Band Members: Dexter Holland- vocals, rhythm guitar
Greg K.- bass, backing vocals
Noodles- lead guitar, backing vocals
Atom Willard- drums
The Offspringís Greatest Hits. Iíve heard a lot of negative things said about this album. Things like ďIt only included their newer material, they should have put older stuff on hereĒ. This I can agree with. The album probably shouldíve included some of their earlier work as well. I personally wouldíve loved it if they included their earlier work, considering Iím not too familiar with it. But they chose to only put their more recent singles on the album. Life Goes on. Another thing Iíve heard said is that ďThese guys were a sideshow band of the ninetiesĒ. This I disagree with. They may not have been as popular as Green Day (which in my opinion they should be) but I would never say sideshow. A better example of a sideshow band from the nineties would be ďThe Presidents Of The United States Of AmericaĒ. Although, I do like them too.
Now donít get me wrong Iím not trying to bash the other reviews on this album. Both of them presented their points well, and were very well written at that. I just think this album is often overlooked primarily because it doesnít have their earlier work. Which really isnít fair. With the exception of a couple tracks on this album I think every song deserves to be on the album. After all greatest hits albums usually contain a bandís most popular songs and a vast majority of The Offspringís popular songs come from their later work.
Another reason Iím doing this review, other than to try and give it a better image which I think it deserves is, Iíve always wanted to do a review on these guys. Theyíve been one of my favourite bands since I was very young, and to this day I still love them. I consider this to be a rarity because when I first got into these guys I also listened to bands like ďNísyncĒ and ďThe Spice GirlsĒ. You see, Iím not usually a punk-rock fan. I loathe most bands in the genre. Green Day, Blink 182 etc. But not these guys. Iíve never really been sure why.
Overall Sound: Pretty basic music all in all. A lot of 4-chord songs with catchy intro riffs. The occasional solo here and there. The bass pretty much just plays a simplified version of what the guitar plays in most songs. Iím a big fan of the vocals in this album. Iíve always loved Dexterís voice. Itís so powerful and usually manages to hide the fact that the guitar is so damn basic. Thereís also some more fun tracks on the album. Like ďWhy Donít You Get A JobĒ, ďHit ThatĒ and ďPretty Fly For A White GuyĒ. I like these tracks because a lot of them have other instruments thrown in. Like ďWhy Donít You Get A JobĒ has some steel drums in there.
Track By Track:
Canít Repeat (4.5/5)- This was unfortunately the only new track on the album. Wouldíve been nice to see some more. But what can you do" This track is exquisite. Starts off with a nice little bass intro. Soon accompanied by guitar. Shortly after we get into the lead riff. Very catchy and easy to play. The verse was well just a verse, but it in no way took away from the song. Powerful chorus. You can really feel the emotion in Dexterís vocals. Thereís a little solo towards the end. Well I wouldnít call it a solo. I donít know what to call it really. Itís not a solo, not a bridge and not an interlude. Oh well, itís something.
Come Out And Play (4/5)- The drums get things started in this track. Then they are joined by the guitar with some basic power chords. Got to love the little Egyptian riff before the verse. The verse itself is pretty darn catchy. The chorus kind of blends with verse. Nothing special there. This isnít one the albums greatest tracks from the album, but itís still pretty solid.
Self-Esteem (5/5)- This is one of The Offspringís most well known songs, and with good reason. Itís one of my personal favourites. As per usual things are kicked of with some power chords. Really the whole song is power chords. The verse is mostly bass, though. The chorus doesnít have any real words. Itís pretty much just different variations of ďOh yeahĒ. The lyrics during the verse were quite good, however. For example ďWhen she came over I lost my nerve, I took her back and made her dessertĒ. Some of you out there are probably wondering why this track got a 5. I didnít describe anything overly special. Well, a lot of it is because of the catchiness of the song. If you listen to the track youíll know what Iím talking about.
Gotta Get Away (4/5) Splendid track. Starts of with some basic drums, joined by the bass soon after. The in comes the guitar with a catchy little riff. Then back to power chords. The vocals in this track were a bit under par compared to Dexterís usual vocals. I didnít particularly care for the verse in this track. The vocals just sounded stressed. Like he had a sore throat when they recorded this or something. The chorus was adequate, though. Good flow. Nothing else to say about this one.
