The Offspring
Americana


4.0
excellent

Review

by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
February 7th, 2006 | 128 replies | 30,338 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist


6 of 8 thought this review was well written

Every time I hear the spoken word intro to The Offspring’s most famous opus, Welcome, the memories come rushing back. Memories of being 13 years old and sitting in art class discussing the band’s latest single. Back in those days, everybody could sing Why Don’t You Get a Job? backwards with their eyes closed, the song was just so popular. And the fact that it included the words «bitch» and «dick» helped as well.

However, the influence of this record went far beyond all that. Along with Eminem’s second LP and Limp Bizkit’s now-maligned Chocolate Starfish, this was one of the trio of albums an average earthling had to possess to be accepted in my school. Not only did you have to own it, you had to know every song by heart. And it was also in fashion to hate the last two tracks, Americana and Pay The Man.

Now, nearly eight years later, and with the benefit of hindsight, what is left is an excellent melodic punk-rock album. How it managed to influence a whole generation of kids, I don’t know. Maybe it was just the catchy choruses and riffing that got to our hearts. What is undeniable is the songs’ quality.

Americana is the album on which The Offspring most seamlessly blend mainstream appeal and underground street-cred. On later outings – culminating so far on the fairly atrocious Splinter – the band would shamelessly show their love for the dollar, softening down their sound considerably, but on this record they still rocked plenty hard.

Proof enough of this are songs like Staring At The Sun or everybody’s favorite melodi-core anthem, No Brakes. On these songs, the band sound like the same group that recorded the rebellious Ignition in 1993. However, on tracks such as the lead single Pretty Fly (For a White Guy), they add a few more accessible touches, generating infectious yet respectable mainstream rock songs. The band is never beyond inserting a guitar solo or a heavier moment in its radio-friendly songs, and that’s what makes this record so appealing. It features a set of songs that any high-school class can sing along to at a party, but it always avoids the most blatant «stupid-rock» pitfalls.

Why, then, did the band decide to finish off such a winning album with two such dull tracks? The title track is the lesser of two evils – not up to par with such anthems as Feelings, but not a completely hopeless song. Pay The Man, however, is a different story altogether. «Since when did George Harrison join a punk band?», you think, as the sitar.driven tracks drags on forever in your stereo. It gets better towards the end, but at that point, you’ll probably have tossed the CD out the window already.

All in all, then, this is one of those records that are perfect for teaching kids the A-B-C of rock music. Suffice it to say, I went from here to Bizkit, then Slipknot (bless my Mum!) and then pretty much everything else I listen to these days. This was also one of the first CD’s I passed on to my sister when she started showing an interest in records with guitars.

Nowadays, i don’t listen to it as much; I guess I’ve outgrown it. However, it is impossible to deny its quality and consistency as a record, as much as it is impossible for me to make an impersonal review of it. So between the 5/5 of the memories and the 3,5/5 of the unbiased rating, I’ll give it a 4/5

[u]Recommended Tracks

Staring At The Sun
Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)
Feelings
She’s Got Issues
Walla Walla
No Brakes



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other reviews of this album
LaughingSkull (5)
A biting social commentary hidden behind witty lyrics and catchy hooks...

Green Baron (3.5)
Welcome to Americana. Please make your selection, followed by the pound sign, now....

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...

RockerGav (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Zaine
February 7th 2006



199 Comments


pretty fly for a white guy annoys the bleep out of me. good review though :thumb:

tom79
February 7th 2006



3363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

One of the first albums I bought, still listen to it once in a while

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Zebra
Moderator
February 7th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Very nice review, detailed and you had a really nice intro.
This is a weak album. It is overly poppy and Dexter Holland is just annoying throughout the album.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2006



15727 Comments


I like the singles, but PFFAWG is ugh.

This is ok, better than the last 2 albums.

Digging: A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Sea When Absent

nobodyblossomsforever
February 7th 2006



63 Comments


This album always makes me laugh.

stephankirstein
February 7th 2006



20 Comments


this album is kinda plasticky. i got really bored with the overall sound pretty quickly. some of the stuff is okay though when i skim through the album every once in a while.

spoon_of_grimbo
February 8th 2006



2240 Comments


first album i bought, and every track is great!!! i particularly liked the title track though!!! and pay the man is an interesting attempt at something a little different...

tom79
February 8th 2006



3363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

what ska one

ReturnToRock
February 9th 2006



3448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

aren't you thinking of Smash vheissu?

labonza01
February 9th 2006



546 Comments


i really like this album, but smash is better. americana is a great song though, and you put it down in your review. anyway, great review, it's one of the more intelligent ones on the site.

burton.and.gas
February 11th 2006



641 Comments


americana is a great song ! i love it i dunno hwy ppl didnt like it and pay the man did suck but nvm.

Hamilton515
February 17th 2006



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was the very first cd I ever bought, which made The Offspring one of my favorite bands. The two hit songs on here are probaly the worst on the album. No Brakes, Americana and Pay the Man are the three of my favorite songs on the album.

Good review though.

LivingZen
March 2nd 2006



13 Comments


Funnily enough, even though I was a huge fan of the singles on this record when it was released, (give me a break, i was 11). Now I only really get into two songs on the record fully. These being "The Kid's Aren't Alright" and "No Brakes".

Just my evolving tastes i guess.

bungalow
March 2nd 2006



7 Comments


ok. Pretty Fly For A White Guy is an ok song. some parts are really annoying, but the 1st 2 seconds is the best. a song that i would recomend(that isnt on your list) is The Kids Arent Alright.

Rudd13
March 2nd 2006



952 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ok. Pretty Fly For A White Guy is an ok song. some parts are really annoying, but the 1st 2 seconds is the best.


Jawaharal
March 2nd 2006



1832 Comments


Quoting is fun?

Genocidal_Nimrod
March 12th 2006



16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

In my opinion The offspring went down hill from here. But I still listen to them.

Nosey
March 22nd 2006



8 Comments


Have You Ever is a crazy song, but my personal favorite on this album is The Kids Aren't Alright. Not my favorite album by them by any means, but still damn good. It could do without Pretty Fly.


MyRamona
April 1st 2006



1074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Walla Walla is an awesome punk song. the singles were all really well picked too. Good review!

sj_2150
April 1st 2006



251 Comments


This was the first album i ever bought and i listened to it so many times. i still love this album, it shys away from the full on punk sound in most tracks



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