Dark Horse (Nickelback album)

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Dark Horse
Studio album by Nickelback
Released November 18, 2008 (2008-11-18)
(See release history)
Recorded March–July 2008 at Mountain View Studios, Abbotsford, British Columbia
Genre Post-grunge,[1] hard rock[2]
Length 43:38
Label Roadrunner/Atlantic
EMI
Producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Nickelback, Joey Moi
Nickelback chronology
All the Right Reasons
(2005)
Dark Horse
(2008)
Here and Now
(2011)
Singles from Dark Horse
  1. "Gotta Be Somebody"
    Released: September 29, 2008
  2. "Something in Your Mouth"
    Released: October 28, 2008
  3. "If Today Was Your Last Day"
    Released: November 11, 2008
  4. "Burn It to the Ground"
    Released: January 29, 2009
  5. "I'd Come for You"
    Released: March 23, 2009
  6. "Never Gonna Be Alone"
    Released: September 29, 2009
  7. "Shakin' Hands"
    Released: November 16, 2009
  8. "This Afternoon[3]"
    Released: March 23, 2010

Dark Horse is the sixth studio album by the Canadian rock band Nickelback, released on November 17, 2008, in Europe and a day later elsewhere.[4] It is the follow-up to their multi-platinum selling All the Right Reasons (2005). It was co-produced by the band and producer and songwriter Robert John "Mutt" Lange, known for working with such acts as Foreigner, AC/DC, Bryan Adams, Def Leppard and Shania Twain. The album was almost entirely produced on digital audio workstations like FL Studio and Pro Tools, and with very little reliance on live instruments unlike their previous albums.[4] Dark Horse sold 326,000 in its first week and debuted at number 2 in the US. More than a year after its release, the album did not leave the Top 100 on the Billboard 200. In its 91st week, the album peaked at #46 on the latest issue, on the week of August 28, 2010.[5] On 9 October, the album has since stayed there for 97 consecutive weeks, in the position of #71.[6] The album spent 125 consecutive weeks inside the Billboard 200.[7]

It was ranked #191 on Billboard's 200 Albums of the Decade.[8] It is also the band's fourth straight Multi-Platinum selling album in the U.S. As of 2010 the album has sold 3 million copies in the United States and 5 million copies worldwide.

Promotion and singles[edit]

The first single from the album was "Gotta Be Somebody", which was released online for free digital download on September 29, 2008, for a strict 24-hour period.[4] "If Today Was Your Last Day" had been planned as the lead single but was scrapped at the last minute. The track "Something in Your Mouth" became available for download from the United States iTunes Store on October 28, and was released to US rock radio airplay as the second single from the album on December 15. The song was a hit in 2009 in many countries, such as the United States. In Australia, it received little airplay.

In January 2009, the album's second mainstream single (third overall) was released: "I'd Come for You", with Nigel Dick having made the music video. Songs "Something in Your Mouth" and "Burn It to the Ground", written by Kroeger, were released only to the rock radio stations in December 2008 and May 2009 respectively.

The exclusive Wal-Mart edition of Dark Horse included a link to download an MP3 from Nickelback's performance of "This Afternoon" on Wal-Mart Soundcheck.[9]

The album won numerous accolades at the 2009 Juno Awards, winning three out of five of its nominated awards including "Rock Album of the Year".

Dark Horse was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on December 9, 2008, only three weeks after its North American release. The album also remained in the top 20 on the Billboard 200 for weeks after its release.[10][11] The album was certified two times platinum in April 2009, and had by April 2010 sold over 3 million copies in the U.S.[11] Burn it to the Ground was also nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 52nd Grammy Awards but lost to AC/DC's "War Machine". On September 13, 2010, the album re-entered the German Albums Chart at No. 30, 21 months after its debut and almost 6 months after its last entry on that chart.[12]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Chad Kroeger, all music composed by Nickelback with Robert John "Mutt" Lange on tracks 1, 4, 7, 8 and 11.

