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The Offspring's 5th album was their breakthrough album in the UK, achieving platinum status. This, as is usual in such cases, caused many of the older fans to decide that they were sell-outs and declared this their worst record. The only problem with this is that the bands biggest album was actually released 4 years earlier and failed to trouble the UK charts despite selling a massive 16 millions in the rest of the world!
Admittedly, 'Americana' is not the band's best work but it is still a good album. The main fault is that the 3 worst tracks on the album were all released as singles. It does represent a departure from previous albums in that there are generally more genres covered. 'Ixnay on the Hombre', the follow up to 'Smash' included more mainstream songs then previous albums and 'Americana' continues with this theme. There are still a number of punk songs but there are more rock songs, often playful interludes and even a bit of er, salsa! Much of the album is concerned with the dark realities of life in America.
The album begins with a short spoken intro, 'Welcome to Americana. Please make sure selection followed by the pound sign now.' in the style of a one of those pre-recorded messages with words stuck together I.e. like the announcements at train stations!
Then we move straight into 'Have You Ever?' which is one of my favourite songs on the album. The track starts with a straight up punk guitar and drums and the lyrics, largely about just wanting to be yourself but often not being allowed to be, are some of the best Dexter Holland has ever written. After 2.10 the music breaks down and the song completely changes with rolling drums building towards a amazing bass line and then singing about how crime pays. I'm not sure how this links with the start of the song but this is an amazing 4 minutes of music.
'Staring at the Sun' is another great track. It's apparently about Dexter Holland's desire to not be one of the people who really tries to 'fit in' and conform, often being self destructive while doing it.
The fourth track is the one that everyone knows! 'Pretty fly (for a White Guy)' is yet another song about acceptance and trying to fit in. It centres on a almost cringe worthy teenager trying to fit into gangster culture but achieving it only in his own head. The song is not as bad as song fans would have you believe but it is one of those occasions when you wonder how this song can go down as the one which symbolises the band in so many people's eyes.
'The Kids Aren't Alright' was the third single and is the best track on the album. It's a out and out punk song with plenty of 'Whoa's' thrown in! The lyrics are about a neighbourhood and the way in which people's dreams fade as they waste their life away.
'Feelings' is a parody of a song by Morris Albert. The original is a truly awful and sickly love song from the 70s and thankfully this version is better. Originally the lyrics are about missing someone that you've split up with and they are backed up with pianos and violins. Check it out, I won't event try to describe how bad it is. This version speeds it up 100 fold and flips the lyrics so they are about hatred!
'She's Got Issues' is equal with 'Why Don't you get a Job' as my least favourite song on the album. It's about a girlfriend with problems from ex's to emotional baggage to family problems. In fairness, the lyrics are good and extremely funny but the song is not a good listen. It's more of a plodding song and has some pointless sound effects running through it.
'Walla Walla' is musically and melodically the same as 'Too Much Drama' by The Vandals. It's a different song lyrically though. The song concerns a youth who commits petty crime who finally gets his punishment by being sent to prison. Again, the lyrics are funny 'That car looked so tempting; so easy to drive; Just like that apartment that you burglarized; You started to run, but didn't get far; Cause under your arm was a VCR!)
'The End of the Line' is a little darker than the other songs and is about someone close to you dying, probably suicide and then getting by without them.
'No Brakes' is probably the most stereotypical punk song on the album. Fast singing, simple drumming, fuzzy guitars and only 2:06 long which is punk by numbers really. However, it's a great song. I think the song is about being out of control and not being able to stop.
'Why Don't You Get a Job' is possibly the low point on the album for me. Even a steel drum can't improve it! The tune is based on'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' by the Beatles. The lyrics save the song as again, they are amusing and are about having an annoying 'better half'.
The title track 'Americana' has an intro of rolling drums and slow(ish) guitars for over a minute but then the song completely changes and goes into full punk mode. It's a critique on American youth, capitalism and generally the decline of society. Again, it's a great song and plays to their strength of satirical punk.
'Pay the Man' is a departure for the band. Firstly, the song is over 8 minutes long which is an epic in the world of the Offspring. And secondly, the music starts with jangly guitars and lasts for 3 minutes before the almost undecipherable and downbeat singing starts. After 5 minutes it gets going and Dexter resumes his usual vocal style and the music gets heavier. It's a strange song and I have no idea what the lyrics are supposed to be about. None the less, it would be a strong end to the album. However, after a minute or so of silence the hidden track comes on. It's a reprise of Pretty fly done in an Spanish sounding way and is a bit cheesy, which is exactly how it's designed to be. It's pointless but you can press stop when 'Pay The Man' has finished!
Overall, this is a great and often dismissed album by their fans with a couple of weak tracks. It's not as good as Smash but there again, very little is.
*This review is my own work although I may post it elsewhere on the internet.
"Americana" came in 1998 as the fifth album from the Punk Rock band The Offspring (whose debut had come nine years earlier). As the one which would succeed it ("Conspiracy Of One") and their third ("Smash") it stood as one of the Dexter Holland-led band's most popular records, and was the Pop breakthrough for the act as they dropped "Pretty Fly", amongst a few other successful singles.
1. "Welcome" (Intro)
2. "Have You Ever?"
After a short introduction, you find that here they dive straight into things here, and I have to say that it didn't really come out with results anywhere close to what was expected as they come with a pretty typical Punk approach with an apparently over-crowded set and lots going on, but at the foundation level, things such as the off-beat vocal deliver annoyed me as I couldn't easily engage with the music.
