Why do people hate Nickelback so much? That’s what Salli Anttonen, a doctoral student at the University of Eastern Finland, set to find out in her dissertation "Hypocritical Bulls*it Performed Through Gritted Teeth: Authenticity Discourses in Nickelback's Album Reviews in Finnish Media."
While limited to her homeland, Anttonen did reach conclusions that could be applied around the world. She tells Buzzfeed that Nickelback is essentially being punished for its success, explaining that, "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 lack of a stable and sincere identity. The fact that the compositions suit the radio charts is a problem for critics. So then the songs are not authentic self-expression or have been made with commercial purposes in mind, rather than expressing your deepest emotions."
Antonnen also notes that "by nullifying Nickelback's authenticity, critics are actually authenticating themselves."
Like 'em or not, Nickelback is back after frontman Chad Kroeger has recovered from having a cyst removed from his vocal cords last year. The group returns to the road September 2 in Helsinki for a European tour and is said to be working on new material. No North American dates have been announced yet.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.