All I Want (4/5)- Ugh, this track couldíve had an easy 5/5 if they would have just made it longer and thrown in like a little high pitched riff in between verses. The song itself had a very fast pace. Excellent job on the vocals by Dexter. Especially in the chorus. Although, he had help from the other band members doing back up vocals, so all the credit canít be given to him. Nothing else really special here, just power chords, bass mimicking the guitar and some basic drums. Letís move on, shall we"
Gone Away (5/5) Mind blowing track. The guitar in the intro again was just power chords, but it was also somehow different. It seemed more inspired, more emotional. After that thereís a sad little riff. Then we get into the verse, which is quite mellow. Unlike the chorus which is filled to the brim with power and emotion. In between. Then just when the song seems like itís about to get boring we get to the outro, which picks up the songs nicely. Overall this is my second favourite track from the album.
Pretty Fly For A White Guy (3.5/5)- This is one of the more silly songs. It doesnít offer much, but itís a good listen now and then. Basic instrumentals. The ďUh-huhĒ after ďGive it too me babyĒ was pretty annoying. If it wasnít for the chorus with song would probably have a 2.5. The chorus was stellar, other than the ďuh-huhĒ. Also, what kept this track from getting a lower rating was the hilarious vocals during the verse.
Why Donít You Get A Job (5/5)- Now those of you on the site who know me and have seen what bandís threads I usually participate in. You would probably think my favourite song is by Metallica, Rage Against The Machine or perhaps Tool" Well, youíd be wrong. This track right here is my all-time favourite song. Thereís nothing flashy about it, thereís no two and a half minutes guitar solo, but itís still a damn excellent song. It gets right into things with some powerful vocals from Dexter. The instrumentals are actual chords for once instead of just power chords. Thereís some steel drums in here as well. That added a nice atmosphere to the song. I know from what I just described it doesnít sound too special, but itís brilliant.
The Kidís Arenít Alright (5/5)- Astonishing intro. The verse is nothing special but leads into the chorus well. The chorus itself is magnificent. Superb vocals by Dexter. Unlike most other tracks this one has a solo, and a pretty marvelous one at that. I wish there was more I could say about this one, but that about sums it up. Oh, and if thereís anyone out there who hasnít heard it, you probably have. Itís the theme song for ďBuffy The Vampire SlayerĒ.
Original Prankster (3/5)- Iím not a big fan of this song. It doesnít really contribute much. Pretty basic stuff. I think I heard some keyboard in here. Thatís really the only thing worth mentioning. Everything else is just average. Not going to waste anymore time on this one.
Want You Bad (3.75/5)- I loved this song when I was younger, but its faded on me. Itís still pretty catchy. The vocals were good. The guitar again was just basic power chords. There was a little bridge towards the end. Thank god for that. Otherwise this track would have been pretty boring.
Defy You (4/5)- This was one of my favourites when I was young and is to date. I often listen to this when I need to get pumped up for something. Thereís a splendid little high-pitched riff over the intro. The vocals are exceptional. The drums were nothing to special, but they did their job and thatís usually all I ask. Overall this track was worthy of being included on the album.
Hit That (3.5/5)- Iíve never really been sure what to think of this track. Itís acceptable I guess. The chorus has some good rhythm to it. The intro riff is interesting. Iím not sure if itís done with computers or if itís done with some sort of crazy effect on guitar. Either way itís pretty strange. Other than that this track was nothing to rave on and on about. Truly ďJust another brick in the wallĒ.
(Canít Get My) Head Around You (3.5/5)- This probably shouldnít have been the closing track for the album itís not one of their best. It does have a tremendous little wah solo and itís very catchy. But I think they shouldíve have chosen one of their more stand out-ish tracks to finish off the album. This track sort of blended with the rest and Iím a strong believer in the saying ďGoing out on topĒ. Iím not sure if this is directly applicable with this situation but you get they point.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Pros: Dexterís vocals
Some songs were very good
Some of the instrumental work was very well done
Cons: Too many songs were just power chords
Some tracks tended to flow together for a while
And Iím done. I know some of the song descriptions during the review sounded kind of negative. I frequently mention the constant power chords. But take into consideration Iím listening to each of these songs while I do the track by track. All the songs on this album are pretty good if you listen to them by themselves. It just gets repetitive when you listen to them all in a row. I would recommend picking this up. Itís a good summary of their later work. Also I would recommend picking up some of their older work, which as previously mentioned is unfortunately not included on the album.