The Offspring- Conspiracy Of One Review:
I’ve been a huge Offspring fan for years now. They’re catchy lyrics, distorted power chords and infectious bass lines have always been the epitome of 90’s punk in my opinion. The Offspring has come a long way since their self-titled debut album back in 89’. The first Offspring album was very dark, and gave more nods to the punk artists before them, but as they started to evolve as a band, they started making their sound more unique. In 94’, they came out with “Smash." The highest selling Independently produced record of all time, and one of my personal favorites. It saw some radio play with the hit “Come Out and Play."
In 1997, they released the album “Ixnay on the Hombre." This record seemed to go under the radar, but its a fan favorite none the less. Some even see it as their best. Only one year later, they came out with their most radio-friendly record, “Americana." It featured the pop-punk hits “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" and “Why Don’t You Get a Job." This album wasn’t all pop though, featuring one of my favorite Offspring songs, “The Kids Aren’t all right," which is the dark story of a town-gone-to-hell. Two short years after the release of “Americana," The Offspring came out with “Conspiracy of One," an album that divided Offspring fans, and brought in new ones.
1.) Intro (0:05):
Not really song, just Dexter talking to a “crowd."
2.) Come Out Swinging (2:47):
What a great way to start of a CD. It seems to me that this song was a way for these guys to show everyone that they were still about fast, loud, punk goodness. It starts off with a bass line, which is quickly joined by drums and howling guitar. By the time you get to the chorus, the song is blaring in you ears with full force. By 1:08 into the song, the guitar starts playing twice as fast as it leads into the chorus. The song breaks down about 1:45 into the song, where you think you’ll have a break, but the guitar joins the bass without giving you a chance to breathe. The song is short, no doubt, but if it was any longer, it would’ve dragged on and gotten old.
9 out of 10.
3.) Original Prankster (3:40):
Get ready for a guilty pleasure. You’ll either love this song and tell no one, or hate it and tell everyone. Its cheesy, fast, and features rapper, Redman. I don’t get the weird electric piano that follows the rhythm guitar, it fits, but you get the feeling that it shouldn’t. I think they were going for the kind of song that you would hear in a dirty bar somewhere in Mexico. Its got maracas and everything. The lyrics are about...well being a prankster, and that’s about it. I liked their songs of juvenile delinquency much better on their older albums (“Burn it Up," off of Ignition, or “Bad Habit" off of Smash). I guess they needed a good song for radio play or something, seeing as how back in the day, the video was all over MTV. It was hard to watch the Offspring go so mainstream, but if you can get over that, the songs not too bad.
5 out of 10.
4.) Want You Bad (3:22):
It seems to me that the Offspring was trying to pretty much recreate their last CD by following a very similar formula. This song is the equivalent to “She’s got Issues" off of “Americana." This is a fast pop-punk song about a guy wanting his innocent girlfriend to be a bad girl. The title is a little misleading, when I first saw the track name, I thought it was gonna be about Dexter singing about how much he wants a girl or something, but the flipped the subject matter around a little bit. The songs not great, but it’s not bad either.
6 out of 10.
5.) Million Miles Away (3:39):
This song was probably gonna be a filler track at first, but evolved into something that satisfied classic-Offspring fans. Full of “Oohs" and random yells, this is the Offspring we all know and love. It’s got heavy, distorted, palm-muted chords throughout and very catchy lyrics that you’ll be humming for quiet some time after you hear the song. It’s heavier and darker than the previous 2 tracks, and is a much welcome change. One of my only complaints is that the guitar solo isn’t much of a solo. It’s more of a glorified riff. Sure, it’s better than most punk “solos," but we saw the awesome guitar work these guys could produce on previous albums, and sometimes I wanna hear a little more than few notes over the chorus.
8 out of 10.
6.) Damit, I Changed Again (2:48):
The guitar riff to this song sounds oddly familiar, it seems like they reused some old melodies and riffs to come up with a decent filler track. It’s a pretty catchy song, its not nearly as poppy as “Want You Bad" or “Original Prankster," but it doesn’t really satisfy like “Come out Swinging" or “Million Miles Away." Some people may really like this song, but no one would blame you for skipping this track.
5 out of 10.
7.) Living In Chaos (3:28):
Now, I really like this song, I don’t know, I could see some people hating it though. It seems like the song is unsure of itself, is it trying to be poppy? Was it going to be a single? Was it a nod to their older stuff? You can’t really tell, but that’s why I like it. It’s got a cool opening riff, some distorted vocals, and an eerie feel. It’s a very solid song that doesn’t really get the credit it deserves.
7.5 out of 10.
8.) Special Delivery (3:00):
This song has style up the butt. It starts off with a pretty cool bass line that follows Dexter’s vocals, and goes into a bizarre synth sound when the guitars and drums kick in. It gives you a taste of the chorus as it flows into the verse. The lyrics are about stalking someone, it’s kind of weird, but the odd synth sounds and bass line create the mood perfectly. This song shows The Offspring starting to experiment with synth sounds. We’d hear alot more of this in upcoming releases like “Hit That" and “Lightning Rod" off of “Splinter." This is another love it or hate it kind of song, which this CD seems to be full of. Personally, I like it.
7 out of 10.
9.) One Fine Day (2:45):
I think these guys made this song for a beer commercial. It’s got a whole bunch of backing vocals for the chorus and riffs that make the song seem loud and arrogant. It’s hard to explain until you listen to it. It’s also got it’s fair share of “Yeas!" and “Ois!" I can just see a bunch of guys swinging their mugs of beer around in a bar as they watch a football game and listen to this song. It’s a pretty catchy song, the only thing it’s missing is a line about twins.
7 out of 10.
10.) All Along (1:38):
This song is much too short. It’s a cool song, but with its short length, it makes me think that they just threw it together a week before the album was supposed to be released to take up time. The song would’ve gotten a much higher score if it was longer.
6 out of 10.
11.) Denial, Revisited (4:32):
Ah yes, the mandatory slow, meaningful song. This song isn’t as good as the following track “Vultures," but It’s decent. The chorus is what I think saves the song. When the power chords kick in, and Dexter’s vocals/lyrics get a little more powerful. The guitar part for the verse is just too cheesy for me, I usually skip this song, but some people may get really attached to this song.
6.5 out of 10.
12.) Vultures (3:34):
Finally, a song that I want to listen to over and over. It’s a slow, dark song about death. It’s powerful, and builds and builds up until the chorus. The guitars are crunchy and distorted for the chorus, and echoey for the verse, it’s a nice contrast and just a well-written song in general.
8.5 out of 10.
13.) Conspiracy of One (2:17):
This is by no means a bad song, but I think it had a pretty high standard to live up to when compared to title tracks off of previous Offspring CDs. “Americana" and “Smash" were two great title tracks that, in my opinion soar over this song. Maybe It’s the short length, or lack of substance, but this song just isn’t as good. When compared to the rest of the CD though, It’s pretty solid, and easily one of the best. It’s very fast, and if you don’t listen close, you’ll miss alot. Overall, this was a smart choice for closing the CD
8 out of 10.
Overall, this is a solid CD by itself, but when compared to previous punk-triumphs by this band, you’ll be left wanting.