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 officialcharts.com, 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?!

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.

Rating

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

The Aughts Hot or Not – Missy Elliott “Get Ur Freak On”

We are back to appreciate some more 2000’s music! Today, we’re diving into the 2001 mega-banger “Get Ur Freak On” by the one and only Missy Elliott.

Photo: Pinterest

This song still slaps to this day. You can’t sit there and tell me when that indistinguishable *duh duhduhduhDUHduh* comes on, you don’t start to bob your head like you’re in the music video with Ms. Demeanor. Such a smooth beat, and, as always, Missy kills it with the lyrics. This was one of my favorite songs back when it came out, and still is one of my favorite songs of the aughts today.

Music Video

At the outset of the video, Missy gives us a warning of what we’re about to witness, when she simply says “headbanger.” From here, we know we’re in for a wild ride. We’re basically set here in a sewer/underground world throughout the video, with wildly painted/costumed inhabitants (freaks, if you will) of the strange and vivid world Missy is spending this four or so minutes in.

We get some classic early 2000’s CGI around the 1:18 mark, when Ms. Demeanor’s neck wildly and unnaturally extends while asking “is that cho chick?!” The video was also chalked-full of early aughts hip hop royalty cameos: Ja Rule, Timbaland, Ludacris, Eve, LL Cool J, Nate Dawg, and Busta Rhymes.

Best Lyric

Ain’t no stoppin’ me, copy written so don’t copy me
Y’all do it sloppily and y’all can’t come close to me

Missy just throwing the gauntlet down here, as only she could. The lyrics really were the truth too. She was/has been so much different than other artists. She has seemingly done things her own way and carved out her own path; lyrically, stylistically, however you want to look at it. These few lines really drive that point home.

Worst Lyric

Quiet! (Shhh) Hush your mouth, silence when I spit it out
(Hah-choo!) In your face, open your mouth, give you a taste

This is just foul. Count me 100% out here. I didn’t want to bring light to it above, but the visuals during this lyric in the music video is also pretty graphic. I know the onus is on the lyricists to paint a picture with their words but…c’mon Missy, a little strong here.

Rating

Missy killed it with this one back in 2001. In my non-expert opinion, she is still killing it with this one in 2020. Silky rhythm, lyrics flow really well, and a music video, while an interesting concept, paired well with both. Count this one as a winner, folks.

Rating: 7 Carson Daly’s

Photo: USA Today

The Aughts Hot or Not

Photo: All Music

New recurring blog alert!

For those of us in our late 20’s to mid 30’s, the aughts (2000-2010) was an incredible time for entertainment. Britney was doing weird stuff with snakes at the VMAs (#FreeBritney), we were all squeezing enormous iPods into our baggy jeans, and Chapelle Show was the best thing on television. It was truly a time to remember, and unbelievably over a decade ago.

As terrible as some of it was, I am still in love with the music from the aughts. I’ll throw any 2000’s playlist on Spotify and be entertained for hours. So, what I wanted to do with this new recurring blog is review some of the bangers that came out of this decade. There were some post-2010 songs that also slapped, so I’m giving myself some room for decade hopping. However, we’re here to focus on the incredible time in music that was 2000-2010.

I was thinking of what would be the quintessential, early aughts song that would be generally loved and remembered. After throwing a few ideas around, there was really only one choice…

Photo: Complex

Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go shaaaaawty, it’s ya birthday. How many friends have you drunkenly yelled this to on their birthday since this all-time banger dropped in in 2003? This song was an absolute monster introduction for 50 Cent, and the guy has been relevant since then. I remember this CD being of the first “parental advisory” CDs I was allowed to have, and wow what a choice. I don’t think I knew what “the X” 50 was referring to was at the time, turns out I wasn’t into takin’ drugs.

Music Video

The intro to the music video is just dripping with 2003-ness. The neon green font setting the scene at the “Shady/Aftermath Artist Development Center,” generally terrible CGI, and of course Eminem & Dr. Dre playing the doctor role and creating the next great rapper. It is *chef’s kiss* perfect. That leads us to 50 dropping into the frame upside down (apparently he can stand on the ceiling?). From there, we’re off to the races to one of the most successful music careers we’ve ever seen.

Naturally, we’re treated to plenty of scenes in the club (with a Xzibit cameo! Pimp My Ride, also suuuuper 2000’s), bottles pouring, and plenty of shots of G-Unit and D12 grinding with the other fine patrons in the club. We have a break closer to the end of the video that 50 is taking a polygraph test? Not exactly sure what was going on there, but it was 2003 and there were no rules.

Best Lyric

“When my junk get to pumpin’ in the club it’s on
I wink my eye at ya chick, if she smiles she gone.”

A classic “Mr. Steal Your Girl” line. The top line really put my 15 year old brain in a pretzel: “I would assume 50’s proud of his music, why is he calling it junk? Further, if he believes his music is junk, why would it provide him the confidence to wink at another man’s chick in hopes of stealing her away?”

Worst Lyric

“I’m feeling’ focused man, my money on my mind
I got a mill out the deal, and I’m still on the grind.”

Listen, 50…you’re a man who knows about money, clearly. Of course you’re still on the grind after making $1 million dollars! That’s a good chunk of change, but let’s be honest with ourselves. Even with inflation, a mill isn’t getting you very far these days. Our guy 50 did indeed stay on the grind, as his current net worth is estimated at $30 million.

Rating

The rap game forever changed with “In Da Club.” 50 went ahead and dropped this my freshman year of high school, and I ran that CD into the ground until graduation day. He has had plenty of other hits since then, but I’m not sure anything reached the level of his debut hit.

I’m going to try and rate each song on a scale of 1-10. No one’s ever thought of a rating system before; I know, pretty ingenious. The only appropriate way to rate any song from the early aughts, Mr. TRL himself…

Rating: 8 Carson Daly’s

Photo: USA Today