3. "Staring At The Sun"
They adapt their style for this one as you see that they are able to escape a lot of what made the first one on the album to (as a I saw it flop) as with this one they come with one that sounds as if a lot more has gone into composing it as they can contain the raw power that they exert in the song to make for a tune that actually has something to say. It is a grower, and I felt that after some time, the catchiness forces you in.
4. "Pretty Fly"
They have to take things to what was the most popular tune with this one as they try out something a little different and ensure that their humour is made as prominent as possible and it seems that they can achieve this here by using what was fresh Hip Hop slang of 'keepin' it real' to compose a tune which centres around people who completely go against this whilst claiming to do so in an attempt to take on black culture in away they simply can't.
5. "The Kids Aren't Alright"
As the band move into another of the singles from the album, you find that there is more evidence of the sorts of adaptations you get into the music as they had gone from the pure Punk, to some material that has it watered-down with heavy Pop elements drilled into its basic structure. I felt that although this may pull in those who perhaps only feel for the thing that was found in the video to the lead single, it was bound to put off there true fan base.
Here they perform a cover to Morris Albert song of the same title as a fun parody tune as another to show the types of things they are bringing to the table and the kinds of things they do to fit in with expectations of a Punk band, but really I can't say that there was actually anything in this song for me as very little of it said much to me at all and it reminded me of the kind of things found on the first track.
7. "She's Got Issues"
This one seems to flow from the track prior to it and it seemed to act in a way where you could feel the quality dramatically improve form one tune to another as the structure become much more rigid. However after a while, and once the chorus comes in (where Dexter Holland is seen to simply scream) it loses what it had going for it and makes it sits as another on the release without much of a purpose.
8. "Walla Walla"
The Pop elements return for this one as you find that on the tack you get a tune where the lead vocalist sings in some sort of a nursery rhyme structure to attract listeners through its apparent familiarity and from this point they take it to the powerful Punk backing to support it as they go along. It is a bit of a catchy one, due to the choices regarding the song's format, but wasn't really all that impressive.
9. "The End Of The Line"
This one was amongst quite a few on the album that you simply don't take notice of as it is so typical of them (when you take all of the other things that have gone into the album so far) and the offer very little to advance things any further with a track that has them performing in a high tempo and coming through with a style that has them taking on clear elements from the Metal scene at the time without much coming of it.
10. "No Brakes"
Finally there is an improvement in the material as they jump into this one, as if they've been jamming for a while before they came to record this one, and so it forces you into the fast pace of the recording and the feel of urgency as they get down to things and do one that takes on the catchiness of earlier songs and the general energetic nature of most of their music to create one of few I felt were decent.
11. "Why Don't You get A Job?"
You find that after a few intense tracks, there are seen to calm things down significantly on this one to bring a bit of variety to the album with this single. It is a tune that seems to come out of nowhere and doesn't seem to fit the direction of the album up to this point, as they are seen to bring in a little Ska to the mix, but I though that the confused mixture was brought together in a very poor manner.
The eponymous track to the album has them getting down to a fun tune where they seem to make a tune that brings all the essential elements of the album together in a manner that seems fitting to represent the sorts of things you get on the record for a song that isn't really of a massively-low standard, but isn't really all too good, but is sure to include their humour and extreme liveliness of the record.
13. "Pay The Man"
They end the album off with an epic track (lasting over ten minutes) and it sees that the band get another chance to experiment with a few other things, and give the listeners an opportunity to experience this too by bringing them into this jam session as they go through a variety of differing styles and approaches through the tune and do as many as you would expect, for a band who pack in short tracks with lots of energy, and then do longer and calmer tunes too).
I felt that really, there was very little for me as Punk Rock just isn't my thing, but others are likely to see this album in a different light. I could pick out a couple of decent tunes amongst it all, but really it all felt a bit samey and the experiments didn't seem to go well at any point during the record.
Americana is quite arguably the best album that The Offspring have made - it's not as alienating as, say, Conspiracy of One, which really tried some different things, and is a lot more in tune with the classical notions of the band, where they're just a bunch of young(ish) guys singing about love and having fun.
Sadly, this album has very unfortunately been labelled as the album at which the Offspring "sold out" - that is to mean, they took a bunch of money to guarantee to write x amount of albums over x number of years. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the musical quality hasn't at all decreased and in fact this is one of their purest and best albums.
What I like is that it's simple stuff, but it's very fun to listen to and is unpretentious, as is more than can be said for a lot of rock bands with their overly bombastic lyrics. This is about the human experience and all of its wonder and turmoil more than anything more outrageous. The Kids Aren't Alright, for example, looks at how teenagers are alienated and not doing so well, but the album's varied enough to also be fun and comedic, with the classic and anthemic Pretty Fly For a White Guy, which mocks "wiggers" - that is, white boys pretending that they're black.
In short, if you like The Offspring, this'll probably be right up your street, and likewise it won't sway you if you were never really into them anyway. It's quite samey, which is my only real criticism, but there are some genuine gems on there, and the melodic work is genuinely proficient and Dexter's vocals are great as usual. Nothing as bad as the supposed "true fans" decried it as, this is an impressive work that's a little more focused than their later works.
