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Album review: The Offspring - Rise & Fall, Rage & Grace (lyrics here

(Please note, I'm crap at this kind of shit. And this is entirely subjective)

Half-Truism *
Intro sounds eerily like the beginning of Loch by I Am Kloot. The entire song sounds like a mix of The Offspring & some generic modern rock song. This song sets the stage for an album that's fueled by political/social commentary.

Trust In You ****
By far the most "Offspring sounding" track. It doesn't fit with the rest of the album, but it's nice to have something that sounds like it came off an earlier album.

You're Gonna Go Far, Kid ***
The beat is catchy, but again, it sounds almost generic. Almost, because there's something about The Offspring that is unique to sound different enough. I'm guessing this has to do with the military, but don't quote me on that. I'm the last person to go to for finding meaning in anything.

Hammerhead ****
I like the message behind this one, a lot. The beat is good, & it's decidedly Offspring sounding. Not much to say about this; I think hearing it so many times on the radio makes it a little difficult to review.

A Lot Like Me ***
The duet sounds good for the song (or at least, I think it's a duet, the booklet didn't say anything about it). Yet another political song, with lyrics like "Where do you run?/Where do you go?/When the holes in your truth/Are starting to show?" It's a straightforward message, but that's fine by me.

Takes Me Nowhere ****
The more I listen to this song, the more it sounds like older Offspring mixed with a contemporary sound. Not the generic sound, though. The message seems to be "I've fucked up beyond all reason & lost all my loved ones [through actions/drugs/insert your own reason here] and I know it" but more eloquently, of course.

Kristy, Are You Doing Okay? 1/2 *
I just don't like this song. It's slow and that clashes with my idea of The Offspring. I have nothing against the song, just the sound. The song itself is a remorseful tale of someone realizing that his friend was abused as a kid, and he didn't do anything to stop it. I don't know if it's based on reality, but the message feels honest enough.

Nothingtown ***
One of the more universal, relatable songs. It's a song about getting out of a tiny one horse town, which I'm sure everyone can relate to at some point in their life, even if they're in the city. I know I like this song because I can't wait to get out of here.

Stuff Is Messed Up **
I think this is supposed to be the funny song that's on every Offspring album, but it falls short. It's a laundry list of "shit [that] is fucked up!" It's comical in the way that it reminds me of that Billy Joel song We Didn't Start the Firewhere he just lists a bunch of problems that aren't his fault. There are a few clever lines like "...the world is crying/But nobody’s listening/So please leave a message on my cell phone," but over all, it feels like Dexter just flicked on the TV one night and wrote down everything we already know is stupid. But, for you nerds out there, apparently "RPGs" are on the list of things that are fucked up. It's a good song to play in the radio at top volume so when you're sitting in traffic, everyone will know "SHIT IS FUCKED UP!"

Fix You ****
I give this 4 stars, only because there are times when I feel like this. I probably shouldn't admit that, so I'll qualify that sentence: I feel like th The song is too slow for me, but like I said, I understand the message. It's your basic rocky relationship song, but it's heartfelt and sad. I'll probably skip it 3x/4x it comes up on my playlist, but I will listen to it once & while.

Let's Hear It For Rock Bottom ***
Self destruction is always a good topic. Good sounding song, catchy chorus.

Rise And Fall ***
I told you so! A song dedicated to someone who's fucked up, I guess. Good beat, the music sounds like The Offspring, but the way Dexter sings sounds like Greenday, believe it or not. Something about the song reminds me of American Idiot.

This is not the best Offspring album. It's one to add to the collection, but if you're not a huge fan like me, you can probably skip buying this one. I give it an average of 3 stars. The album art is neat and the packaging is reminiscent of old punk CDs. It's made of cardboard--no plastic jewel case here. The album art is cool, though a little repetitive.
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May 2012

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