The Offspring: "Americana"One might refer to The Offspring's new "Americana" as a great CD simply from Frank Kozik's beautiful artwork and the CD-ROM music videos and Karaoke Room because this is an enhanced CD. However, an album is known for its basic principle, music. None of the other little details hold any relevance on cassette. The beauty of this album is its music.Lead singer Dexter Holland, who wrote the lyrics to the album, is known in the music world as a genius. His strange political views have often explained the crazy concepts in past albums. The lyrics to "Americana," released a month before the album, made me think this would be an exceptional album. I noticed The Offspring's maturity in trying to cut back on curses.Trying to fit into the punk genre of music more definitively than recently criticized, several curses are added "just for the heck of it." However, they do not take away from the quality of the songs. Holland actually sings these songs; he does not scream them to contribute to the "noise" for which punk rock is usually criticized."Have You Ever" is a clever tale of d"ja vu and other feelings that may make teenagers feel unsure about their lives. "The Kids Aren't Alright" tells the story of children's misfortunes as they have grown up in a bad neighborhood. It follows an idea from the chorus of a previous song, "Gone Away," when it says "the cruelest dream, reality." This is something many teenagers will be able to relate to in their angst. This is mentioned again throughout "Americana." "Walla Walla" and "Americana" display a marvelous rhyming scheme. "Pay the Man," "Americana," "She's Got Issues," "Pretty Fly," and "The Kids Aren't Alright" all contribute to the album's main theme: corruption in America. Although they encounter a controversial political issue, Holland and the rest of the band are able to support their views with detail. Thanks to Noodles, Greg K., and Ron Welty, the background music is also exceptional, especially in "Americana," "Have You Ever," and "Staring at the Sun." Despite the negativity regarding America's corruption, The Offspring's new "Americana" is a terrific album..Review by Michael Croland, Melville, NY
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.