"Theres more to living than just surviving" See? Offspring are quite philosophical for a punk band aren't they? That was a lyric from "Staring at the Sun" which is on the Americana album released way back in 1998 (God was that 5 years ago?). This has to be my favourite Offspring album so I thought I would review it for you - it might encourage you to go out and buy it yourself. I said buy it - note no suggestion of burning it off a friend as then Offspring don't get any money. You wouldn't try and cheat them out of royalties now would you? Offspring was formed in 1984 (before I was born - scary) and is made up of Dexter Holland (Vocals, Guitar), Greg Krisel (Bass), Noodles (Guitar, Vocals) and formerly Ron Welty (drums). As of last month Ron has left the band after 15 years, but the others are carrying on and are releasing a new album later this year. It may be called Chinese Democracy if they can't fight out legal problems with Guns 'n' Roses who also want the name. The Offspring are a punk band but not as extreme as some - Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) which is on Americana reached No1, which demostrates some wider popularity. The tracks included on Americana are listed below: 1. Have you Ever 2. Staring at the Sun 3. Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) 4. The Kids aren't alright 5. Feelings 6. She's got Issues 7. Walla Walla 8. End of the Line 9. No Brakes 10. Why Don't you get a Job? 11. Americana 12. Pay the Man Pretty Fly is the track you probably would have heard from this album if you haven't heard any others. It is lighter than some of their other tracks are more mainstream. It is about a wanna-be, trying to be what he is not - "so if you don't rate, just overcompensate/at least you know you can/always go on ricki lake". The video to this is really funny, a geeky white guy trying to hang out on the street. She
's got Issues was also released but was not as widely recieved, but it also has a funny video - scary cartoon hallucinations for the girl with issues. My favourite track is probably Walla Walla, about the law catching up with a stupid kid -"you started to run, but didn't get far/cause under you arm was a VCR". It is not popularising crime at all - he gets his just deserts ending up in prison. The chorus is very catchy - "hey in walla, i'll see you in walla, walla" which i'm guessing is the name of a prison in California. It's quite a jumpy song that you'll end up singing along to, and then everyone stares at you when you realise with the headphones on the only one who can hear the song is you. Ooops. Anyway all the tracks on this album are great to sing along to, or shout to as the track depends. They all have loud guitars, crazy drums and often meaningful lyrics. if you like Blink 182, Greenday kind of music and haven't discovered Offspring then go get this album! And the new one when it comes out! Go on, off with you!
The Offspring. Two words that are sprawled over millions of hoodies and t-shirts all over the USA and the UK. Offspring are one of the most successful punk-rock bands around the world, and this album certainly shows it. Back when it seemed like the short-lived spark of punk had been snuffed, Dexter Holland and his school janitor buddy Kevin ‘Noodles’ Wasserman formed The Offspring (originally called Manic Subsidal) in an attempt to emulate local Orange County, California heroes such as Social Distortion. From 1984 to 1994 they graduated from playing house parties to releasing records, touring Europe and refining their polished punk sound that could be both satirical and scathing. It wasn’t until the release of ‘Smash’ and the radio success of attendant single ‘Come Out And Play’ that the spiky-topped quartet became unlikely mainstream stars. Since then they’ve consistently blitzed the public with an arsenal of bouncing bomb songs which, along with Green Day, have ensured The Offspring’s status as kings of a new generation of punkers. A little help from MTV and a lot of persistence may have helped, but ultimately the likes of ‘Self Esteem’, ‘Gotta Get Away’ and number one single ‘Pretty Fly For A White Guy’ have taken the genre into a new era. Pop-orientated and clearly designed with radios in mind, ‘Americana’ is the album that proved The Offspring were more than flash-in-the-pan jokers riding high on the back of a new-found interest in punk. ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’, ‘Why Don’t You Get A Job’ and ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ – are the key tracks in the album. The album has taken on a more 'poppy' feel, and some fans have been put off by this, but most fans stayed on and where treated by the quality tracks on this album. For people who might prefer a mix between the out-and-out punk style
of Smash and the new style of Americana, get Conspiracy of One. Otherwise, get THIS!
