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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Offspring

Americana

Review by Kat Heitzman

The Offspring has been one of my favorite bands for years. The raw human emotions that they sarcastically embrace within their lyrics as well as the punk sounding tunes make this band very easy to relate to.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Welcome

The first track on this CD resembles that of a phone menu where it asks you to please make your selection now. It then goes into the next song.

Have You Ever
This song is my favorite song out of any Offspring CD. It has the classic sound of Dexter Holland’s voice mixed with some very catchy riffs and lyrics. This tune changes up about midway through and almost becomes a different piece entirely.
Staring at the Sun
This is definitely one of those sing along numbers that everyone tries to keep up with and it gets faster as it progresses. The song construction sounds simple yet very catchy and has that fun youthful punk sound.
Pretty Fly for a White Guy
This song is just down right hilarious! It has been played all over the radio so most people can sing along. It talks about being a “wannabe” and how silly white guys are when they try to act black.
The Kids Aren’t Alright
This talks about how people change and not always for the better. It’s about how the people you grew up with on your street have grown up and how not everyone is going to fulfill their dreams in life. One of the greatest things about this band is the truth spoken in their lyrics. 
Feelings

This song is kind of a re-make of the original song “Feelings” but with a punk twist, and with their own lyrics. “Feelings like I never liked you / Feelings like I want to kill you…” are some of the lyrics you will hear in this song.

She’s Got Issues
This starts off with some great guitar riffs and the whole tune has so many elements that it truly has a great sound overall. The lyrics speak of a relationship where the girlfriend has issues and baggage and how the boyfriend is in for a lot of drama.
Walla Walla
This is a faster paced song and the drums and guitar are really playing in tandem. It is a song about a repeat offender going to prison. It makes fun in a wonderfully sarcastic way about “no slap on the wrist” this time.
The End of the Line
This song is about death and losing someone close to you. It is an anthemic type of tune with the typical sarcastic tones and the music almost sounds as sarcastic as Holland’s voice.
No Breaks
This is a great number that has some exceptional guitar work. It is a cut about someone who can never catch a break and I am sure this hits home with many. “Someone say it’s alright” are some of the lyrics you will hear, and everyone needs some kind of affirmation that things will be okay sometimes.
Why Don’t You Get a Job
This song is so funny as it is so true for so many people I know. It talks about how his friend’s girlfriend/boyfriend will not get a job and expects them to pay for everything and shower them with gifts. Larry Bud Melman has a sound bite at the end of this one saying, “that’s something everyone can enjoy.”          
Americana
 The title track does not disappoint and it starts off a little heavier with the guitar. Then it gets a faster punk style once the lyrics kick in. This song is about the simplistic way Americans have come to live and as long as we have cable and fast food then our dreams have come true. Saying “I am a product of my environment” in their lyrics is the cop out I hear a lot from people. It is a general excuse as to why they do not have any motivation or to why they have not done anything with their lives.
Pay the Man
This is a very long tune that completes this album. It talks about how this is life and in life you have to pay the man.  Holland uses his vocals in this song as an instrument as there is a lot of “ohhhhohhing” going on. If you wait about a minute and a half then there is a little bonus music where you can hear Larry Bud Melman say “All the girls say I’m pretty fly for a white guy.”
 
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