Review Summary: On Conspiracy of One, The Offspring generally retain the style of their last effort, Americana, but dont really do anything new as many riffs are recycled and similar.
Conspiracy of One is probably the most fun record the Offspring have ever made. Its basically pure pop-punk with plenty of nice solos and power chord progressions that fit well with singer Dexter Hollands voice. Unfortunately, being fun isnt a good enough excuse this time around. On Conspiracy of One, the Offspring bring nearly absolutely nothing new to the table and during the few times they do, they generally seem to fail. They show little growth from their last album, Americana, and in general, come up with recycled riffs and a old sound that makes it just boring or more of the same. The Offspring hit real big two years before Conspiracy of One on their 5th album Americana. Although it clearly moved them into the pop-punk category, the album, for the most part, still had plenty of punky and energetic songs that make The Offspring so great. Conspiracy of One undeniably retains the same feeling of Americana, but it seems to lack in a lot of areas and overall, can easily be labeled as an average album.
The Offspring open this one up with a very recognizable Greg K. bass intro that leads into the first song, Come Out Swinging. Its your typical Offspring song and not a bad one at that. Though as the listener ventures pass the fun hit song Original Prankster (which happens to feature a brief appearance form rapper Redman during the choruses), and reaches tracks like Million Miles Away and Dammit, I changed Again, they all seem to follow a very similar formula of fast guitar chord verses to chorus’s full of wo ohs and catchy riffs. Generally speaking, the songs are very dry and at many points Dexter’s voice becomes rather annoying as he sings some of his cheesiest lyrics especially on the super pop-punky Want You Bad. Although these songs are fairly enjoyable, they just dont satisfy the listener the way the Offspring should. Fortunately, not every song is so similar.
Eventually on Conspiracy of One the Offspring do something a little interesting and different. Living in Chaos is possibly the coolest song the Offspring have done apparent from the very first glimpse at the awesome guitar riff. Living in Chaos finds a perfect balance of silliness, creativity, and punk reminding the listener why they love the Offspring so much. It even gives a small taste of heaviness thats very prominent on their following effort, Splinter. Sadly, immediately after Living in Chaos ends, we are reminded why the Offspring flat out suck. On Special Delivery, Dexter shows off his most irritating vocal performance as his singing is well exposed in the very beginning of the song and during the verses. And to think this track could get even more annoying, the chorus, with its very strange effects and average feel, is very unbearable. Special Delivery is a clear-cut low light. Surprisingly, if someone manages to reach the end of this song, he or she will find that they will end up remembering it. 3/4s through the song, a hilariously entertaining chant is heard as Dexter says, "Can’t break from my sins/Cannot Pray/." Overall, Living in Chaos and Special Delivery show the good and bad sides of The Offspring.
Moving farther into the album, we get a few different varieties of tracks but really only one that exciting or different. Denial, Revisited is a slower song that shows some nice emotion in Dexters voice as he sings of a relationship. Denial, Revisited is in a way beautiful but really isnt anything you havent heard before. Vultures begins similarly to one of the Offsprings much earlier songs, Dirty Magic and is a possible highlight on Conspiracy of One. A song I just have to mention is One Fine Day. It must be impossible to make a more fun and pop-punky song than it. The lyrics are so corny its hilariously in a stupid and silly way. The chorus is full of some crazy energy that is relevant throughout the song. One Fine Day is simply pop-punk at its absolute finest. From the poppy One Fine Day to the depressing Denial, Revisited, in conclusion, Conspiracy of One does show a nice variety of songs.
Conspiracy of One can simply be called an average album. Its fun and punky but really is just a rehashed version of previous Offspring works and many riffs seem recycled and uninteresting. Moreover, Dexter Hollands voice can be a little obnoxious and often verses dont make a smooth transition into choruses. Also, some very terrible more poppy songs like Want You Bad bring the album down even with the Offsprings pop-punk "masterpiece" (if there is such a thing) One Fine Day which gives the listener a sense of energy not always present on the album. Most surprisingly is the variety of sounds they begin to dive into later on the album in contrast to the beginning where the songs sounded very much the same. Although this album doesnt have any very clear flaws other than recycled riffs and similar songs, which dont necessarily render a song unenjoyable, the Offspring just dont bring enough new and exciting ideas into Conspiracy of One which they usually do with each release. Overall, Conspiracy of One is a fairly fine album, but it just doesnt strike a chord as anything different and most songs are average on The Offsprings standards.
Come Out Swinging
Living in Chaos
One Fine Day
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