There’s no vendetta against Nickelback here, truthfully. There have been blatant insults and degrading critiques about the band’s output, but in all fairness, they cater to the lowest common denominator, which works on at least a financial standpoint (besides, The State and Silver Side Up aren’t terrible records). My biggest problem stems from the damned sonic snowball this act took a major part in kicking down the shit pile: Hinder, Saving Abel, and Theory Of A Deadman, to name a few.
That last clone, from ’02 onward, has not appeared to much care about where it stands in the grander scheme of copycat accusations. That’s fine, in a sense, because what artist worth his salt thinks he/she can please every critic, or create something devoid of ancestral influences? Theory Of A Deadman, as a band and a commodity, is successful because the material is the “in thing” at present: easily digested rock radio singles that anyone can sing or shout alongside.
The Truth Is… erratically jumps between “Bad Girlfriend”-esque repeats laced with mid-’90s Aerosmith brass (“Lowlife”, “Bitch Is Back”, “Gentleman”), and utter filler. “Drag Me To Hell” is ripe for NASCAR promos, while on the flip-side, “Gentleman” is at least an honest song, with some added swagger. The universally-applicable tale of women asking for chivalry while they chase “a loser like [insert douchebag here]” sounds pretty familiar. The album’s title track does smirkingly take a jab at Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, and so on, but what a price to pay.
This CD is worse than a nu-metal reprise, in that it doesn’t give true ragers an outlet, but instead facilitates the same false machismo that tribal tats and fake bench-press numbers suggest. Save for some throwback vibes at the first half–maybe four good tracks–this record is dull beyond words; the only people who could possibly get off on the arrogance of The Truth Is… will be the same ones too drunk to mosh at your local rock show, killing the party for the rest of us…and if “What Was I Thinking” takes the mantle from “Hate My Life” or Rehab’s “Sittin’ At A Bar”, someone needs to go and die.