Sound — 7
Before there was Smash, there was: Ignition, a relatively overlooked album, since, well, none of it has received any radio play what'soever, let alone a radio hit. It's kind of a shame, really, this album's pretty good. Starting off with a line of expletives with the sublime, "Session," Ignition takes off with upbeat drum and bass lines, as well as quick paced guitar riffs. It's your standard Offspring. But, it isn't quite what you'd expect from them. Whereas Smash had a mix of grunge and metallic pop-punk, Ignition fuses--quite well, I might add, grunge, pop-punk, and something reminescient of T.S.O.L. (although, it's not as obvious on this album, when compared to, say, their self-titled, but it's there. Listen to "L.A.P.D." and try to say that it's non-existant). Yet, it doesn't stop there. They try to mix different instruments with their music, like, for example, "Nothing From Something" which fades out to the sounds of a rain stick. I like this aspect of it. The only flaw here, is the fact that in some cases the music can get rather repetitive after awhile. And yet, there are some stand-out tracks: "Dirty Magic," my favorite Offspring song ever, has a stellar rhythm riff that draws the listener into the song, and a mini solo that goes quite well with it. "Kick Him When He's Down" is another stand-out track that begins with a steady drum beat followed by a catchy, grungy guitar riff leading into a melancholy, poppy melody that captivates the listener. With tracks like those, how could you go wrong?
Lyrics — 8
Personally, I think this is not really one of the stronger releases where the lyrics are concerned. They're not horrible though, and they have their strong points, as most albums/bands/lyricists do. But at times, they don't always flow, but, they could be worse I guess, i.e. "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)." This album covers a variety of subjects such as relationship troubles, (i.e. "Dirty Magic") suicide, ("No Hero" and I would argue, "Take it Like a Man") pyromania, ("Burn It Up") cheating, ("Session") alienation, ("Forever and a Day," "Get it Right," "Kick Him When He's Down")drugs, ("Hypodermic") cutting, creepily enough, ("Nothing From Something") and of course, your typical social commentary with songs like "We Are One" and "L.A.P.D." That is what makes it great to listen to: songs about the same thing over and over are redundant and monotonous. In regards to singer skills, Dexter is, well, Dexter. Interestingly, you can tell how long ago this album came out. His voice is really young here, although, still typically nasally, high-pitched and flat. Not the world's greatest vocals, but if they weren't there, it really wouldn't be the same band.
Overall Impression — 8
In comparison to their other albums, as a whole Ignition is a strong album that can stand with the best of them. Granted, it's not as good as Smash, but does that mean it's bad? Of course not. It's still solid. If it were stolen or lost (even though, I doubt that the latter would happen) I would probably buy it again.