Don’t be Like Nickleback or Change it Up
Been listening to Nickleback’s album Dark Horse and well… eh. I’m not saying the new Nickleback isn’t good. In fact, I am really fond of “I’d Come for You”, “Just to Get High”, “Never Gonna be Alone” and “If Today was Your Last Day”. However, several tunes make me feel like they’re trying to recapture “Rockstar” and “Animal” over again. The guilty tracks would be “Something in Your Mouth”, “Burn it to the Ground”, “Next Go Round”, “Shakin’ Hands” and “S.E.X.” .
I’m not saying these aren’t good songs, just that the themes have been visited by this band numerous times, and that it’s time for them to move on. Who wants to hear the same old thing again and again? I’ve noticed this is a common trap that most bands fall into at some point. It’s like once they hit upon something that either the public really likes, or they really like, they have to keep reproducing it over and over. This holds true for any entertainment art – movies, music, books, poetry – you name it. People just have a tendency to go “This worked, so it will work again!”, But it won’t. The reason it was good the first time is generally because it was so unexpected. It was a surprise, and that made it SO much better. When the formula gets repeated over again it just comes up flat. It’s like when you just keep having sex after everyone’s climaxed, and you’re bored and thinking “I wonder what’s on TV” and “why am I still doing this?” Give it up, let it go and move on. Don’t keep beating a dead horse (okay that sounded bad given the above reference), but get off, go to sleep and try a whole new round tomorrow instead of continuing to grind at the same old thing and waiting for the ceiling to fall in for some excitement.
It’s not just the arts that are guilty of repetition. This happens in every facet in life. People get on one track and they don’t get off of it, even when it’s not working. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t want to or because they are incapable of making a change, but just like an album, the same old thing doesn’t work over and over. As with music, it’s nice to have a central ‘sound” so that you can identify a band, but we don’t want to listen to the same old themes on every album. Think Jonathan Davis of Korn. He wrote the music for Queen of the Damned. Any Korn fan will recognize his handiwork, but at the same time it is completely different from anything Korn does. The constants that identify his touch are there, but it’s mixed up enough to make it something new. In the same way we need some constants in our lives; people we care for, etc, but we need to mix it up and do something different from time to time or else we stagnate and leave people saying, “Wow, that sounds like ‘Animal’, only not as good.”
song going through my head – If today was Your Last Day – Nickleback