Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
UG Team, on june 23, 2008 9 of 10 people found this review helpful
Sound: Five years have passed since we've had a new studio album from The Offspring, and the punk outfit has returned to deliver Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace with producer Bob Rock in tow. One could argue that the man behind Metallica's self-titled CD (otherwise known as the Black Album) and St. Anger had a major part in the new record, particularly considering there are a few tracks that are essentially ballads and bear no resemblance to past Offspring material. At the same time, the band might just be, for lack of a better word, maturing. Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of high-energy punk offerings on Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace, but things do tend to trudge along a little too much when the band attempts to show it's sensitive side or just rehash what we've heard plenty of bands do before.
The first half of the album is definitely promising, leading off with the infectiously fun and catchy Half-Truism. There is a big emphasis on melody and energy, and it should be mentioned that the hardest-working session player in rock, Josh Freese, is the featured drummer on the record. Trust In You is one of the fastest offerings on the album, and at times it's a bit reminiscent to Bad Religion's sound. For the first single, the made the wise decision in selecting Hammerhead, which features the most unusual arrangement on the record. The Offspring could have easily picked a benign, familiar punk tune, but Hammerhead stands out for it's building percussion, the unusual transition about 2/3 through the song, and the fact that it feels like about three songs in one. The band proves they aren't just going through the motions with Hammerhead, and it's one of the biggest highlights of Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace.
Some problems arise with Kristy, Are You Doing Okay, which although has an important message (sexual abuse and molestation), is musically dull. The Offspring chose acoustics to start it all off, and it makes a big impression in the first minute of the track. But as more layers are added (strings and some sort of chiming), everything comes way too close to sounding like every other pop ballad on the radio. The other outright ballad, Fix You, fairs a bit better musically and feels more heartfelt. Vocalist Dexter Holland even adds in a Bono-like cry at the end, but even with the added passion the ballad doesn't come close to the originality heard on some of the punk tracks.
The usual humor we've received with past Offspring albums is lacking on Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, and that may be the biggest letdown of all. The band has put together material that should fare really well at high-energy concert, however. If you're able, try to get your hands on the Japanese bonus track O.C. Life, which deserved a place on the standard album version. It has more of an edge than all of the other tracks put together, and it definitely leans more towards true punk than just pop punk. When you hear a song like O.C. Life, you know The Offspring has plenty of life still in them. // 7
Lyrics: At first listen, there aren't any songs that seem as quirky as Self-Esteem or Pretty Fly (For A White Guy), but they do make things a little bit off-color in You're Gonna Go Far, Kid. Holland sings, And as you step back into line; You march up to their feet; Now dance, f--ker, dance; Man, he never had a chance. It's actually one of the most memorable choruses musically and lyrically, even if you don't usually care for expletive-filled choruses.
While the sensitive side of the band is still a bit lackluster musically, kudos to The Offspring for tackling subjects like sexual abuse in Kristy, Are You Doing Okay. The ballad Fix You is a pretty emotional venture for the band as well, with lyrics such as I wish I could fix you; And make you how I want you; I wish I could fix you; And I wish you could fix me. They truly aren't the most interesting lyrics, but it probably isn't the easiest thing for a punk band to lay raw emotions on the line. // 7
Overall Impression: Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace is full of ups and downs, and at times you might wish a little more could have been done in the 5 years that The Offspring had to write the album. With songs like Hammerhead and Stuff Is Messed Up (which actually delves into a bluesier sound), the band proves why they deserve the spotlight. But in between the key tracks are a few rather dull offerings that just feel like any other pop punk track or ballad on the radio. The Offspring might have been trying to play it safe (or perhaps Bob Rock had a hand in it) for those tracks, but after more than 20 years together (they originally formed in 1984 if you can believe it), they shouldn't have to cater to the latest pop punk trends. // 7
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
unregistered, on june 23, 2008 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Offspring after 5 years has made a great album, one that still sounds like the older stuff, but with some new touches. These new touches show that The Offspring are maturing, but are still able to incorperate that traditional "Offspring" sound with the heavy driving beats and simple sing-a-long choruses that will be stuck in your head for days. Dexter Holland's voice has not changed a bit and you may think you are listening to a different CD when you here "Alot Like you" has for the verses he sings an octave lower. But other than that Holland's flat, melodic vocals always seem to fit the rock/punk music. Offspring fans always love those melodic chorus', the ones you willl have stuck in your head and singing along with your friends. The Offspring also plced in some piano and eletronic sound that are tasteful and new for them.