[:Intro:] Have you ever wondered what it kind of criteria, a band have to meet, when making an album [ie. The quality of their musicianship], to get a deal with a major, and some major play for their newest single. And have you ever wondered what kind of music you need to make to get thus far in the first place? Well, if you have [and I know I have, quite often?what with me being in my own band] then look no further. Because The Offspring found the perfect formula for the perfect album??.if there is such a thing. [as a formula, or a perfect album!] ?Americana?, the bands 5th album, really set the trend in the mainstream market for punk bands. And they certainly did it in style. [:The Band:] Well this is gonna be quite short, because all I need to say here is the band members! Dexter Holland ? Guitar/Vocals Noodles ? Guitar/Vocals Greg K ? Bass Ron Welty ? Drums It is also well worth noting here, that throughout the bands 10+ years as a group, they have never ever changed members, making this the original lineup!! [:Album Stuff:] When a bands last 2 releases have a) sold 14+ million copies making it the biggest selling independent label album ever (Smash) and b)Have the god-like icon of the punk world Jello Biafra on their intro (Ixnay On The Hombre), it?s gonna be hard to repeat the feat. And really when you listen to those albums, and the previous two (The Offspring and Ignition), then you can see that they would have had trouble even coming CLOSE to any of those albums! But they pretty much seem to have done it. With songs all about death, the breakdown of society and the greediness of the society, they really seem to have done it! [:Track Listing:] 1] Intro 2] Have You Ever 3] Staring At The Sun 4] Pretty Fly For A White Guy 5] The Kids Aren?t Alright 6] Feelings 7] She?s Got Issues 8] Walla Walla 9] The End Of The Line 10] No Brakes 11] Why Don?t Y
ou Get A Job 12] Americana 13] Pay The Man If you listen to this album, and don?t pay too much attention to it, then all you will hear is some (sometimes) funny songs, with some happy bouncy riffs. But if you listen closer and take the lyrics deeper then you may notice, that most of the songs are actually quite serious. A lot of people say that this album was a departure from The Offspring?s old sound, into the poppier sounds of mainstream music. And on a certain level those people would be right. But they would be right in the fact, that some of The Offspring?s tunes have become a little lighter, and easier to digest in handy bite-sized portions. But Dexter and noodle still think the same, and they are still writing about some of the darker issues of today?s society?.but just not in the same way as they used to. And because the music has become somewhat mellower, it?s harder to take the lyrics to the heart, without taking the infectious riffs, and beats with them. [:My Interpretations Of Some Of The Song Meanings:] Ok, before I write this bit, I am going to say this is just some of MY interpretations of what the songs mean, underneath. I am sure that some of you will not agree?..but that?s just how things are! [:Have You Ever:] When I listen to this, it reminds me of feeling empty?.like being nothing more then a puppet, being led along?..but knowing it, and not being able to do anything about it?.like there is that piece missing inside, and it?s your freedom, or your will to do what you think is right?? [:The Kids Aren?t Alright:] About how America used to be a safe place to raise a child??but how it has slowly done gone downhill, and how society has changed for the worse??and the proof is in these kids lives [see the lyrics if you don?t know what I mean]a sad tale of woe in today?s modern America [Feelings:] About hate, and revenge, and how these feelings can impair your vision towards people/an
d society. And how feelings of hate can lead your life. [:The End Of The Line:] feelings of how death can ruin your life?..and how it can make you a completely different and sadder person?and how when it?s all done, you are left all alone to deal with life, and whatever is thrown at you, without any help. [:No Brakes:] Basically, this song makes me think of the proverbial ?Downward Spiral???.and how events can lead you all the way to the bottom of the ?pit?, where all you can do is look up at what other people have, and ponder about what you once had?..which is all now gone. [:Americana:] This one is the most obvious to me??it?s all about greed, and power in today?s society, and how our lives are all based around that power, and the greed we have for it??.another sad tale of life in today?s world?... Of course many people mat interpret them differently, and see them in a different light. And not all of the songs even have a ?deep? meaning??in fact I doubt any of them really do, except in how people look at them, and interpret them for themselves??which to me, is what music is about??.interpreting things, and using those interpretations to help me out, with my own life?..or at least to understand some things which perhaps made a little less sense beforehand. [:Outro:] Well, now I have written all about what I feel, and what I notice, there isn?t really much more left for me to say. Except that this album, is one of the best album that I have seen in a while?..and ?Conspiracy Of One? really continues on, what the band started [or at least continued] on ?Americana?. So if you don?t own this album?.then why the hell not?!?!?!?!
The Offspring really hit the big time in the UK with this album ‘Americana’. Certainly I had not heard of them till then, and the single ‘Pretty Fly’ was the first I ever heard of the America punk rockers. This album was released a few years back by the foursome, and really set them up as one of the CD I could not stop playing. Basically the Offspring are a punk band, toned down. Their music is alive, consisting of strong lead guitars and bass and drums giving a solid backing. The album consist of 12 music tracks, with one small into. All are fast moving and full of energy, that will make you get up. Maybe they are not the best of singers, but Noodles, Dexter, Greg and Ron don’t just make a loud noise. The one thing that can be said about the Offspring is a definite change in direction for the style of their music. If you listen to some of their older stuff it is more stronger and core punk, while ‘American’ especially shows them to have turned more commercial to appeal to other people their music has become more pop than rock. Their lyrics are similar, they are not going to be the smoothest in the history of music, but work well, are funny, if a little childish. Personally I don’t have any problems with these guys, I have listened to all their older stuff and I like is just as much, and it is good music, real guitars and drumming. The album itself is worth getting just for the artwork. Each track has all the lyrics printed, and an individual cartoon or still. They are all amusing, though some may find them offensive. I really like them, they are good and add a little individuality to the song, and all the cartoons have appeared in the promotion for the singles. Price wise this will set you back the normal for a chart CD, between £10-£15, though I have spotted it on offers like Virgins two for £22. The CD itself is nice, a