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The Decade Of Nickelback

I never thought I would read the following statement:

Eminem is also the top male artist of the decade. The female honor goes to Beyoncé, while the top duo/group is Nickelback.

Congrats Billboard, you’ve done it again. This time, you’ve really proven how obsolete the Billboard charts are as a way of “scientifically” measuring the tastes of our cumulative culture by naming one of the most reviled bands in recent memory as the best duo/group of the 2000s. Though a lot of words have been tossed around about our ever-fracturing culture, the one thing people seem content to agree upon is the terrible music churned out by the Canadian quartet.

This could be Billboard simply lining up the nails in its coffin, as the sign that points to Nickelback being the supreme band of the decade also points to a system that only accounts for people who purchase physical copies of music, mostly in the form of CDs. For Billboard to really show a need for their services, they really have to better equip themselves to handle digital sales… And then there’s no real (legal) way to account for how many times a song or album has been illegally downloaded, which would toss Billboard’s results straight out the window. If anything, the illegal downloading numbers are probably the closest way to measure actual artist popularity these days… but that’s simply common sense, and I’m not entirely sure Billboard understands that word.

If, for some strange reason, you’re new to the whole phenomenon of Nickelback’s crusade against taste, I’ll present my argument in the form of a song. A few years ago, some brave and whipsmart soul out there decided to put one and one together. Specifically, this person layered the band’s first single from their first album (“How You Remind Me”) atop the first single from their second album (“Someday”), and the results speak for themselves. Enjoy:

[youtubevid id="pvujgcbaCF8"]

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8 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. ncfrommke #
    1

    I never entirely undrestood the unanimous critical revulsion for Nickleback- sure, they’re standard formula dreck, but so is a lot of other stuff out there. What is it that singles them out for the wave of critical mutilation? It can’t entirely be their comercial success; formula dreck always sells. It seems that there’s some kind of herd instinct out there, that critics are just as susceptible as the fans are to certain fads. Remember how bad the critics hated Led Zepppelin? In that case at least, the critics were wrong, & the fans were right. (Not to confuse the Founder-Gods of Metal with vultures on the carcass of Grunge.) This “Let’s all gang-tackle this one band because they SUCK so SPECIAL” smacks of group-think. The proper critical response to Nickleback is “meh”.

  2. 2

    Yeah, I don’t have any idea how or why they came to this conclusion. It’s like Empire calling Daddy Day Care the movie of the decade.

  3. Leor Galil #
    3

    That’s a pretty interesting point about group think and critics, and the critical thumbs down on Nickelback actually speaks more to group think than, say, the sudden critical acclamation that Animal Collective (long ignored in the popular press) has received.

    Frankly. for my two cents worth, it’s kind of a slap in the face as a music fan to see a band that repeats their songs note for note, sticks to the same lyrical theme throughout (and with pretty shallow lyrics) and somehow manages to sell millions. It’s as if someone out there wanted to show that taste didn’t matter, and Nickelback has unfortunately become the posterboys of that simply because of their (slight? whatever you want to level it as) success.

  4. Leor Galil #
    4

    It isn’t?! I better change my end-of-the-decade list… Ghost Rider, you’re my new No. 1!

  5. Coates Bateman #
    5

    I was so sad this website had to shut down: http://www.youhavebadtasteinmusic.com/

  6. Leor Galil #
    6

    They shut that site down?! Noooo!

  7. ncfrommke #
    7

    Maybe my vulture analogy answers my own question- Nickelback isn’t the only vulture feeding on the carcass of Grunge, but they are the biggest, fattest, & smuggest vulture. At least Collective Soul & Creed had the decency to go away.

    Anyhoo, thanks for answering my post.

  8. 8

    I know I’m terribly late responding to this post, but you have to remember that when Billboard refers to the “top” anything, it is not a critical judgement. It is based on points awarded to singles and albums by each artist. In a nutshell, what it says is that on Billboard’s charts, Nickelback was the most successful group of the decade, which actually sounds about right.


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