01. Half-truism - great opening song, starts off slow and then hits with that power chords and that 1-2, 1-2 bass snare beat and then heads into a nice, melodic chorus. Great Song!
02. Trust In You - sounds like older Offspring. I personally love the chorus as it is very catchy. This song also has one of those short, simple Offspring solos. Awesome song.
03. Your're Gonna Go Far, Kid - great beat, one you can dance and jump around to and the refrains are very catchy and fun to listen to. Shows some evolution in their music, but the chorus goes right back to older stuff. there's alittle Piano too! 04. Hammerhead - first single off the album and great choice. This song just rocks hard. The riffs are just in your face, straight up rock. Melodic, catchy chorus with great backing vocals. Ends with a riff that's very powerful and easily moshed to. Great song from beginning to end!
05. A Lot Like Me - yes this sng starts off with Piano and it is "slow" song, and yes Dexter Holland is singing (just wait to the chorus). A good song for a new style.
06. Takes Me Nowhere - back to the roots for the band as they deliver a very simple, catchy, kick-ass song.
07. Kristy, Are You Doing Ok? - this is the "ballad" of the new cd, another new thing for the Offspring. Catchy chorus that will remind you of a highschool dance! A nice solo that fits the song perfectly. Could be the next single!
08. Nothingtown - this is the song that most represents older Offspring, like stuff off smash. Nice chord progression makes it sound alittle poppy. Bass solo is kickass and good guitar solo. Awesome song!
09. Stuff Is Messed - starts off with the drums and you just wanna put your hands together and give a concert clap! Goes into a sweet verse and then to the chorus revolving around the phrase "Shit is f--ked Up!" Has some of those La-La-Las, that only the Offspring can pull off. Second best song on the CD.
10. Fix You - another "slow song" with more piano. Could be another ballad as it's alittle more powerful than "Kristy". it's not typical Offspring, as it seems more mainstream but Hollands voice really just brings back to just being "Offspring" music.
11. Let's Hear It For Rock Bottom - one of the more catchier song on the album. it's more of a punk/ska song without the horns. You wil be singing along with the chorus with your friends in the car. A good direction for the Offspring!
12. Rise And Fall - more or less the title track. Kinda reminded me of Green Days song "American Idiot". it's not a bad song by any means but it's probably my least favorite song on the CD. // 9
Lyrics: These lyrics are alittle different than most Offspring albums. Most the songs revolve the ever popular topics of war. But Holland is able to entice is listener with catchy, but smart chorus'. His voice is so unique and you ca't help not to like it. Some of the lyrics are satiracle and funny, but Holland always has a point to prove in each one of the songs. The lyrics ar not just thrown in there but perfectly placed to tell the story Holland wants the listeners to pick up on. Holland also has a way of speaking of a negative topic like war and making them fun and a good listen. Lyrically the song that stands out is the first single "Hammerhead". The song is about war and pokes fun at the war and the utter ridiculousness of it. "Take a life That others may live Oh that's just the way it goes." // 8
Overall Impression: Overall this album is great. It is probably the best album since Americana as the Offspring really hits its local audiance and more. The songs all have that catchy, sing-along chorus that we all look for. It is more poppier and slower that most Offsrping CDs but a lot of the songs just plain rock hard and kick major ass (also good for some mosh pits). The Offspring have not drifted astray to mainstream like many bands do now-a-days but stick to their curriculum and by doing so, deilivering another kick-ass album. // 9
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
TommyRocker83, on june 23, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The album basically has the same sound as the past 3 albums with some different touches in this one. This is the first album that I heard that uses a acoustic guitar and a piano. Track 7: "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?" has the acoustic mixed with electric guitar. Track 10: "Fix You" has the piano in it. Also, in the past 3 albums I may of heard a couple of bass riffs or solos in maybe 2 or 3 songs. In this album, they took the time to add more emphasis on the bass. Which I think is good, it adds more color to the album. If I was going to compare the rhythm and the melody to other band albums, I would compare it to Green Day: American Idiot. The reason why I say this because this is how I felt after listening to the album 3 times. I don't think that this is Offsprings best album, but I do give it a lot of credit because they focused on the true Offspring sound, which they got away from in Splinter. // 9
