Grabbing from the past and showing growth is eminent as each track spins, working the listener further down the road. The arrangement of songs is designed for less hand holding than Dark Horse , allowing freedom to absorb at an individual pace. This album is mature with edge and sexual provocative lyrics that are less suggested, as with Dave Matthews, and more direct.
Very seldom does Nickelback bring their influences to the table when writing and recording. This lets the music stand on its own merit so comparisons are limited, and it will keep their longevity strong for more releases to come. A hard hitting first track and a tease at the end keeps the audience licking their lips for more.
The new release is unlike The Long Road and All the right Reasons , which are over moments after they get started because each song has such an impact that time flies so fast. Here and Now 's tracks are consistent 3ish minutes long where previous releases had most tracks at 4ish minutes. So why does it seem that this CD takes a bit longer to listen to? Possibly all the practiced writing learned from "Mutt" Lange still lingers and the band is just trying too hard.
"When we stand Together" is a very socially conscious piece of work for this more "Party Rock" style band. They have not really stepped into this lyrical content since "Never Again", and it's great to see the band understanding the impact that they have on the conscience of the youth. Throughout the 80's, every rock / hard rock / metal band would have at least one slow song that either was their "love" song or a social statement. Nickelback uses some of this concept by including several slower tracks, but should stay with the power rock with just a couple slower tunes. The best tracks are the fast, busy songs with stacked guitars and growling vocals.
"This means War", "Bottoms Up", "Midnight Queen" and "When we Stand Together" are the best this release has to offer, but do not quit on the remaining seven tracks, as a few will have their place with different listeners. You will either feel the music and accept the lyrics or love the lyrics and let the music stand. Not the band's highlight but it will have its place in most listener's collections.
The Gastown Steam Clock appears on the cover is a great way for the band to tip their hat to their hometown in Vancouver, British Columbia. Since it has become such a tourist attraction, the picture with the smackle of lights should only encourage guests to visit this beautiful city. Vancouver is a hot bed of television production for American and Canadian pilots. The growth of the city is a great encouragement to the hometown boys of Nickelback that their future is secure.