Sound — 10
Upon making a controversial decision to switch to a major label instead of staying with the independent Epitaph, the Offspring bring to us their major label debut, Ixnay on the Hombre. Although expected to be another "Smash," that is exactly what it is not, which is why it is good. Who wants to hear the same album over and over again? Unlike its successful predecessor, Ixnay uses a variety of different sounds, and is headed more in the general rock direction, rather than punk with the exception of a few songs (I.e., "All I Want" and "the Meaning of Life" which fall into the punky category). This album spans from having a more heavier sound with songs like "Me and My Old Lady," "Gone Away" and "Amazed" to a more upbeat one with songs like "I Choose." The variety is great, and makes it interesting to listen to more than once.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics seem to be rather unorthodox, which is not a bad thing. It has its lyrical moments, with songs like "Amazed" (now my second favorite Offspring song) and the wonderfully sarcastic "Cool to Hate" and "Disclaimer" (which has a nifty cameo by Jello Biafra). However, it has its low points too. "Don't Pick it Up," despite it's upbeat ska rhythms, makes me want to cringe. It seems like Dexter was trying too hard to be funny, and it just doesn't work. They are still poetic and still standard Offspring, and still vary with songs about lust ("Me and My Old Lady"), loss ("Gone Away"), the consequences of taking drugs ("Mota"), alienation ("Amazed") and not letting others tell you how to live your life ("I Choose," "The Meaning Of Life," "All I Want"). But other Offspring albums have better lyrics. Although I will once again reiterate that Dexter does not have the world's greatest voice, this album does show off the range that he has instead of staying in one vocal area, while at the same time, keeping his distinctivly flat voice. I found that rather interesting, and on this album, it works very well.
Overall Impression — 8
Although it is drastically different from previous albums, Ixnay in itself, is a solid effort. Instead of sticking to one style of music, it would seem as if the band has expanded on their style. The lyrics aren't too terribly bad, and in some cases, "actually make you think" about certain things, even if you didn't the first time you heard the song. Smash is still my favorite Offspring album, but, with an album like this, you can't help like it.