Lyrics: Dexter Holland is a lyrical master guru. Personally, I would like to know how he comes up with some of the lyrics. From what I know, he basis his lyrics on life experiences. If that was the case, then he has one messed up life. I give this section a 10 because his lyrics match with the songs rhythm and melody. // 10
Overall Impression: This album starts off on all 8 cylinders with the first 4 or 5 songs, but as they get towards the middle of the album they start to melo down. Which I think hurts the album. I think that Bob Rock is an excellent producer and really makes any band come out with good original songs, but if the tempo starts high, then the tempo should finish high. The tempo picks up at the end of the album, but by that time it's too late. I was sitting there listening to the end of the album and I was like,"Man, they really killed my buzz". I am going to compare this album to Foo Fighters: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace because the Offspring basically took that style of music in the new album. Dave Grohl has that type of style with the piano and the acoustic guitar when he presented in his new album, but that is what makes Foo Fighters stand out from all the rest. The Offspring made a name of themselves when they released Smash, Ixnay on the Hombre and Americana and I was hoping that they would bring that back in the new album. Overall, I give the album a 7. I am being very generous with this because the Offspring is one of my favorite bands, but I'm giving this rating because I think they should of stuck with the true Offspring style. // 7
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
Zecromancer, on june 23, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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! // 9
Lyrics: 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. // 8
Overall Impression: 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. // 8
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
TNA, on june 23, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: 01. Half-truism - great faster song, great catchy chorus, what I expected from the new album.
02. Trust In You - another good one with the signature driving guitar, a cool breakdown with a small bass and guitar solo. Sounds a lot like a song off of smash, it's classic offspring.
03. You're Gonna Go Far Kid - an very original song, good drums by Josh Freese, and some small effects that really add to the overall vibe. Something new, yet keeping their roots.
04. Hammerhead - pretty cool guitar intro, I love how it changes to sounding totally different, good mix of faster and slower.
05. A Lot Like Me - what's with the beginning? it really didn't need to be there, I'd blame Bob Rock. The rest of the song is pretty chill, this song has got piano in the verses, which seems to work to an extent, a good mix after a couple faster songs but nothing too special though.
06. Takes Me Nowhere - a good song, but it seems too simple, the verses seemed lacking, and the chorus is very short lyrically wise and got annoying.
07. Kristy, Are You Doing Ok - what the hell, an acoustic song? It's just slow verses, and then a really poppy chorus. I appreciate trying something new, but it just did not work, and the solo just sounds so overdone, and forced.
08. Nothingtown - basically it's Want you bad (from CO1). It just sounds so pop punky. All the instruments on the verses are the exact same as want you bad, and the chorus is just bad. Were they even trying? A rehash of an older song, which was mediocre to begin with.
09. Stuff Is Messed Up - almost the same drum intro as the last song. Just too overproduced, it's not catchy. I give credit to the singing style though it was different.
10. Fix You - it was very good to begin with, I liked how it was kinda slower and mellower, but I was waiting for it to get to that part where it kicks in and becomes epic, but it never came. The ending just did not do the rest of the song justice. It would have made a very good ending song.
11. Lets Hear It For Rock Bottom - the intro just sounded like every other "punk" band out there. Verses were OK, I sorta liked the kinda reggae-ska vibe. The chorus, just so pop punky, and it just went on. It may have made an OK song under 3 min. but it was over 4.
