An Academic Worked Out Why Critics Hate Nickelback So Much

Written by Sam Murphy on 12th April, 2016

An Academic Worked Out Why Critics Hate Nickelback So Much

Like brussels sprouts, your phone autocorrecting “haha” to “gaga” and Kyle Sandilands, Nickelback have become, throughout their career, something that everybody loves to hate whether you’re actually exposed to them or not and now we have a reason.

A Finnish PhD student has questioned why critics are so quick to hate on Nickelback in a brilliantly titled academic paper (via Buzzfeed) Hypocritical Bullshit Performed Through Gritted Teeth’: Authenticity Discourses in Nickelback’s Album Reviews in Finnish Media.

Salli Anttonen, a Finnish student researching the concept of authenticity in music, looked at reviews of Nickelback in Finnish media between 2000 and 2014 to find out why they draw so much hate.

Anttonen reckons that reviews for the band started out quite good but because reviewers feel as if they have to protect authenticity and originality in rock music, things started going down hill for the band because their sound never changed. They also became successful by doing that which made them a target.

“It became a phenomenon where the journalists were using the same [reasons] to bash them, and almost making an art out of ridiculing them,” she wrote.

Critics don’t like Nickelback’s commercial success and “by nullifying Nickelback’s authenticity, critics are actually authenticating themselves.”

“The fact that the compositions suit the radio charts is a problem,” she further wrote.

“So then [the songs] are not authentic self expression, or have been made with commercial purposes in mind, rather than expressing your deepest emotions.”

Basically Nickelback can’t win. They either have to ditch their bland brand of rock which appeals to mass audiences to appeal to critics or adopt a more experimental sound which would see them lose their fans.

“Nickelback is too much of everything to be enough of something,” she concluded.

“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.”

So there you go. Critics are saving rock ‘n’ roll one Nickelback diss at a time.

Watch: Nickelback – How You Remind Me


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