Sound — 9
The Offspring's new album, "Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace" is definitely... Well... Different from any other album they have released in the past, to say the very least. It's both heavier and more mellow than anything they previously made. Every Offspring album has its own tone. For example, Ixnay and Conspiracy were (for the most part) happy and upbeat, while Smash was much darker. THIS album, however, doesn't have a single tone of itself. It's made of several tones. It has happy and upbeat songs. It has slow (well, about as slow as The Offspring will ever get) and depressing songs. It has many songs which don't even sound like something they would write. Overall, it is more serious than the rest of their albums. I'll look at each song individually, since judging the album as a whole simply won't work due to the different varieties of songs. [b]1. Half-Trusim:[/b] Wow... This is new... It sounds like more of a "nu-rock" song than anything The Offspring would ever do. I like it, but its definitely not one of my favorites. [b]2. Trust in You:[/b] Now THIS sounds like an Offspring song! It sounds like something off Ixnay rhythym-wise. One of my favorites off this album. [b]3. You're Gonna Go Far Kid:[/b] My favorite song on the album! This is one of those songs that simply gets me PUMPED! This is one of the most punk-ish sounding songs they have ever done. Very up-beat! [b]4. HammerHead:[/b] Sort of has a "dark" feeling in the beginning, much like the feeling Ignition had. It then bursts into a classic up-beat Offspring-style "whoooooooa-oooooh-oh" chorus. Very well designed song, except for the end which was totally out of place. [b]5. A Lot Like Me:[/b] Much like Half-Trusim, this song has that "nu-rock" feel to it, with the piano intro leading to slow, distorted guitars. Dexter's voice sounds really weird on this song as well. This is probably the most sorrowful song the Offspring has ever done. Probably my least favorite one. [b]6. Take Me Nowhere:[/b] Wow, this song totally screams BAD RELIGION. If Dexter wasn't singing, I would have mistaken it for a Bad Religion song. They admit to having been influenced by Bad Religion, and this song is the proof. Not too bad. [b]7. Kristy, Are You Doing OK?:[/b] Hmm, slow accoustic song. Slowest Offspring song ever. Obviously about Dexter Holland's wife, Kristy Luna. It's a bit too slow for me, but not a BAD song... It's different. [b]8. Nothingtown:[/b] I don't like this song too much compared to the rest. It has a slow-pop-alternative feel. Not very Offspring-ish at all. [b]9. Stuff is Messed Up:[/b] The song actually goes "Sh_t is F_cked Up". It's an OK song, not great, but not bad. Above average for this album. [b]10. Fix You:[/b] ANOTHER slow song! This is the best slow song on the album, though. I like it, even if it is different from your typical Offspring song. At around 2:30 it gets a bit louder :) [b]11. Let's Hear it Rock Bottom:[/b] This is song that actually sounds like it could possibly come from the Offspring! That's not very common on this album... It also has a very slight reggae feel to it. Overall a good song. [b]12. Rise and Fall:[/b] Hey, THIS also sounds like an actual Offspring song! One of the best songs on the album, and a great one to close the album with!
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics to all of the songs on this album are much more serious than anything the Offspring has done before. They are darker and greatly imply that they were inspired by loss. The songs that didn't have that "insired by loss" feel still had a more serious feel. The Offspring is generally a non-serious band, so the gravity of the lyrics really got to me. I would have been happier with more Ixnay/Conspiracy-esque songs but oh well. I'm glad the album turned out like it did. They negative lyrics just threw me off.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, as I have already said, this album is darker and more serious than the rest of the Offspring's albums. I like this album more than their debut album, Ignition, Americana and Splinter. Compared to everything, I would rank it like so: Ixnay on the Hombre > Conspiracy > Smash > RISE AND FALL, RAGE AND GRACE > Ignition > Americana > Splinter > Offspring (debut album) So it's about average. The Offspring is my ALL TIME FAVORITE BAND, so I still consider this an excellent album, but it doesn't come close to touching Ixnay.