No. Title Length
1. "Something in Your Mouth"   3:38
2. "Burn It to the Ground"   3:28
3. "Gotta Be Somebody"   4:13
4. "I'd Come for You"   4:22
5. "Next Go Round"   3:43
6. "Just to Get High"   4:02
7. "Never Gonna Be Alone"   3:47
8. "Shakin' Hands"   3:39
9. "S.E.X."   3:52
10. "If Today Was Your Last Day"   4:07
11. "This Afternoon"   4:34
Total length:
43:38
Wal-Mart exclusive bonus track
  1. "This Afternoon" (Original Performance Series) – 4:26
Australian singles
  1. "Gotta Be Somebody"
  2. "I'd Come for You"
  3. "If Today Was Your Last Day"
  4. "Never Gonna Be Alone"
  5. "Burn It to the Ground"
  6. "This Afternoon"

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 1.5/5 stars[13]
Blender 3.5/5 stars[14]
Calgary Herald 2.5/5 stars [15]
Entertainment Weekly (C+)[16]
The Guardian 1/5 stars[17]
Los Angeles Times (positive)[18]
NOW 1/5 stars[19]
PopMatters (3/10)[20]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[21]
Toronto Star 2/4 stars[22]

The album received mostly negative reviews, shown by an average of 49 out of 100 on the review aggregator Metacritic.[23] However, it received a positive review and won the Juno Award for Album of the Year, a category whose nominees are the top five selling Canadian releases of the year.[24] Despite this award, the critical reception of the album has been mainly very negative.

Stephen Thomas Erlewin of Allmusic gave Dark Horse 1.5/5, writing, "Dark Horse is constructed entirely from the group's standard power ballad and hard rock templates, the mood only lightening when Kroeger and company take a break to kick back on 'This Afternoon.'"[13] Entertainment Weekly reviewer Leah Greenblatt wrote, "It's hard not to be put off by the execrable lyrics of album opener "Something in Your Mouth" (the song is basically kryptonite for feminists)."[16] PopMatters criticised the band's release, giving it 3/10 and saying it was a step down from previous albums: "Dark Horse finds the group at a creative low point. Each song sounds like an older, better Nickelback hit, and Kroeger only once displays his prior songwriting strength with the sad-bastard portrait 'Just to Get High'."[20] The Guardian awarded the album 1/5, being particularly negative of the band's cliché style; "Nickelback's music reaffirms every sex-and-stupidity cliche hard rock can offer."[17]

Rolling Stone gave the album a positive review, complimenting its production. ""Mutt" Lange lightens Nickelback's dreary post-grunge plod, applying guitar shimmer to prom ballads and detonating big beats under frat-party shouts and raplike vocal parts."[21] Whilst ChartAttack credited the band's success to knowing its target audience: "Chad Kroeger is a genius because he knows exactly what people want and precisely how far he can go. He turned out an extremely racy album that's loaded with songs about gettin' drunk and doin' it all without breaking any taboos, and with enough love and moral authority to grease its passage into the mainstream. Rejoice, North America. This is your world."[25] Billboard also praised the album's content: "The bulletproof Nickelback provides affordable fun that promises good returns in hard times."[26]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard 200[27] 2
U.S. Billboard Top Rock Albums[27] 1
U.S. Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums[27] 1
U.S. Billboard Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums[27] 1
U.S. Billboard Top Internet Albums[27] 2
Canadian Albums Chart[27] 1
Australian Albums Chart[28] 3
New Zealand Albums Chart[28] 3
UK Albums Chart 4
Germany Albums Chart 4
Austrian Albums Chart[28] 5
Swiss Albums Chart[28] 5
Swedish Albums Chart[28] 9
Russian Albums Chart 11
Irish Albums Chart 19
Finnish Albums Chart[28] 19
Netherlands Albums Chart[28] 25
Italian Albums Chart 26
Belgium Albums Chart[28] 35
Denmark Albums Chart[28] 37
French Albums Chart[28] 112

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Position
US Billboard 200 42[29]

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Position
Swiss Albums Chart[30] 64