cigarette being stubbed out looks a bit abstract but fun. 1. Welcome As on all Offspring albums there is a nice quirky start to the album, with a humorous message. This time it is the style of a electronic phone message, nice bit of a funny and light hearted start. “Welcome to Americana. Please make your selection followed by the pound sign, now” 2. Have You Ever This is a slightly strange song; it is split into two parts with a soft pause in the middle. Starts well with a guitar and drum mixing, and the song is catchy enough with a nice chorus, but I like the second part better, it has more energy and is quicker moving. Good lyrics, this is not just a noise there is more to the Offspring than that. “Some days, my souls confined and out of mind, sleep forever. Some days, I’m so outshined and out of time. Have you ever” 3. Staring at the Sun A good song, to continue a good start to the album. Not unlike the first, as it is quick moving, full of guitars and drumming the underlying beat. Again very meaningful lyrics that are well sung and look at them carefully they do have more to them than to fill the gaps. “There’s more to living than only surviving, maybe I’m not there but I’m still trying” 4. Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) The first Offspring song I heard, and I was instantly caught by the strong guitars, smart words, humor, and the backing drumming. This song really is one of my favourites in here, it is a great song, and is a real taste of what I like about these guys. Lovely. “If you don’t rate, then overcompensate. At least you know you can always go on Ricki Lake” 5. The Kids Aren’t Alright Another superb song, just piped to my favourite by the excellent Pretty Fly. Another great guitar song, this is quite a short song with lots of time taken up by some powerful guitar solos. The lyrics are again great, all
about people having their lives screwed up by society, powerfully put across in musical terms. “What the Hell is going on. The cruelest dream, reality” 6. Feelings Nice song, though not quite up to the high standards set by the earlier songs. Short but sweet, the vocals are never any good here or on the rest of the album but it is again full of guitars backings, and it ends on a great electric guitar solo. “Feelings like I wanna deck you, Feelings like I’ve gotta get you out of my life” 7. She’s Got Issues Like on the previous track the vocals are never going to live up to much, but it is another feel good song, the guitars pick up the song. The lyrics are great, funny if you read the inlay, but without any bad language. Well not too much bad language that is “And I know she’s afraid to commit, but it’s only our second date” 8. Walla Walla Another one of my favourite tracks from the album. Electric guitars are not as apparent, letting the lyrics carry the song, before cutting in the chorus. The lyrics are great as usual, I could not resist putting in the one below and it does seem to be a very good feature of this album. “That car looked so tempting, so easy to drive. Just like that apartment you burglarized. You started to run, but didn’t get far. Cause under your arm was a VCR” 9. The End of the Line A slight change, it is slower paced, more of a depressing and sad tone, as the title may suggest. The guitars are active, but it does not come off to well, I prefer the full blast, quicker tracks such as ‘Walla Walla’ or ‘Pretty Fly’. “Please stay now, you left me here alone – It’s the end of the line ” 10. No Brakes I like this, it is quicker and aggressive but within my taste limits. The guitar
s push it along, at a quick tempo, and the lyrics suit the song. Not a bad song, and a nice change of direction for the album, but is still a guitar driven track. “Save it now, don’t save it for my sake. Someone said it’s alright.” 11. Why Don’t You Get a Job? A single released from this album to follow up on ‘Pretty Fly’, ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’ and is a good quality song, though placed near the end of the album. The lyrics tell a story, it is funny to listen along to, while it is still good guitars and music in general, though the brass band adds a little extra to this. “Well I guess it ain’t easy doing nothing at all” 12. Americana The title track for the album is not the best on the album. A drumbeat starts the song, before electric guitars kick in. The vocals are slow to start, when they do they are the same quick and well backed, but I just don’t like this as much as some of the others. “My futures determined by thieves, thugs and vermin, its quite an excursion but its ok” 13. Pay the Man Very slow to start with a long guitar intro for about 2 minutes, then starts to get a bit louder. I don’t like the waiting, the music is quality, but to end the album I would have liked something explosive to send it off. The lyrics are dark and moody, while it is too soft and never gets going for me. “Shut up you talk too much, pay the man, shut up you talk too much” Overall I love this album. I discovered the Offspring from this and I went from here to discover their other works. Their new offering ‘Conspiracy of One’ is great, as good if not better than ‘Americana’ in my opinion, but have a listen to some of their older stuff. ‘Smash’ and ‘Ixnay on the Hombre’ are classics, and the Offspring have converted we
ll to a punk to pop style that fits with me, and several million others, as record sales for this shows. I recommend this all the way.
Ok.. so Americana wasn't as successful as Smash, but it's still a great album in it's own right! It was released on November 17th 1998 by Columbia records and became The Offspring's 5th album. So, firstly, introducing the band, we have: - Dexter Holland - Vocals, guitar Noodles - Guitar, vocals Greg K - Bass Ron Welty - Drums This has to be one of my favourite albums ever. Partly because it was the album that got me into punk rock in the first place. It has some great lyrics, and lots of catchy songs in what is often called a pop/punk type sound. Anyway here are the tracks: 1: Welcome Just an intro saying, "Welcome to Americana. Please make your selection followed by the pound sign now." The voice for this is done by John Mayer, who also does a lot of the other sound clips for The Offspring. It sounds kinda odd but its a good intro. 2: Have You Ever "Have you ever buried your face in your hands, cos no one around you understands, or has the slightest idea what it is that makes you be..." This song starts off strong and powerful with guitars. It breaks the silence after the intro. I love this song. It's one of my favourites. I especially like the way the whole song and tune changes half way through. It goes all quiet and then builds up into the end of the song. The lyrics are also good and the drums are great. 3: Staring At The Sun "Maybe life is like a freeway, dodging bullets while you're trying to find your way. Everyone's around but no one does a damn thing, it brings me down but I won't let them..." Another one of my favourites. It gets faster and faster as the song goes on, so it's got lots of energy and stuff. Again, good lyrics and drumming. 4: Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) "Give it to me baby, uh huh, uh huh, and all the girlies say you're pretty fly for a white guy.