12. Rise And Fall - after a dissapointing second half I was hoping for a great ending, but what do I get a song less than 3 min. Where they just trying to get away from the tradition of putting a longer song last? Yes it does sounds a lot like green day, but there are only so many power chords to play. // 7
Lyrics: I've always liked Dexter's lyrics, it's easy to understand the message he's trying to get across, but he doesn't make it obvious. His voice sounds just as good as it did back in their hayday. Which was my one concern because Dexter smokes. His voice fits the songs very well, he can go from practically screaming on some songs, to very soft like on Fix You. I also gotta give him credit for trying some different singing styles such as on Stuff is Messed Up, and Let's Hear it For Rock Bottom. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall I thought this album had so much potential, it started out great and just went downhill. They said this album was supposed to sound more like their older stuff? I did not hear many hints of the great stuff from Ignition, or Ixnay. I thought it was waaaay overproduced, and I really have to put the blame on Bob Rock. All the guitars sounded too clean, they missed the rawness that they had on Ignition. It lacked the energy of their older stuff. And most of the effects that were thrown in were completely unnecessary, and just made it sound too poppy. Every album they have there always seems to be at least one song that I always have to skip, it seems like they can never make a complete good record start to finish. It's a good thing the first 6 songs were as good as they are to bring the overall score up. After five years I was expecting a lot more. // 7
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
offspring_punk, on june 23, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: So! It's finally here! After nearly 5 years of waiting, all of us fans of The Offspring can rejoice in what is a simply stunning work of art. One thing many fans will probably notice is that there is somewhat of a different sound to this album. It still has the good old kick of The Offspring, but something, to me anyways, just sounds a bit different. I can't really explain what it is, but it could just be that they switched producers and that could've influenced it. One thing that shows throughout the entire album is the theme of Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace. Each of the songs on the album seem to fall into one of those descriptions. I'll start by running down the list and tell you which category a song falls into in my opinion.
01. Half-truism - this song lands in the category of falling gracefully. It's a great way to start off the album. It starts off with a really slow clean picking part then you get punched in the face with a blast of good old Offspring power chord action. The mildy hard hitting continues until the bridge where we hear a redux of the intro almost and then it picks up once again to finish out strong.
02. Trust In You - this song is purely falling into the Rage category. For any old fans, just think the title track "Smash". It's very similar sounding to that and has an amazing break that mixes fast palm muting with quick sliding power chords. The solo is just completely amazing and I get goosebumps just listening to it. The only complaint here is that is almost a rehash of Smash. But it's a very good punk sounding song.
03. You're Gonna Go Far, Kid - here we have what I'd like to think of a Rising song. Once again though, we're going back to the Smash album. The chorus chord progression is a replication of Self Esteem, just a bit different strumming pattern. From the verse, it slowly builds up energy until the chorus and then repeats again. Then the solo comes and it's more pure energy. Just not too good rehasing the Smash album again.
04. Hammerhead - the first single from the album, and it's very Rage-like. From the very start we're handed some hard hitting chords, and it only persists throughout the song. The 2nd half of the song almost completely changes in rhythm and is still very energetic. Great energy, great tone, great sound. Amazing song.
05. A Lot Like Me - this is a graceful song. It starts with something we've never seen from The Offspring: piano. The piano continues throughout the song, and some cleaner toned guitars compliment the piano all the way to the end. It's a very nice twist from a band you really wouldn't expect it from. They pull off this attempt quite well. I wouldn't recommend a lot more like it, but it's a very good result of trying to mix things up.
06. Takes Me Nowhere - I'm gonna have to place this song's music under the rising category. The lyrics however, I feel differently about, but I'll get to that later. Throughout the verses were presented with a slightly distorted guitar that has a very good flow to it. Then the chorus and distortion kicks in and really works well together. Little solos are placed here and there and fill in spots nicely. Nothing too major, but they're a very nice touch.
07. Kristy, Are You Doing Okay? - the music is here is acoustic. So, of course, we're gonna have to come into Graceful. Many people complained that they ripped off Green Day with this song, however I don't feel the same. The chorus has some electric guitar in it, but it's not distorted much at all and works well. It's another something new from these guys. It works, but not as well as A Lot Like Me did.
08. Nothingtown - unfortunately, we have another small rehash here. Remember Want You Bad from Conspiracy of One? Well, when you listen to the beginning of this song you will for sure. It's a rising song with quite the upbeat tone for what you'd think would be a sad sounding song with a title like Nothingtown. It has a great solo in it along with a good bass solo. I'm not quite sure how to classify the solo, I wanna say kind of bluesy, jazzy, swing sounding with an electric kick. I could be wrong, but I love it. It redeems itself from taking parts from an old song with that.
