The Offspring certainly are four lovable guys, with nick names such as Dexter and Noodles then who could resist" By the second line Iím running out of things to say except from this: Album number four is usually when a bandís sound can get stale, especially if they kept to the same style throughout their career. The Offspring changed their style before this album. While albums before Smash were raw and tried hard not to be hard-produced, Smash showed a cuddlier and produced sound. Ixnay on the Hombre pushed that sound more while still having a few fast punk songs in the mix. This album had more pop-punk songs on it than Smash but still kept to a punk root.
The songs are a lot more serious, the band still havenít entered the humorous phase they went through with Conspiracy of One. This album is no joke but it does have its funny parts. Me & My Old Lady
makes me think Dexter likes kinky sex and Cool to Hate
seems like a joke song but I get the meaning behind it. It simply is a metaphor for the stereotypical teenage angst that some people hold.
The albumís objective is simple: not to make a big fuss and label it the best album ever. It isnít the best album ever, far from it but it is a solid, thoroughly enjoyable album. The Offspring deliver with this album with its fast punk-ish atmosphere tinkled with catchy pop melodies. This album also showed a different side to the band using more emotion in it. Gone Away, The Meaning of Life, Amazed and Change the World shows a more mature side to the bandís writing and shows they donít restrict themselves. The album is really consistent, the band has always been when writing albums, I can listen to every single Offspring album all the way through and this album is no exception. The production can be a bit muddy at times but that doesnít distract from a great album.
The lyrics are a major upgrade from the rascal lyrics that Dexter used before. They are a lot more interesting and have a better meaning behind them. Gone Away
is obviously about a lost loved one. Way down the Line
is about a cycle in oneís family. For example, the lyrics, ďan angry man gets drunk and beats his kids, the same old way his drunken father didĒ is an obvious give-away. The lyrics do get to the point of silliness with the song Donít Pick It Up
which describes a small boy mistaking a turd for a chocolate bar. Itís funny but creates some weird imagery. Amazed
have some classic lyrics as well.
Noodles provides some more catchy power chord riffs with Greg backing it up nicely.
This album is when Dexter starts to produce a very studio-driven voice with reverb and what seems doubled-up at points to give the album that extra oomph. Ron is an interesting drummer and keeps a good hard beat but can also be found doing fast fills in true punk style. The band isnít technical but thatís not what the genre is about, they are just four young guys making fun music. Thatís all there is to it. Cool to Hate
is quite a stupid song but the song is fun and quite fast. The lyrics are about hating everyone at your school. An example of this is:
I hate a lot of things
I hate a lot of people that are lame
I like to hate stuff
Cause then I don't have to try and make
I hate teachers
I hate school
I hate the cheerleaders
And anyone who's cool
I hate the office
I hate the Quad
Don't wanna learn nothing
I want to be a slob
My favorite song on the album would again be hard to point out as I like a lot of the tracks. All I Want
is a big contender as it runs just under two minutes. It is a fast punk song but it isnít a joke song, it seems pretty serious. It is catchy as hell though and you canít help but feel a certain vibe when listening to it. Change The World
has references to older songs but using a riff thatís like a signature riff to the Offspring. It also uses the same drumbeat and everything but the main part of the song is the important part. It has such a cool guitar part in it and the song is again quite catchy but the guy talking at the end is a bit rude:
I think you guys should try heavy metal, kiss my ass!