The Aughts Hot or Not – Nickleback “Photograph”

We are back with another addition of AHN, and this time we are diving deep into the cringe.

Nickleback is the most hated band in history. We’re not the only ones saying this, it’s scientifically proven. The band hails from Hanna, Alberta, Canada, and (unfortunately) came on the scene with their first hit, “How You Remind Me” in 2001. Since then, it has been a continued decline for lead singer Chad Kroeger and his Ed Hardy-wearing group of rockers.

The band has come out with songs for years that have been consistently panned. From such classics as “Someday” (2003) to “Rockstar” (2005), Nickleback has continued to assault our eardrums for the past two decades. They’ve somehow accrued incredible commercial success, however. According to, their singles have spent a combined 28 weeks in the Top 10, 83 weeks in the top 40, and 144 weeks in the top 100 on the US charts; thus proving that there are people out there who will listen to anything.

Today, we’re focusing on the hit “Photograph” off of the band’s 2005 album “All The Right Reasons.” This was another song in the never ending product line of Nickleback offerings that all sound pretty similar. This timeless piece gives us Chad (such a perfect name for this band’s leader, by the way) looking back on his hometown of Hanna, and shows us the roots of the man who would become a rock God for dudes who drink Mountain Dew and wear white-rimmed sunglasses.

Music Video

The music video for “Photograph” is…something. It starts with Chad forcing us to, indeed, “look at this photograph,” really hitting us over the head here. Around the 40 second mark, Chad and the boys take their purposefully-ripped jeans and graphic tees to the old gym at Hanna High to start shredding in the way only Nickleback can. We get some canned b-roll of a typical, rural town with dirt roads, a junk yard (for some reason?), and train tracks with overgrown weeds.

Around the three minute mark, we start to get introduced to some of the Hanna locals, and it’s exactly what you would expect from a relentlessly bland group like Nickleback. Tucked in plaid shirts, jeans worn out from years of blue-collar work, and even a few Karens for some razzle dazzle at the 3:06 mark. Other than that, we get some random video of a softball game, but otherwise just continued pounding of the small town feel of Nickleback’s hometown.

Best Lyric

I miss that town
I miss their faces
You can’t erase
You can’t replace it

Whew…this was a treasure hunt. Trying to find a “best lyric” in a Nickleback song is like trying to find a good steak at a McDonald’s. It seems like this might be as nice and normal as Nickleback lyrics can actually get, which I guess is something. There’s honestly not much to analyze here, simply because like most of their lyrics, it’s so brain-numbingly dull that I can’t pull one interesting thought out of it.

This is as good as it’s going to get, folks.

Worst Lyric

Remember the old arcade
Blew every dollar that we ever made
The cops hated us hangin’ out
They say somebody went and burned it down


What a roller coaster of garbage we’re riding here. So, the cops hated patrons at the arcade? Why? I can only assume it was Chad and the boys’ fault. I can imagine, despite spending “every dollar” they ever made, they still tried to steal prizes, bled the place dry of Mountain Dew and beef jerky, and asked for free tokens when they ran out of money.

Also, we’re just throwing out the fact that someone burned down the poor arcade, and just moving right along with our lives? That’s someone’s business, their income, their life. These thoughtless miscreants couldn’t care less about their old local hangout burning to the ground. Deplorable.


Reviewing a Nickleback song, let alone “Photograph,” was quite the masochistic process, and I’m not sure why it was done. You can’t have sunshine without the rain, as they say. As one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard, you almost have to respect Nickleback’s hustle for just continuously putting out shit that they know is going to be made fun of forever. Those steadfast Canadian rockers refuse to quit giving all of us songs we don’t want, don’t need, and will never like. Having said all of that, it still isn’t going to improve my rating.

Rating: 2 Carson Daly’s

Photo: USA Today

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