09. Stuff Is Messed Up - pure rage here. It's a really simple progression, but it fits the rhythm and hits hard during the chorus and bridge, which is just insane lyrically. This is definitely The Offspring's style and sound that we've all come to love. I really recommend this song.
10. Fix You - we've got another graceful tone on our hands. Once again, another Green Day accusation ripoff that failed. It's a clean tone single note picking song that really just stays the same throughout. This is their attempt at a slower song once again. I like it, but it's just not their style so much. Good attempt though. Definitely worth listening.
11. Let's Hear It For Rock Bottom - I can't really decide how I wanna classify this song. During the verse, we have a sadder, ska-like tone, but during the chorus it's definitely a rising feeling. Once again, the verse parts aren't the usual Offspring style, but they do a good job. The chorus is definitely them though.
12. Rise And Fall - I'll have to say this song is a Rising Rage-like tone. Some people like to say they ripped off American Idiot on this one. So what, it's got a 3 chord chorus progression. Get over it and stop trying to undermine their work. I like it and it's a good way to end the album. It leaves you wanting more and is quite upbeat.
So overall, the sound is something new, fresh and experimental. I like the things they tried, although I do prefer their traditional sound. I love the music on this album though and I've gotten goosebumps on my occasions listening. The only problem is the unfortunate, obvious rehashes of other songs. Add the slower songs ontop of that which don't entirely work out for them, but do a good job and you've got yourself an 8 out of 10. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics are amazing, as expected from Dexter. I won't go into a great amount of detail, but I will point out a few key parts that really stick out to me.
Half-truism - the song hits hard and has a good subject matter. It talks about how throughout life, we can only try for so long until it just seems to be to no avail. The chorus is very sing along with lyrics, "If we don't make it alive, it's a hell of a good day to die."
Trust In You - this is obviously a personal song that is dealing with trying to give trust that's been lost back to a person that you care about. It's an obvious inward struggle and really does a good job.
A Lot Like Me - talks of how Dexter is singing to someone who doesn't realize it, but is slowly digging themself into a way that Dexter knows too well himself. It's a very somber sounding theme and really has a gloomy tone to match the piano.
Takes Me Nowhere - all I can say is this: "When the day begins/All the guilt sinks in/I look on the wreckage of the night./Though I try to break free/The cycle breaks me/Am I ever gonna see the light?"
Kristy, Are You Doing Okay? - this song is said to be about a girl Dexter knew who was abused. It's a really sad theme and might hit a little to close to home for some people. It's a really sensitive subject and is something knew from Dexter.
Stuff Is Messed Up - I'll finish my summation of the lyrics with this song. It's the good old sarcastic, smartassness we've come to love from Dexter. It's basically talking about how the world is messed up and all of the things that are overtaking our lives that are becoming more important. "Stuff Is Messed Up" is a much cleaner version of what the song was meant to be titled.
These lyrics are all simply stunning. Dexter has done it again. I love it. // 10
Overall Impression: A lot of fans wanted The Offspring to convert back to their Smash era sound. A lot of fans complained about Splinter being no good. I don't think anyone is going to be able to complain about this album. It has a great mix of sounds and themes and I'm sure there's something to fit everyone's needs. It's good to see these guys have spent the last 5 years doing something productive. I personally adore this album and it is definitely one of my favorite out of the eight. I can't really say if it's the best or not because I've only had it for 2 days now. Some of the best tracks are Half-Truism, Trust In You, Takes Me Nowhere, A Lot Like Me and Stuff Is Messed Up. If this was stolen, whoever did it would die. that's no exaggeration. Great job and many props to Dexter, Noodles, Greg and Josh. The only problem is the few reusings of old progressions. // 9
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
Ibanez_4, on june 23, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace, is The Offsprings 8th studio album. This album is no different from the rest, the offspring have not shyed away from there heavy power chords and catchy lyrics that have have made them one of the most successful punk acts in the world. There definetly some different music variations with some softer songs and some piano thrown in a few tracks. Noodles guitar play has always been good he is the king when it comes to powerchords and simple solos they make it work. // 10
Lyrics: Dexter Holland never fails to deliver awesome insperational lyrics. The Lyrics really stand out in the songs Half-truism, Trust in You, A lot Like Me, Your gonna go far, kid, and Hammerhead. He always has a funny kinda joking song in there albums in this one it's Stuff is messed up, which has my favorite line in it (well I know this, shit is f--ked up). // 8
