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The Offspring - Americana (Cover Artwork)

The Offspring

The Offspring: AmericanaAmericana (1998)
Sony Music Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 1.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AtomicGardenAtomicGarden
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Wow, 1998. I'm not as punk as you, because I discovered punk music on November 10th, 1998. That day, of course, is when The Offspring released "Americana". Before that, I enjoyed listening to the somewhat slow and bland alternative mix of bands, with the occasional rap/rock crap that was played.
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Wow, 1998. I'm not as punk as you, because I discovered punk music on November 10th, 1998. That day, of course, is when The Offspring released "Americana". Before that, I enjoyed listening to the somewhat slow and bland alternative mix of bands, with the occasional rap/rock crap that was played on the local radio stations. The first single to Americana, as everybody knowns, was "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)", and I fell in love with it. The song itself was actually very intelligent and funny... but little did I know a huge resistance was being formed from the punk rock crowd, spouting the term "sell-out" whenever anyone mentioned the band. Hell, I didn't know anything about the scene, really. Their second single, "Why Don't You Get a Job" was equally poppy... and kind of funny but not really. Still, it was enough for me to buy their album.

This is the day, for me, I become a punk. The second I put it into my $50 sony cd discman, I was amazed. Every song on the album was good, which is something I'd never expirienced in the mainstream music scene before (seriously, buy ANY album that's recently been released -- and chances are the non-singles will suck). However, listening to this album changed me for ever. Soon enough, I'd skip tracks #4, #7, and #11 each time. Those songs were: Pretty Fly for a White Guy, She's Got Issues, and Why Don't You Get a Job... which were 3 of the 4 singles released by the offspring from the album. They were all poppy little bubble-gum tracks thats main objective were to attract the preppy crowd into buying their CD. It worked.

Suddenly I was in love with their punker songs on there, and I couldn't get enough of them. I then bought their older CD's, and soon enough this album (after about 4 months of listening to it daily, and I'm seriously not exaggerating) stopped going into the CD player. Albums like Ixnay on the Hombre, Smash, Ignition and self/titled were taking their turns. I bought each album in reverse chronilogical order, and each time I thought "this is the best album I've ever heard". Each time, I started to dislike the songs that were huge radio hits (with the exception of Smash's "Come out and Play" and "Self-Esteem" because those were just really fucking good songs, not like Americana's singles which had the sole purpose of getting airplay). These guys are, sadly, the most underrated punk band in the world because they made the mistake of trying to sell albums to the mass. For those of you who assumed Americana sucked after hearing the three "radio airplay" singles, as I call them, let me give you a mini review of each song.

1. (Voice Track) 2. Have You Ever - Possibly one of the best songs they've ever made, and a great choice to be a first track. How anyone could listen to this song and not love it is a mystery. Very well written, exploiting all that teen angst (or middle aged angst, depending on the listener) you might have.
3. Staring at the Sun - Another good punk song. By this time, I started to think "maybe these guys aren't just another pop band".
4. Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) - Well, what can I say? It's what got me into punk music, which is fucking ironic. I hate this song with a passion, because its the reason so many people consider the offspring a horrible band. Closed minded people suck? Oh well. The song itself is a great pop song, by the way.
5. The Kids Aren't Alright - This was also released as a single, but it's one of their best songs on the album. It didn't get as much radio airplay because it wasn't a pop song, funny huh? Definately one of the best on the album.
6. Feelings - This was a cover of a real bad song that was made in the 70's. Good quality punk.
7. She's Got Issues - By the time this was released, I was already into the punker side of Offspring and turned the radio off whenever it came on. Another example of a good pop song, but it really killed the Offspring's reputation. Three pop singles from one album is enough to ruin any punk bands reputation for a long time.
8. Walla Walla - Decent song. Too fast to be a single, although it does get old kinda fast.
9. The End of the Line - Incredible fucking song. Sad as hell, beautifully written. This reminds me of Dexter's incredible writing (especially in his older albums) - he's one of the best songwriters in all of punk music. Very distinct style. But back to this song, it's one of the best on the album.
10. No Brakes - Another great song, very fast and very hard.
11. Why Don't You Get a Job - Skip. This. Crap.
12. Americana - Very dark and well written song, not really as punk as some of their other stuff but it is VERY VERY good.
13. Pay the Man - Weird song. Long. Kinda slow, kinda metal-ish. You need to hear the song to know it. I personally like it, although it's not something you'd expect to hear from them. I liked it.

