Ralphy's C.D. Reviews

Review date 26-02-1999: The Offspring - C.D. Americana

"Americana" is The Offspring's fifth full length album, but most people (and I) only know the last three CD's, since their third album "Smash" (1994) became the across-the-board breakthrough for this quartet with hits like "Self esteem". The bandmembers are Dexter Holland (vocals) , "Noodles" (Kevin Wasserman, guitar), Greg K(riesel, bass) and Ron Welty (drums). The basics of their music is the same on all (3) albums, metal-inflected rock/punk and while their music rocks always, you cannot accuse Dexter Holland of having a beautiful voice, but it precisely fits their style.

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Also common on their albums are the humorous openings and intermezzo's, which, in my case, always crack me up. The CD "Americana" got into the spotlight due to the crashing success of the first single extraction "Pretty fly (for a white guy)". This absolutely outstanding song is so well known that it needs no further review here, but it's lyrics and the video are typical for the before mentioned humor in the Offspring's work (by the way, watch out for the hidden mariachi clip of "Pretty fly" at the end of the album). The second best song on the album is "She's got issues" about a girl with a lot of problems. Remarkable are also "Have you ever" and "Pay the man". These songs (the first and the last on the album) both change their tune somewhere in the middle, which adds extra effect to the album. "Staring at the sun" and "The end of the line" are just good punk/rock songs, while "The kids aren't alright" is even better than that. Then you have The Offspring's version of the classic "Feelings", which means substitute love for hate and rock it up (funny again), and "Why don't you get a job?" (the second single) with a main stream melody ("this is something everyone can enjoy" in The Offspring's own words) and handling about a freeloading woman. The other 2 songs "No brakes" and especially "Walla walla" aren't really up to the level of the rest of the album in my humble opinion. My overall rate for this album is a 7.0 .

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