What is it is about Nickelback that angers us so much?

WhatsOn Apr 15, 2016 by Ben Rayner Hamilton Spectator

What makes a band so hateful that entire cities have attempted to banish it from their borders?

Well, we don't actually know yet what it is about Nickelback that angers up the blood so much that places such as Detroit and London have waged popular campaigns to stop the band from entering the city limits.

But a new academic study does shed some light on why so many music critics find Nickelback such an object of black, burning hatred — and winds up saying more about the culture of music criticism than it does about the Alberta rockers' music.

The paper, by Finnish scholar Salli Anttonen, titled — deep breath here — "'Hypocritical bullsh-t performed through gritted teeth': Authenticity discourses in Nickelback's album reviews in Finnish media" and just published in the journal Metal Music Studies (who knew?), examined 14 years' worth of (mostly bad) Nickelback reviews in an effort to discern why so many music critics loathe the mega-platinum Canadian quartet the way they do.

Among her conclusions? Critics prize a very specific notion of what constitutes "authenticity" in rock music and Nickelback is far too unabashedly populist to fit that definition — i.e., the band is too popular to be considered "authentic" in their eyes — so music writers are faced in the group's success with a refutation of their values.

"By nullifying Nickelback's authenticity," Anttonen writes, "critics are actually authenticating themselves."

"Critics are really enthusiastic about the hatred," Antonnen recently told BuzzFeed Canada. "I wanted to know: What is it about this one specific band that creates that?"

In the end, she told the website, she decided that it was "not about the sound, but what values are attached to the sounds." As she writes: "Nickelback is too much of everything to be enough of something. They follow genre expectations too well, which is seen as empty imitation, but also not well enough, which is read as commercial tactics and as a lack of a stable and sincere identity."

No one disagrees that Nickelback is fond of "commercial tactics, " but I would argue that the band's identity — beer-swillin' macho post-grunge party band with pyrotechnics — is as stable and sincere as it gets.

I've taken some shots at Nickelback in the past, yes, but over the years I've kind of warmed up to the lads because they are so unapologetically what they are. Not enough to listen to their records, no, but enough that I can respect those records for being such perfectly conceived examples of "give the people what they want" hard rock.

Nickelback doesn't care that music critics don't like Nickelback because lots of people clearly do — 2001's Silver Side Up alone has sold a whopping 10 million copies worldwide — and that irks music critics because we want people to like the things we like. When a band like Nickelback succeeds, we are rendered irrelevant.

It's nothing personal, Nickelback. When we hate on you we're only projecting our insecurities and maybe, just a little bit, hating ourselves.

In the meantime, for once I'll give frontman Chad Kroeger the last word.

"I have a very realistic view," he told me in 2003. "I know there's a lot of people on this planet who f---ing hate the sound of my voice. You can't please everybody all the time. I don't make music for those people.

"When Silver Side Up came out, the critics destroyed it and we went on to sell over nine million copies. So if this record comes out and they praise it, I'm gonna pack my bags and head home. C'mon, baby, give me that sh—ty review, because — unless you're Coldplay — if a critic likes your music, you're probably in trouble."

Toronto Star

What is it is about Nickelback that angers us so much?

A new study suggests dislike of Alberta band exposes critics’ own insecurities

WhatsOn Apr 15, 2016 by Ben Rayner Hamilton Spectator

What makes a band so hateful that entire cities have attempted to banish it from their borders?

Well, we don't actually know yet what it is about Nickelback that angers up the blood so much that places such as Detroit and London have waged popular campaigns to stop the band from entering the city limits.

But a new academic study does shed some light on why so many music critics find Nickelback such an object of black, burning hatred — and winds up saying more about the culture of music criticism than it does about the Alberta rockers' music.

The paper, by Finnish scholar Salli Anttonen, titled — deep breath here — "'Hypocritical bullsh-t performed through gritted teeth': Authenticity discourses in Nickelback's album reviews in Finnish media" and just published in the journal Metal Music Studies (who knew?), examined 14 years' worth of (mostly bad) Nickelback reviews in an effort to discern why so many music critics loathe the mega-platinum Canadian quartet the way they do.

Among her conclusions? Critics prize a very specific notion of what constitutes "authenticity" in rock music and Nickelback is far too unabashedly populist to fit that definition — i.e., the band is too popular to be considered "authentic" in their eyes — so music writers are faced in the group's success with a refutation of their values.

"By nullifying Nickelback's authenticity," Anttonen writes, "critics are actually authenticating themselves."

"Critics are really enthusiastic about the hatred," Antonnen recently told BuzzFeed Canada. "I wanted to know: What is it about this one specific band that creates that?"