.." C'mon you must know this song. It's a classic. Very lighthearted and fun. It was released as their first single off this album and was a chart hit! 5: The Kids Aren't Alright "Chances thrown, nothings free, longing for, what used to be, still its hard, hard to see, fragile lives, shattered dreams..." One of the best songs on the album, and I know a lot of other people think so too. It's got a very strong intro, and lots of woah-oh's in there too. All the ingredients for a great song. 6: Feelings "Feelings, feelings like I never liked you, feelings like I want to kill you live in my heart..." This isn't an Offspring song. It's a cover, originally written by a bunch of people I've never heard of, (no offense to who ever did write it!) This isn't one of my favourite songs, but I don't hate it. It's one of those songs that is easy to listen to, possibly if it's just background music. The lyrics are actually kinda scary. This is another song with lots of wooah-oh's, possibly more woah-oh's than the previous song. 7: She's Got Issues "Now she talks about her ex nonstop, but I don't mind, but when she calls his name out in bed that's where I draw the line. You told me a hundred times how your father left and he's gone, but I wish you wouldn't call me daddy when we're getting it on." Er... strange lyrics there. It was a bit of a long quote, but those few lines have to be some of the best lyrics on the whole album. I know some people absolutely hate this song, as they've told me, but I think you have to have the right sense of humour to find the lyrics funny. Some people just think they're ridiculous. Anyway, the song's basically about a girl with big problems as you can probably guess. There's a good screamy type chorus too, which is good. 8: Wal
la Walla "That car looked so tempting, so easy to drive, just like that apartment that you burglarized. You started to run, but didn't get far, cos under your arm was a VCR..." I guess this is about a guy who has gone to prison after getting away with breaking the law so many times. This isn't one of my favourites either, but the chorus has a habit of sticking in my mind all day. Even though the song isn't great I think that the lyrics are, especially the lines I quoted which I consider to be some of the best on the whole album. 9: The End Of The Line "When the sirens flash is gone, and we're left to carry on, all the memories are too few. When the pastors music plays and that casket rolls away, I could live again if you just stay alive for me..." This was never one of my favourites, but for some reason it has grown on me and now I think its one of the best. And it's actually quite a sad song. I realised this after paying more attention to the lyrics. 10: No Brakes "Lay awake, I don't give a shit, if I ever even wake up in the morning. Down below there's a pile of sin always waiting for a, waiting for a warning..." This is one of the best songs. It's quite violent sounding. The song lines are short and snappy, the drums are fast. It's just great. 11: Why Don't You Get A Job "My friend's got a girlfriend, man he hates that bitch, he tells me everyday. He says 'Man I really gotta lose that chick in the worst kind of way'..." Oh c'mon you must have heard this song too. It's another classic. Its sorta happy bouncy music, nothing serious or heavy, but its good. Another light-hearted tune, and the second single. I'm not sure how well this did in the charts though. 12: Americana "My future's determined by thieves, thugs and vermin, it's quite an ex
cursion but its ok, everything's backwards in Americana my way..." The title track, and its a good'n. The chorus absolutely rocks. The intro to the song is one of the best I've ever heard. It builds up very slowly, introducing first a simple drum beat, then guitars and bass, then some quiet backing vocals and then the lyrics, which are a bit violent sounding, especially the chorus. But that's what makes it a great song! This is the song that first got me interested in The Offspring and its great to just go mental to. =P 13: Pay The Man "Look at you and your struggle for freedom, but you aint nothing, we all pay the man for living. Wouldn't it be nice for a change now, to be unchained. My life is for me now, but this is life, pay the man..." This song starts off really slow, with a Middle Eastern type sound. It can get a bit tedious waiting for it to speed up. But about 5 minutes into the song is where it really begins to pick up, and at this point is where I think it has to be one of the best songs on the album, possibly even the best. The guitars are strong, and it turns into a very rocky song, which is totally unexpected from the sound of the beginning of it. It's clearly a different sound to the rest of the tracks, but it still fits in with the whole album. The lyrics aren't great. You have to dig deep to find the hidden meaning, but overall I don't think the lyrics spoil the song in any way. o Secret track... Just a different more comical version of Pretty Fly. Well that's about it. I'm not sure what else to write at the moment, and I hope this is good enough and has been helpful to everyone out there. Wow and while I was writing this I managed to find out that Davey Havoc (from AFI) does backing vocals for some of the songs! I didn't know that before. That's so cool. I'm happy now. =D
If you like the Offspring, but aren't that keen on hardcore punk, and want something SLIGHTLY mellower, then this is THE perfect album. unlike 'Ixnay.....' and 'The Offspring', this isn't a hardcore album. it has that feeling which can only be described as 'pop punk'. it isn't anywhere near as good as the earlier releases, but it has that Offspring feel, which gives it a definite punk majority percentage, over pop. opener 'Welcome' has that comedy value that is very rare these days. it is funny enough to make anyone laugh, and if they don't, whats' wrong with them!?!?! second track 'Have you ever?' has that dark-ish feel, but still doesn't compare to 'All I want' or 'Self esteem'. 'staring at the sun', is not a bad song. It combines an oh-so punk riff, with a catchy chorus, and that is always good! 'Pretty Fly....' was the first single released from 'Americana' and is VERY catchy. i wouldn't be surprised if everyone has heard this one. 'The kids aren't alright' was the third single, and THE darkest on the album. it is about how the place where the group grew up has changed, "theoreticaly", and is great. 'Feelings' is a weird song, about how you sometimes have these feelings towards someone where you want to kill them. 'She's got issues was the fourth and last single released on the album, and was pretty lame, until i listened to it 3 or 4 times. 'Walla walla' is the best song, with a great beat, riff and lyrics. 'The end of the line' is a dark-ish song, and is good for getting the crowd going. 'No brakes' is not a bad song, a bit short though!. 'Why don't you get a job?' along with 'Pretty fly....' are the big songs, they were the biggest selling two. ( 'Why don't you get a job?' was the second single to be released. ) 'Americana' is THE stupidest and
most moshable song on the album, and 'Pay the man' os a sort of light song to finish things off with, all 10 minutes of it! Overall, this is a great Punk album to get you started with, and a funky one at that! buy it if you are looking for an Offspring album with something different on it.