So there you have it. 10 good/great songs, 3 poppy songs that most punks hate. You'd expect a higher score than a 3, wouldn't you? Yeah. But it gets a 3. If you were a fan of the Offspring before they released this album, you'd probabaly know why. It is a great album if you get rid of those 3 songs -- it's quite a shame. The Offspring as a band get a 10 in my book, they are brilliant song writers and Dexter has one of the best punk voices I've ever heard. This was the first and last band I ever called a sell-out, because they really did change their style to get radio airplay... but they didn't completely do it. They only changed their singles... which pisses me off, but it did get me into punk music, which has made my life change completely. I guess that their singles, crappy as they may be, did serve a purpose that wasn't all bad.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Offspring - SmashThe Offspring - Ixnay on the HombreRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesThe Offspring - IgnitionRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteBad Religion - No ControlNOFX - Punk In DrublicThe Offspring - Conspiracy of OneBad Religion - SufferBad Religion - Against the Grain

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
majorthreat (October 29, 2011)

I don't know how to describe this album other than the fact that this definitely when they sold out...by the way, Pretty Fly fucking sucks.

weffjebster (February 1, 2008)

The review's right. Get rid of the joke songs and this is probably the third most solid Offspring album, third to Ignition and Ixnay on the Hombre. Have You Ever, Staring at the Sun, Feelings, and No Brakes just... seethe with energy.

These guys were my first live show, and I remember their first song of the encore was Pay the Man. I tell you what, when that song kicks in, it makes me wanna rock harder than most other bands can make me wanna rock. That riff... Yes.

Also, the world would be a better place if rock singles sounded as awesome as the Kids Aren't Alright all the time.

8 out of 10. 1.99 points off for Pretty Fly, She's got Issues, and Why Don't You Get a Job. .01 points off for those late 20's-early 30's assholes who think it's funny to beat up 13 year old Offspring fans in mosh pits. Everyone's gotta start somewhere. I did.

Anonymous (August 2, 2007)

I agree with everyone that it is a solid album despite the crappy singles (except "Why dont you get a job, which I think is a pretty funny rip off of Obla Di, Obla Da). But goddamn do those singles really ruin this album. When I'm listening to it I'm living in fear that I won't be able to get to the skip button in time and accidentally hear "uno dos tres." Ahh it hurts just thinking about it.

tittytwisterbudy (December 24, 2006)

This is a good offspring album but it was the begin of their downfall of making good music. everything before this record was really good and even this one is pretty decent but it changed their sound and feel a bit. its the exact same as the black album for metallica- good album but began their downfall of making great music

JohnnyTwoTits (September 3, 2006)

this albums prity good..... i stole it from my friend kc....

Anonymous (June 17, 2006)

Oh, my world. It is ok

Anonymous (May 6, 2006)

You know what, guys? Listen to this album, but skip Pretty Fly, She's Got Issues, Feelings, and Why Don't You Get A Job. It's a pretty awesome album that way.

The Offspring have done much better, but without those songs, this is a pretty damn good album.

Anonymous (December 25, 2005)

I think this album is crap, but i just wanted to point out a couple of things.

1. The Kids Arent Alright is a good song
2. Walla Walla is not a Vandals ripoff. Dexter co-wrote Too Much Drama.
3. No matter how bad the Offspring get, they will still be better than most of Blink 182's stuff.

Anonymous (December 21, 2004)

Loved this album. Everything on it except for that damn feelings spoof. but I can play it! ironic. anyways...dexter...great song writer. Sexy man. Love him. Love the music. Love it.....Offspring rule. Fuck the rest of you.

ThunderStruck (June 17, 2004)

i agree with everyone, most of all with the reviewer, so i give this album a 7 subtracting the three songs punks hate including me(u guys know which ones).

