ALAN CROSS HAS AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL QUESTION: WHY DO SO MANY SAY THEY HATE NICKELBACK?

Admitting to liking Nickelback is akin to saying you hate puppies and kittens. The anti-Nickelback memes are endless. Invoking their name is universal shorthand when you need to describe something awful.

Chad Kroeger of Nickelback. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The concept of musical taste is one of the most subjective things you can discuss. There’s no telling or way of predicting which songs will get your brain to flood the body with dopamine, the body’s feel-good hormone.

Certain songs make you want to dance and give you shivers. Others induce no emotional or physical reaction at all. And others still fill you with antipathy, disgust, and maybe even rage.

This brings me to Nickelback, the Alberta band that has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and the most successful rock band in the world of the 2000s. How You Remind Me from 2001’s Silver Side Up album was the top rock song of the decade, the fourth-best selling song overall, and the most-played song on U.S. radio between 2000 and 2009.

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Yet out of virtually every other musical act on the planet, Nickelback attracts the most hate and abuse. Admitting to liking Nickelback is akin to saying you hate puppies and kittens. The anti-Nickelback memes are endless. Invoking their name is universal shorthand when you need to describe something awful.

I mean, people really, really hate Nickelback.

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