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[31] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[32] Gold 10,000x
Canada (Music Canada)[33] 6× Platinum 480,000^
Germany (BVMI)[34] Platinum 200,000^
GCC (IFPI Middle East)[35] Platinum 6,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[36] Platinum 15,000^
Sweden (GLF)[37] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[38] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[39] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
Fearless by Taylor Swift
Canadian Albums Chart Number-one album
December 6, 2008 - December 13, 2008
Succeeded by
Chinese Democracy by Guns N' Roses

Tour[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Catalogue
Australia 15 November 2008 Warner Music RR 8028-2
Europe 17 November 2008
United States November 18, 2008 Roadrunner
Canada EMI

End of decade charts[edit]

Chart (2000–2009) Position
U.S. Billboard 200 191

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chuck Eddy (2008-11-27). "Dark Horse | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  2. ^ Caroline Sullivan (14 November 2008). "CD: Nickelback, Dark Horse | Music". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  3. ^ "Top 40/Mainstream > Cool New Music". allaccess.com.  LINK OUTDATED.
  4. ^ a b c "Major Nickelback Announcement". Roadrunner Records. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  5. ^ Dark Horse climbs on the Billboard 200 Albums and crack 80 consecutive weeks 'Billboard' Accessed on May 13, 2010
  6. ^ "Billboard 200: Week of October 09, 2010". Billboard.com. 
  7. ^ "Dark Horse - Nickelback > Album Info". Billboard.com. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Best of the 2000s: Billboard 200 Albums". Billboard.com. Showing 181-200. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Nickelback - CD: Dark Horse (with Exclusive MP3 Download". Wal-Mart. 
  10. ^ Latest Platinum Album Certifications. billboard.com. Accessed on 15 December 2008.
  11. ^ a b "Gold and Platinum Database Search". Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  12. ^ "Nickelback: Dark Horse" (in German). musicline.de. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Review: Dark Horse". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  14. ^ Rob Sheffield. "Dark Horse review". Blender. Retrieved 5 July 2011. [dead link]
  15. ^ McCoy, Heath (18 November 2008). "Dark Horse no Back in Black". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  16. ^ a b Greenblatt, Leah (12 November 2008). Review: Dark Horse (1021-1022). Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  17. ^ a b Sullivan, Caroline (14 November 2008). "Rock review: Nickelback, Dark Horse". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  18. ^ Lewis, Randy (17 November 2008). "Album review: Nickelback's 'Dark Horse'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  19. ^ Bimm, Jordan (18–25 November 2008). "Review: Dark Horse" 28 (12). NOW Magazine. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  20. ^ a b Sawdey, Evan (9 December 2008). "Album review: Nickelback's 'Dark Horse'". PopMatters. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  21. ^ a b Eddy, Chuck (27 November 2008). "Review: Dark Horse". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  22. ^ Rayner, Ben (18 November 2008). "Review: Dark Horse". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  23. ^ "Nickelback: Dark Horse (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  24. ^ Nickelback Win Three Junos
  25. ^ Dickson, Evan (17 November 2008). "Nickelback's Dark Horse For Dark Times". chartattack.com. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  26. ^ Billboard review[dead link]
  27. ^ a b c d e f "Nickelback > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Nickelback - Dark Horse". portuguesecharts.com. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  29. ^ "Best of 2010 - Billboard Top 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  30. ^ "Swiss Year-End Charts 2009". Media Control. Hung Medien. Retrieved February 6, 2009. 
  31. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2010 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  32. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Nickelback – Dark Horse" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Nickelback in the field Interpret. Enter Dark Horse in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  33. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Nickelback – Dark Horse". Music Canada. 
  34. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Nickelback; 'Dark Horse')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  35. ^ "IFPI Middle East Awards – 2009". IFPI Middle East. 
  36. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Nickelback – Dark Horse". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. 
  37. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2009" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  38. ^ "British album certifications – Nickelback – Dark Horse". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Dark Horse in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  39. ^ "American album certifications – Nickelback – Dark Horse". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]