Anonymous (June 9, 2004)

shut the fuck up faggots who say this album is shit. all you so-called punks who reckon this album is shit because the offspring sold out, your all retards who think your hardcore bcos u only listen to underground shit that dosent get airplay. this album does have shit songs in pretty fly and WDYGJ? but the tracks 'have you ever', 'the kids arent alright' and 'end of the line' are awesome songs, and u shitheads are too ignorant to accept that. how 'hardcore' of you.

threechordsandthetruth (April 20, 2004)

bands aren't supposed to write for the fans, you ho, if they did, you'd be calling them sellouts.

FuckArmageddon77 (March 13, 2003)

Further evidence that when punk bands go to major labels, they no longer write music for their fans. This is frat-jock rock pure and simple with the occasional punk-derived pop song thrown in so they can say "See! See! We're still punk!"

"Never mind the fact that most of our target demographic is macho frat-jock types and TRL idiots. We're keepin' it real, yo!"

Anonymous (March 4, 2003)

Americana! Americana! Pleaze like us again! If you think offspring sold out, fuck you then, if hate this cd, fuck you then, if you believe they do it for the money, I can say you're looser!
By the way Blink 182 are fuckin' pop white trash!
FuckOffAndDie, from Bulgaria

Anonymous (February 28, 2003)

God knows why each song gets called "Not really a punk song" or "Good punk song" I thought maybe they could just be called songs, all be it not very good ones. Five years later and I can only bear to still listen to "Have You Ever".

M4CH1N3 (December 3, 2002)

Ha ha ha. I think this album is a joke. Come on, is there anyone older than 12 who actually enjoyed this??

Anonymous (July 7, 2002)

i wrote the previous entry.

Anonymous (July 7, 2002)

oh yeah, and nevermind that the melody from "Why Don't You Get a Job" is a direct rip-off of a Beatles song: "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da".

Anonymous (July 7, 2002)

nevermind that they're an awful live band.

Anonymous (December 16, 2001)

Offspring is a good band. Yes, they signed to a major, and yes they do write songs to attract the mainstream crowd. But the majority of this CD is punk, just like they've always done it. How the fuck can you listen to songs like Americana and Have You Ever and say that it's sellout, mallpunk shit? Are you a fucking moron? Forget about what label they're on, or how popular they are, listen to the music. Seriously, sit down and fucking LISTEN. This is Offspring just the way they used to be.

Anonymous (October 20, 2001)

awsome review. this is the cd that got me into punk to. despite what gay ass 'im more punk than you are so i have to make fun of you' fathead says there are some good punk songs on here. definatly not offspring at there best but still good. this cd(along with the other offspring cds) introduced me to so many other bands like NoFx, rancid, blink 182, green day, ramones and just about every other punk band i can think. offspring rule!!

Anonymous (September 26, 2001)

First, I'd like to say that I think Offspring, nomatter what any punker-than-thou thinks, is a great band. They pretty much started the skater-punk music for one. Smash is one of my favorite punk CDs (so is Punk in Drublic, any Social Distortion Record, and so on...) . Americana i feel rates up there too. Yes, there are songs on there to hook the mtv crowd, and I guess that makes them sell-outs, but even those songs i feel are good songs. Pretty Fly For a White Guy, may be poppy, but it's so funny. It's a good song. However, the rest of the album is amazing music. The Kids aren't alright for one. I'm sorry if i've offended you narrow-minded punks, but Punk music is supposed to be about doing what you want. Let bands do what they want and stop bashing them if they cross the border a little. There's not supposed to be any fucking border.

Anonymous (July 30, 2001)

Nah. Never mind. It sucks.

-Senor Potpourri

Anonymous (June 28, 2001)

Yep, this CD was good. Not great, but good. There were some really enjoyable punk songs on here, but the singles were the first hints of their giant sellout effort for "Conspiracy of One."

-Senor Potpourri

Anonymous (June 28, 2001)

Are you just asking for people to bash this album? I'm not gonna talk crap about Offspring or this album, that's way too easy, and a million people already have. Offspring used to a be a great band, maybe if they get smacked upside the head hard enough, they'll re-right their wrongs. Maybe not.

