The Offspring
Americana


5.0
classic

Review

by LaughingSkull USER (34 Reviews)
December 20th, 2013 | 72 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A biting social commentary hidden behind witty lyrics and catchy hooks

I could never understand the accusations that Americana was The Offspring's sell-out album. By the time it came out the band had already achieved commercial success with the pre-predecessor to this album, Smash, so there was nothing left to prove as far as album sales go. Even though Smash was and is more intense in terms of punk sensibility, a large part of it was still based on hooks and it still was a singles-oriented album. And to this day, I believe that Smash has more copies sold than Americana.

But let's leave comparisons with their third album aside and focus on the material at hand. The essence of Americana is most easily seen in the album's artwork: http://www.bandswallpapers.com/data/media/20/Offspring_Thepro2.jpg There, Americana is depicted and personified as an evil creature with many tentacles and arms, each holding an item that is a contributing factor to the decadence of American society - guns, drugs, TV (and other media), fast food, et cetera. This is reflected within the album's musical content with songs such as ode to urban decay and disappointment of adulthood The Kids Aren't Alright, low-life anthem Why Don't You Get a Job? and delinquent-woeing Walla Walla. The title track is especially relevant, with lyrics such as "Where culture's defined by the / Ones least refined / And you'll be left behind / If you don't fit in".

Despite its grim and gloomy central theme, the album lightens up a bit, offering the occasional humorous element, such as in the overplayed but ever-catchy Pretty Fly (for a White Guy) and She's Got Issues. Meanwhile, with fast numbers such as Staring at the Sun, No Brakes, and the parody Feelings the band shows that it hasn't forgotten its punk roots.

Probably the best song on here, however, is Pay the Man. It is a complex arrangement, featuring a haunting harmonic minor intro that progresses into a hard-hitting and intense punk finish. The song is essentially a conversation between a realist and an idealist, each holding on to their own view of how life is supposed to be. The idealist protests against the idea that there is an unseen external force, the Man controlling our lives, whereas the realist holds that this is just how life works. And the album ends on a disturbing note, with the realist winning the argument.



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H. (3.5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Relinquished
December 20th 2013


26016 Comments


your other offspring review was better

Itishappeningagain
December 20th 2013


320 Comments


Aspid gets a 2.5, Symbolic gets a 3 and this gets a 5? I see no problem with that!

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2013


20162 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nostalgic album

Digging: Johann Sebastian Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050

KILL
December 20th 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hell yes

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

MO
December 20th 2013


19078 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hey you should review offspring albums

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
December 20th 2013


13459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is a good review

KILL
December 20th 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

lets pos it right now

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2013


50960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet

Digging: Friendzone - Collection 1

DrGonzo1937
December 20th 2013


6868 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Rulez

Digging: Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor

KILL
December 20th 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

dude review ignition next

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2013


50960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dirty Magic was one of the first things I learned on guitar yeah

KILL
December 20th 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

dude first song i learned was buck rogers holy fuck thats gay to admit

KILL
December 20th 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

dude i remember tryin to learn mota when i was like 14 holy shit hardest song ever those power chords were almost napalm death speed

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2013


50960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I remember Genocide being way too fucking hard for me

LaughingSkull
December 20th 2013


253 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

you guys should try the gallops on Smash (the song)

KILL
December 20th 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

that wasnt bad alt picked palm muted chords if u learned any metallica that shit was piss but mota was on a whole diff level dude

KILL
December 20th 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yea they were tricky too but back then i thought m+ms by blink was hard

therapy20
December 20th 2013


53 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Decent review but the album is never a 5!
Personally, Ixnay on the Hombre is the best album they have done

LaughingSkull
December 20th 2013


253 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Top 3 for me is Smash, Americana and Ignition

KILL
December 20th 2013


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this over ixnay? damn



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