Sound — 7
I don't understand it, why do most Offspring fans seem to hate this album? It's not that bad. Of all the albums to hate, this would not be it. Sure, it is somewhat different from their others, that is a given. Rather than revisit the grungy feel of Ignition, Smash, and Ixnay, Conspiracy seems to follow Americana with a more polished feel. It even goes beyond it a little: it seems maybe a little over-produced. However, it has your typical Offspring guitar riffs, which make them so definable against the other bands of today, and even slightly dapples in other musical influences. "Original Prankster," uses latin beats and has a rap/rock vibe to it ("Living In Chaos" also has this rap/rock feel); "Want You Bad" is your typical poppy Offspring tune; "Denial, Revisited" is an Offspring rock ballad as strange and weird as that may sound. But it is what it is, and should be seen that way. Typical Offspring. That's not a bad thing, but there's not much more to the sound on this album than that.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrically, I would argue that this is one of the Offspring's stronger releases. They talk about almost anything: getting through pain ("Come Out Swinging") relationship troubles ("Denial, Revisited," "All Along," "Vultures") introspection ("Dammit, I Changed Again") among other things. But, I'll admit that it has it's ups and downs: "Original Prankster" was funny the first time around, and despite the use of a pun, the same thing goes for "Want You Bad;" "Special Delivery" was just downright creepy, and "All Along" seems to be filler. But, those aren't the only songs on the album. "Million Miles Away," and "Vultures" show a more poetic side to Dexter's lyrics that I hadn't really noticed before. "Conspiracy Of One" incorporates the use of symbolism, and can be interpreted in an introspective way in addition to the political meaning Dexter was going for. Speaking of Dexter, his singing, is his singing. Say what you will about his voice, but it is a defining factor in the band's sound. Let's face it: if Noodles or Greg sang, we'd be wondering what band it was. It works well with the album in question, and helps to accentuate the band's characteristic sound.
Overall Impression — 8
Okay, so I'll admit that it has it's flaws, but Conspiracy Of One is a solid disc. If anything at all, it is somewhat more mature than other Offspring releases, especially in the field of lyrics. I like the lyrics of this album, with a few songs excepted of course. I like the sound of this album, even though it's no more than you're trademark Offspring style. Their style is why I like them. If this CD were lost or stolen, I would probably buy it again, unless their upcoming album were released at the same time that this was lost or stolen. Then I might reconsider, even though it would still be a hard choice to make.