Anonymous (June 27, 2001)

Utter shit.

Anonymous (June 27, 2001)

I can't believe people are talking about "Ixnay" and "insomniac" like thy're freaking classics.

"Generator", "Out of Step", "Somewhere between Heaven and hell"

those are fraking classics.

but that's not to bash green day, they were a damn fine east bay pop-punk band back in '92

/me goes back to being a crotchety old punk.

coldjuly (June 27, 2001)

ahhh i remember back in early 95 when the offspring were at the top of the punk rock world."Smash" was a great album so was "ignition" and the very first s/t record. But what happened to these guys? Yeah they still have some fast punk songs on their albums..but they sound the same. They need to go back to playing the good ol' OC punk that they played back in the day.

Anonymous (June 26, 2001)

the offspring do have good choice in opening bands, i might actally go to tsol, mabey offspring will just play thier first 3 albums, that would be a good show.

Anonymous (June 26, 2001)

fuckin mall-rat posser trying to be punk.

Anonymous (June 26, 2001)

I think you people should realize that it's not your band. Bands will do whatever the hell they want, regardless of what you say. So shutup! Review the music! Not whatever choices the band decides to make.

This goes for every group out there, not just the Offspring.

sickboi (June 26, 2001)

I can't give a negative album score, damn it! This album is a turd. Go to Hot Topic and get your studded belt, chain wallet and Dr. Martins, then head over to Musicland and pick of this piece of shit, now you're a punk rocker!

Anonymous (June 26, 2001)

Look I really don't care about the "sellout" thing but the truth is that a lot of "punkerthanyous" do care about that fact. Therefore they judge this band just because they sell alot of records. That having been said I think this is their worst album. I've liked this band for a long time now and I remember that I felt a little disapointed because this album seemed to lack something. I'd suggest you'd buy ignition, smash or Ixnay before you buy this one but it doesn't mean that the album sucks because there are good songs like "no brakes" and "have you ever" on it. It's just not as good as the others. PS Strung out and Lagwagon Kiss ASS
Bye

Anonymous (June 26, 2001)

Hey look! fathead is being his asshole self again. No surprise there. One day he will grow up

Anonymous (June 26, 2001)

that review was sooo gay
i don't give a shit weither they are punk or not, the fact is they make crap music.

Blink 182 kicks ass over offspring

-faceecaf

Anonymous (June 26, 2001)

that review was sooo gay
i don't give a shit weither they are punk or not, the fact is they make crap music.

Blink 182 kicks ass over offspring

Anarchy_Adam (June 25, 2001)

This album.... Well.... Blows. The only times I found myself liking anything on this album were the times that they blatantly ripped out the bassline from "I don't wanna Hear it" or took parts of better, more well structured Vandals songs. For me, this is the album that made me hate the Offspring. I hate to use the word sellout, so I won't. If I were in their position, I can't honestly say I would do things any differently. I'd like to think that I'd at least try to put some sort of effort into the live shows, and not totally abandon my old fans, but who knows. Money changes people. Sigh.

Anonymous (June 25, 2001)

I don't care who thinks Offspring sold out. I don't care who says Offspring suck just because it's the "cool" thing these days to bash Offspring. And I don't care if this CD isn't punk enough for all you hardcore punks out there. It's a good CD. Give it an objective listen and maybe you'll realize it.

Anonymous (June 25, 2001)

I'll give Offspring a 10, not this album. I think most of their new stuff sucks, but their first few albums were classic. I just gotta ask, why did you even review this album? Do you intentionally want people to bash the Offspring. What do you expect, this review is pointless. Forget Americana, go buy Ignition if you haven't already.

Anonymous (June 25, 2001)

I don't know you, so I'm not gonna abuse you, but your review sucks...

Anonymous (June 25, 2001)

"I hate this song with a passion... It's a great pop song." HUH?

Anonymous (June 25, 2001)

this album sucks ass. not one real punk song on it. how the hell did this get you into punk rock.'Dookie','Insomniac','Smash','Out Come the Wolves' were all way before this piece of shit. I'm shocked someone with the name AtomicGarden would admit being introduced to punk by Americana. HAHAHA!- fathead

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