Collegian Nickelback Review: Too Generous?

More like "No More Bad Music", am I right?

More like "No More Bad Music", am I right?

The Daily Collegian reviewed the new Nickelback album, Dark Horse, in today’s edition of the paper. Now I had reviewed the same album about a week and a half ago, so it was a pleasure to see that someone on the Collegian staff shared my sentiments about Nickelback’s mediocrity and unoriginality.

Until I read the album’s final grade, that is.

Throughout the course of the review, the author, Andrew Steadman, blasts Nickelback for continuing to use the same formulaic approach to songwriting, juvenile lyrics, a lack of subtlety, and much more. While reading, I found myself agreeing with all of his points. “Yeah!” I shouted to myself, “Someone agrees with me! This album is horrible! Tell it like it is!”

Yet it still received a grade of a C-.


Let me put this into perspective. A C- is a passing grade. If I got a C- in all of my classes from now until the end of college, I would still graduate. Getting a C- on a project would mean that there was some sort of redeeming quality about it, something that would prevent it from being deemed a failure. What could Steadman have thought was redeeming about Dark Horse?

I went back through the review and could only find two remotely positive things that were said about the album – the song “Something In Your Mouth” could be considered “dumb fun” and the last track opens with laughter, a departure from the rest of Nickelback’s catalogue. Are those two moments really spectacular enough to propel Nickelback’s latest offering of musical feces to a passing grade?

Furthermore, if Dark Horse can earn a C-, what would be deserving of an F? Would I have to record myself playing a single note on the saxophone for forty seven minutes (sorry, Kenny G) while describing my hatred for Penn State football in order to get a failing grade? Or would that just be a D?

This whole review reminds me of an old adage – Rolling Stone did not become irrelevant in a day. People eventually stopped caring about what Rolling Stone had to say about music when they realized that every review fell somewhere along the 3-4 out of 5 mark (speaking of which, Rolling Stone gave Dark Horse a 3.5 out of 5, and their review was significantly more positive). If the Collegian wants to be respected as a music review source, then I suggest they take more chances and give more outstanding scores to media. After all, why bother reviewing if your scale is C- to B+?


About Author

Evan Kalikow co-founded Onward State in November 2008 with Davis Shaver and Eli Glazier. Having previously served as a Writer, Editor, Standards Editor, and Community Manager, Evan is now a proud alumnus of both Onward State and Penn State. He was also named "Person of the Year" by Time Magazine in 2006.


  1. If you don’t like Nickelback, get out of America.
    I love you, Evan. Never forget that.
    -Your real best friend.

  2. contrary to your opinion, i find this band really amazing. they’re fantastic!!! i love chad’s voice, it really rocks!! so what if their lyrics are juvenile? they’re just expressing themselves and their real life experiences and i think a lot of people can relate to that. there’s no point in being too analytical about music because it’s more about feelings and how it touches people’s hearts and i think nickelback has achieved that more than enough

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  4. Standy Eadman on

    I thought the review in the Collegian was appropriate. C- is a pretty terrible grade, especially for a hyped new album by a mainstream artist. That being said, Dark Horse was moderately well recieved by their fans, and can’t be considered a total failure.

  5. bollocks, nickleback are awesome, if u nt like em get out. its stupid, they are great song writers!

  6. Oh man. I lolled so hard at the comments from people who actually like Nickelback. Didn’t know they were real.

  7. Just saw them in concert at Tampa, FL…great their music, which I can relate too…

  8. You haters are just mad because you’re not making millions of dollars…don;y hate the player hate the game…you might as well say all artists are bad.

    The lyrics are simple but you don’t need complex words and metaphors to create a mood…these guys do a great job at doing what they do and sorry if you don’t have a good taste of music.

    What do you do? Sit behind a computer telling the whole world your opinions on stuff…and thats exactly what they are…OPINIONS…so one cares about one persons opinions, we just read this stuff for amusement, and your horrible review about your OPINION on this album was outrageously amusing.

    Thanks, I needed a good laugh.

    /you fail

  9. Of course, Nickelback’s great, I’m sure all of the Nickelback fans who posted above me listen to plenty of other great bands, not just the most popular songs from the radio….right? right?

    Oh wait that’s right, most Nickelback fans listen to top 40 garbage and don’t know anything about music.

    Also note the complete disregard to grammar, spelling, and lack of coherent arguments (“you might as well say all artists are bad”) from Nickelback fans.

  10. The REAL Andrew Steadman on

    I wrote that review. After reading comments like Jeff’s, I realize I should’ve given this album an F–. My only regret is that the Collegian’s grading scale doesn’t go that low.

    Yes, it was my opinion. However, considering the fact that you like Nickelback and I do not, Jeff, maybe it is YOU who doesn’t have a “good taste of music.” I do hate the player, and kind of like the game. Not all artists make the kind of money Nickelback does, yet many artists are more qualified to make that kind of money.

    I’m sitting behind a computer and passing judgment on a pretty terrible Nickelback album. Thank you for being amused.

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