Overall Impression: My favorite Offspring album is Ixnay on the Hombre,. these guys are my favorite band have all there albums I love them. This is there best album since Americana in my opinion I strongly recommend this album for any fan of the offspring. I love how they did a little something different and it wasn't cleshay offspring. If were stolen or lost I would definetly go out and buy it again even tho I already have it on my iPod. // 10
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
GuitarMAN2207, on june 23, 2008 0 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace is a powerful album with strong lyrics which have lots of meaning and feeling put into them. They have still got their punk sound, but have moved on towards more of a rock sound instead of their pop sound Finally! Their most pop sounding songs being You're Gonna Go Far, Kid and Nothingtown, but I would still classify both these songs as rock. Sadly there are no real memorable guitar riffs in any of the songs off the album like the classic riffs from Original Prankster or Come Out And Play. That is not to say there is not good guitar work. There are even some great lead breaks and solos throughout the album, and even some nice acoustic guitar in the song Kristy, Are You Doing Okay? // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics off this album are awesome. From the sad lyrics Don't wast your whole life trying to get back what was taken away of Kristy, Are You Doing Okay, to I don't know too much, but I know this. Sh*t is f--ked up in Stuff Is Messed Up. But all the lyrics are great. All the lyrics suit and mix well with the music they are put with. The singing is what can only be described as the unique Offspring sound with his high pitch gravely yelling to the controlled and softer singing. // 10
Overall Impression: Throughout their careers, The Offspring have evolved from album to album. They started off with a solid punk or rock sound with their first three albums Offspring, Ignition and Smash. They then kept their punk sound, if not made it stronger, but also wrote a slower rock song on their album Ixnay On The Hombre. The Offspring then moved onto a more poppy sound with Americana and Conspiracy Of One. Then came splinter, where they came back to their roots a bit more with the punk and rock sound again. But now with their newest album, they have changed again For the better! Most fans say that The Offsprings best albums would be Ixany On The Hombre, Smash or Ignition, but Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace is right up there with them, if not above them. All the songs off the album are potential singles (There are no filler tracks) but the best tracks would be Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?, You're Gonna Go Far, Kid, Hammerhead and Takes Me Nowhere. I love almost everything off the album, almost, the only thing I don't like about the album would be the dabbling with keyboards on a few tracks which makes them sound a bit like Linkin Park. I love the way they are experimenting with different sounds though, like acoustic guitar (inventive I know) but the keyboard just makes it sound lame. It's better to stick with traditional distorted guitar rather than trying too hard. If anything happened to my copy of the album I would definitely buy it again. // 10
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
noodles_wazaman, on june 23, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Long time Offspring fans rejoice, they have finally released their long awaited 8th studio effort. The 5 years since the release of 'Splinter' seemed to have altered little in the Offspring camp. Josh Freese has again filled in on drums, putting his musical sensibilities on full display. Noodles' guitar playing is understated in the soloing department, but there is no shortage of bustling riffs for you to headbang, or one-man mosh along to. As always RAFRAG combines the often conflicting 'Ignition'/'Smash' era style of straight up punk, with the more eclectic sounds maturity and major success have brought the Offspring. Ultimately when it works, the Offspring are as well oiled a machine as any, with blistering tunes such as 'Trust in You', and the blistering (believe it or not) first single 'Hammerhead'. However, the weaker moments only the album are generally overly poppy and feel somewhat contrived. In unprecedented fashion piano can be heard throughout the album. Yet ironically, it is utilised most prominently and effectively through the heavier, and overall more successful tracks. // 8