In the end, she told the website, she decided that it was "not about the sound, but what values are attached to the sounds." As she writes: "Nickelback is too much of everything to be enough of something. They follow genre expectations too well, which is seen as empty imitation, but also not well enough, which is read as commercial tactics and as a lack of a stable and sincere identity."

No one disagrees that Nickelback is fond of "commercial tactics, " but I would argue that the band's identity — beer-swillin' macho post-grunge party band with pyrotechnics — is as stable and sincere as it gets.

I've taken some shots at Nickelback in the past, yes, but over the years I've kind of warmed up to the lads because they are so unapologetically what they are. Not enough to listen to their records, no, but enough that I can respect those records for being such perfectly conceived examples of "give the people what they want" hard rock.

Nickelback doesn't care that music critics don't like Nickelback because lots of people clearly do — 2001's Silver Side Up alone has sold a whopping 10 million copies worldwide — and that irks music critics because we want people to like the things we like. When a band like Nickelback succeeds, we are rendered irrelevant.

It's nothing personal, Nickelback. When we hate on you we're only projecting our insecurities and maybe, just a little bit, hating ourselves.

In the meantime, for once I'll give frontman Chad Kroeger the last word.

"I have a very realistic view," he told me in 2003. "I know there's a lot of people on this planet who f---ing hate the sound of my voice. You can't please everybody all the time. I don't make music for those people.

"When Silver Side Up came out, the critics destroyed it and we went on to sell over nine million copies. So if this record comes out and they praise it, I'm gonna pack my bags and head home. C'mon, baby, give me that sh—ty review, because — unless you're Coldplay — if a critic likes your music, you're probably in trouble."

Toronto Star

What is it is about Nickelback that angers us so much?

A new study suggests dislike of Alberta band exposes critics’ own insecurities

WhatsOn Apr 15, 2016 by Ben Rayner Hamilton Spectator

What makes a band so hateful that entire cities have attempted to banish it from their borders?

Well, we don't actually know yet what it is about Nickelback that angers up the blood so much that places such as Detroit and London have waged popular campaigns to stop the band from entering the city limits.

But a new academic study does shed some light on why so many music critics find Nickelback such an object of black, burning hatred — and winds up saying more about the culture of music criticism than it does about the Alberta rockers' music.

The paper, by Finnish scholar Salli Anttonen, titled — deep breath here — "'Hypocritical bullsh-t performed through gritted teeth': Authenticity discourses in Nickelback's album reviews in Finnish media" and just published in the journal Metal Music Studies (who knew?), examined 14 years' worth of (mostly bad) Nickelback reviews in an effort to discern why so many music critics loathe the mega-platinum Canadian quartet the way they do.

Among her conclusions? Critics prize a very specific notion of what constitutes "authenticity" in rock music and Nickelback is far too unabashedly populist to fit that definition — i.e., the band is too popular to be considered "authentic" in their eyes — so music writers are faced in the group's success with a refutation of their values.

"By nullifying Nickelback's authenticity," Anttonen writes, "critics are actually authenticating themselves."

"Critics are really enthusiastic about the hatred," Antonnen recently told BuzzFeed Canada. "I wanted to know: What is it about this one specific band that creates that?"

In the end, she told the website, she decided that it was "not about the sound, but what values are attached to the sounds." As she writes: "Nickelback is too much of everything to be enough of something. They follow genre expectations too well, which is seen as empty imitation, but also not well enough, which is read as commercial tactics and as a lack of a stable and sincere identity."

No one disagrees that Nickelback is fond of "commercial tactics, " but I would argue that the band's identity — beer-swillin' macho post-grunge party band with pyrotechnics — is as stable and sincere as it gets.

I've taken some shots at Nickelback in the past, yes, but over the years I've kind of warmed up to the lads because they are so unapologetically what they are. Not enough to listen to their records, no, but enough that I can respect those records for being such perfectly conceived examples of "give the people what they want" hard rock.

Nickelback doesn't care that music critics don't like Nickelback because lots of people clearly do — 2001's Silver Side Up alone has sold a whopping 10 million copies worldwide — and that irks music critics because we want people to like the things we like. When a band like Nickelback succeeds, we are rendered irrelevant.

It's nothing personal, Nickelback. When we hate on you we're only projecting our insecurities and maybe, just a little bit, hating ourselves.

In the meantime, for once I'll give frontman Chad Kroeger the last word.

"I have a very realistic view," he told me in 2003. "I know there's a lot of people on this planet who f---ing hate the sound of my voice. You can't please everybody all the time. I don't make music for those people.

"When Silver Side Up came out, the critics destroyed it and we went on to sell over nine million copies. So if this record comes out and they praise it, I'm gonna pack my bags and head home. C'mon, baby, give me that sh—ty review, because — unless you're Coldplay — if a critic likes your music, you're probably in trouble."

Toronto Star