The Offspring have always been my favourite band, and I love all their albums. however, I believe they have passed their peak, and with this album their style became more geared towards pop-punk. Don't get me wrong; I love this album. It's just that compared to the band's other albums ("Smash" and "Ixnay on the Hombre") it just doesn't measure up. Many people have blamed this on the borderline pop single "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" which is an amzing song in its right, and the terrible "Why Don't You Get a Job?" which is, in my opinion, the worst song the band have ever done. The album still has some amazing and loud tunes though, such as the spectacular "Have You Ever", "The Kids Aren't Alright", "Americana", "No Brakes", "The End of the Line" and "Pay the Man", although the other songs are not that much different (compared to other albums by the band, which tended to present a wide range of musical styles such as ska-punk, grunge and heavy punk). Although the only song I truly find poor is the afore-mentioned "Why Don't You Get a Job?" This album is truly what made the Offspring widely known throughout the world. Their 1994 album "Smash" (which I have also reviewed) brought them into the punk scene, but this album allowed the band to reach much further, partially thanks to their recent move from Epitaph records to the more mainstream Columbia label. Four hit singles were released, all with highly played music videos, which all promoted the album well. The Offspring's fan base was ever widening, and set the pace for the follow up album, 2000's "Conspiracy of One." I'm the last person to diss the offspring, or this album, but in my opinion, their decisions taken during this album's production has shown that they have passed their peak. If you truly want to buy a fla
wless CD, I suggest "Smash" or "Ixnay on the Hombre." But it's still a damn good and popular album (it must have been to have sold 22 million copies).
This was my first O.Spring album, and I bought it after only hearing the ultimate pop rock song Pretty Fly...and The Kids Aren't Alright a few times (including a version by some year 9 boys at my school) I do like this record, and was probably pulled in by it's poppy appeal, but I did later decide that the offspring's older stuff is better. (Smash etc.) But this still deserves those four stars. Firstly, it's a lot of fun. The Offspring can combine sarcastic humour and 'serious' stuff v.well. And they have all the right(guitar) equipment to make a lot of noise. And those strained vocals which aren't quite annoying but near enough. *highlights* The Kids Aren't Alright I think is a genuinely great rock song, what an intro! Feelings...I recently heard the original of this - what a difference, but even my Mum recognised it in this form. Great guitars to jump around to. Americana. I'm not, to tell you the truth, a true punk fan - I'm not into the feeling that the drummer has to go as_fast_as_possible, and I don't reALly like all the fast vocals an stuff on this track. BUt it has a great intro atleast, and if your feeling wound-up for some reaon, this song has an excellent chorus line to shout out (well F*** you, you know. REpeated. loudly) And don't forget the intro. She's Got Issues. I like this lot. Substitue the chorus with 'My god she's got dandruff' and break out in immature teenage laughter for the full effect. Pay The Man. The ultimate track. Starts with indian style quiet guitar and builds up excellently with little 'tings' on the triangle and dreamy vocals to full blast guitar and lyrics. I love it. I love it a lot. So this album may not be, in my opinion, quite as good as the harder edged stuff the Offspring were doing a few years earlier, but it's still worth a listen. You won't regret buying this if you'
;re looking for fun almost pop punk/rock stuff that you can jump around to use to abuse the powers that rule by screaming out the rude bits. Yeh. Blah
There is something in americana for everyone. There is mix of different songs, but even though you have only listenend to the album once, you will be singing them for ages after. The tunes are so catchy and clever, and in my Opinion, Americana is the best out of all the Offspring Albums, and thats something, 'cos the Offspring Have been around for a long time, yet they still suceed in creating great music. I will always like the ofspring music, and I think they are a great band, and Americana is a really addictive album, that will last you a long time, with a collection of some of the offspring's greatest hits.
I've never been a fan of Offspring from day one. Starting with "Keep 'em Separated", it is hard for me to tell one song from another and the lead singer has no talent at all. At least previously I could give them credit for being a pretty hard rocking band, despite my dislike for their sound. This most recent album, "Americana", deserves no respect whatsoever, however. This album is a weak sellout of novelty garbage rock. "Pretty Fly For a White Guy" is the biggest offender. Any band that would use a cliche like that for one of their song titles deserves to be ignored. I really dislike this song and everything it stands for, though the gibberish lyrics make that difficult for me to ascertain. Nearly as bad is the overplayed trash novelty rock song "She's Got Issues". This song may be entertaining for eleven year olds, but I'm not eleven years old nor am I entertained. The remainder of the song is more of the same novelty rock garbage, absent any hint of talent or soul. Some bands I can understand why they are popular, some bands it's a mystery to me. File Offspring in that mystery category.
