problem is apparently “solved.” That song and others include profanity. On “How You Remind Me,” a hurting soul seeks comfort in alcohol (“I’ve been to the bottom of every bottle”). On “Just For,” a man enraged over wrongs committed against a friend threatens to tear out the culprit’s eyes, hack off his hands and rip out his heart. Somewhere between cynicism and pessimism lies “Good Times Gone,” a dim suggestion that the best days are behind us. Disillusionment and heartbreak may be neutral themes, but there’s a lot of selfishness, stubbornness and venom in “Woke Up This Morning” (“I’ve been a loser all my life, I’m not about to change/If you don’t like it, there’s the door”).
It could be argued that this Canadian band has their heart in the right place when taking up for victims of abuse. But Nickelback sanctions revenge, peppering tirades and social commentary with s-words and one f-word. The lyrical tone is downbeat and grouchy. These guys ponder worthwhile issues, yet reach few enlightened conclusions.