This is The Offspring's fifth release, and the second on a major label. Perhaps contrary to what one would suspect, the music on the album is fairly consistent with The Offspring's past efforts (in other words, they're no one-hit wonders). Though the album isn't as good as their 1994 breakthrough Smash (which, released on Epitaph, was the one of the first albums to achieve multi-platinum status while not being on a "major" label), it is in line with their followup effort Ixnay on the Hombre and is a worthy successor. I think the lyrics have gotten a bit preachier, going from the self-deprecating "I'm just a ____er with no self esteem" in Self Esteem to "every kid on the whole damn street was gonna make it big and not be beat" in The Kids Aren't Alright or "'cause I'd like to make the world be a better place" in Have You Ever. However, for the first time, The Offspring appear to be experimenting some what. There are certain progressive rock elements present in the music, particularly in the track Pay the Man where part of the riff is reminiscent of Saint Saëns' Sampson and Delilah (Saint-Saëns was a classical music composer). It's amusing to watch this divergence from pop-punk into complex experimentation. The derivative influence is also apparent in their sampling of Def Leppard in Pretty Fly (for a White Guy), the Beatles-like Why Don't You Get a Job? (reminiscent of Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da), and more blatantly in their cover of Morris Albert's Feelings. The hidden track at the end is pretty cool as well.
'Have you ever been at some place recognising every bodies face?' Well maybe you haven't but Dexter Holland certainly has. The above lyric is from the album Americana from The Offspring that was released on November 19th 1998. It was released by Sony in Columbia and produced by Dave Jerden. Lots of my friends had bought this album and recommended it to me so I thought that I would give it a try. I was not let down and I feel that this is one of the best albums of all time. The album includes the following songs... 01. Welcome 02. Have you ever 03. Staring at the sun 04. Pretty Fly (for a white guy) 05. The kids aren't all right 06. Feelings 07. She's got issues 08. Walla Walla 09. The end of the line 10. No brakes 11. Why don't you get a job 12. Americana 13. Pay the man I bought this album a few months ago, and haven't been able to stop listening to it since. It cost me £13 and I think that it was worth the money and every song is unforgettable and so addictive. The album was very popular and I am sure that most of you will have heard of the song 'Pretty Fly (for a white guy) which got to number one in the British charts. The Offspring are a very popular band all over the world and their style is supposedly meant to be punk although they are not as extreme as some other punk bands. Their music is the kind of music that everybody likes, and I think that this is one of the biggest reasons for their huge popularity. The songs on this album are all excellent. The first song is called ‘Have you ever’. It has a loud bass line and a really good introduction. The song lasts for 3.56 minutes and the words make you think a lot. Lines like “Have you ever walked through a room. But it was more like the room passed around you. Like there was a leash around your neck that pulled you through” make you think about lot
s of different things and it also sounds quite mysterious. One of The Offspring’s most famous songs has to be “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” This song got to number one in the British charts and I think that everybody will have heard of it. Below are the words to the song and I find them to be very true to life. You would think that a punk band would sing about f**k**g donkeys and I have to say that some actually do but the words to all of the Offspring songs are very meaningful and people relate to them. You know it's kind of hard Just to get along today “Why don’t you get a job” is another famous song by The Offspring that is on this album. I am sure that nearly all of you will have heard this song at some point. I am sure that some you will relate to this song. With verses like…. She sits on her ass He works his hands to the bone To give her money every payday But she wants more dinero just to stay at home Well my friend You gotta say I am sure that you ladies out there are now thinking that this song is very unfair and sexist but actually it’s not. The second half of the song is the opposite of the first. With verses like…. My friend's got a boyfriend, man she hates that dick She tells me every day He wants more dinero just to stay at home Well my friend You gotta say The album as a whole is one of the best albums that I have ever bought. I love every song and they all mean something to me. I can relate with them all, and even at first though some of them may sound quite complicated, you will soon understand what they are about. I would recommend this album to anybody that likes alternative music or just to somebody that wants to listen to something other that Steps of Westlife. The Offspring band was formed in 1984 and their band members are Dexter Holland who sings and plays the gui
tar, Greg K who plays the bass guitar, Noodles who plays the guitar and sings and Ron Welty who plays the drums. Their faces are known all over the world, as is their hair. Dexter Holland (real name Bryan Holland) was born on December 29th 1966 and is married to Kristine Luna. Although you may think that being in a punk band he must be fairly dim and unintelligent you would be wrong. Dexter Holland has a PhD in Molecular Biology and is in fact a very intelligent man. Dexter Holland has bleached hair, which looks very cool, and he is often seen wearing dark shades. Greg Kriesel was born on January 12th 1965 in Glendale, California. He is married and plays the bass guitar in the band. His hobbies are playing golf, camping and collecting hats and he says if you’re at one of his concerts "throw your hat at him" as he will be very grateful. Noodles (real name Kevin Wasserman) was born on February 4th 1963, in Los Angeles, California. He is married and plays the guitar and sings in the band. His hobbies are fishing, snowboarding, surfing and skating and he currently has bright blue spiky hair. Ron Welty who doesn't have a nickname was born on February 1st 1971 and is married. He has year 12 education and plays the drums. He can also play the saxophone and did this in a band at his old school. He has been part of another band for 10 years called Spinning Fish. The Offspring are a great band and I would recommend buying one of their cds.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Have You Ever
3 Staring At The Sun
4 Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)
5 Kids Aren't Alright
7 She's Got Issues
8 Walla Walla
9 End Of The Line
10 No Brakes
11 Why Don't You Get A Job
13 Pay The Man