Lyrics: Dexter Holland is a class act both lyrically and vocally. The screeching, yet strangely clear character of his voice has always been the perfect middle ground between the hardcore, and gratuitously melodic vocalists in punk rock. The first half of RAFRAG attests to this quality, and even the frighteningly Linkin Parkish 'A Lot Like Me' works because of his sheer vocal prowess. The ubiquitous reggae, ska, pop, straight up rock tunes that have graced Offspring albums since 'Smash' have inspired listeners to both marvel and cringe in equal doses. Depending solely on your tastes RAFRAG succeeds or fails in this department. Dexter's delivery allows songs such as 'Kristy are you doing ok?' to sound remarkably fresh despite the age gap between the Offspring's contemparies. However, those who live and die by the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' philosophy would argue he shouldn't be there in the first place. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall, RAFRAG is more of the Offspring at their best, combining both styles. It doesn't contain the undeniable hit material of 'Americana' or 'Smash', but it does punch you in the face with some of the most uncompromising material they have produced this side of 'Ixnay on the Hombre'. 'Hammerhead' is a song the Offspring have been always meaning to write, and the driving, aggressive palm muting of the first half of the record will give long time fans some rather unfamiliar sensations. However, the Offspring have maintained their propensity to stray from punk rock and again include a number of diverse pop driven tunes. Unfortunately I feel these tracks don't stand up to their previous efforts in this area such as 'Pretty Fly', 'Spare me the Details' or 'Don't Pick it Up'. // 7
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
Barkeeper, on june 23, 2008 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: One of the first things I noticed when I listened to the album is that you can immediately hear that it's The Offspring blowing out your speakers. In my opinion there's not really a bad song on it. Well mixed, the vocals come out really great. Dexter still has an awesome voice. Also the drummer (Josh Freese) is doing a really good job, fits in very good with the style of The Offspring. The album isn't really incorporating (much) new things. Some people may find that a bad point, but I don't think it is. The Offspring are doing a great job in this genre and they just have proven it again. // 9
Lyrics: Great lyrics again. The lyrics fit the songs very good, something I have always appreciated of The Offspring. Dexter, you did a great job on this! // 9
Overall Impression: This album fits in perfectly with the other albums of The Offpspring. It has their signature sound, got some really great songs on it and is a perfect album to put on and listen to three times non-stop. I love the high amount of up-tempo songs. I downloaded the album yesterday, thought it was awesome and I bought it today, totally worth my money. If it were stolen I'd buy it again. // 10
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
unregistered, on june 24, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This latest album is a great display of why The Offspring are a step above a lot of modern bands. The album contains edgy punk-rock tracks, some straight up hard rock and catchy pop-punk tunes, all intertwined with the vibrancy and energy that fans typically associate with The Offspring and se the band apart from others. You can tell that the band have matured emotionally and the guys try to incorporate it with their music, yet still draw back to their roots and older sounding material to prove to long time fans that "we can still rock as hard as we did, but we fancied trying something new too". This is an album that takes multiple listens to get used to. Indeed, on first listen the ballad-esque songs do detract from the overall tempo and are instrumentally simple, but they are powerful through the lyrics, which takes more than one listen to take it all in and get used to the mood of the song. Some songs you really have to be in "the mood" to listen to (for me "Kristy Are You Doing Okay?" and "Nothingtown") but by no means do they spoil the album completely. Notable mentions:
Trust In You - sounds very much like Smash, is a typical example of the energetic punk-rock sound of the Ignition -> Ixnay period.
a Lot Like Me - the first song with a significant focus on piano, the intro is just so damn dramatic. The refrains are just lovely.
Stuff Is Messed Up - The Offspring meets AC/DC. Has a very bluesy-hard rock feel to it and possibly the best song on the album. Chorus of La La La's (a-la Self-Esteem, no pun intended), tongue-in-cheek dig at Hollywood lifestyle with a serious message and a great word blast at 2:37.
Fix You - one of the ballad-type songs on the album. What it lacks in musical intensity compared to "A Lot Like Me", it more than makes up for with lyrical simplicity and emotion. Easily the most emotional/touching song The Offspring have written. // 8
Lyrics: Dexter's at it again. One of the most distinguishable voices in the industry, he leaves it up to the listener as to how involved he/she wants to be with the song. Most of the songs on Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace can be listened to easily however on more lyrically driven tracks (such as "Fix You"), Dexter shows it is incredibly easy to be emotional and intimate with the simplest of words. The phrase "elegance through simplicity" springs to mind. Other tracks, such as "Stuff Is Messed Up" and "Nothingtown", have seemingly sarcastic but fun lyrics, which still pack a serious punch in terms of overall message and story. // 8
Overall Impression: After a long five years The Offspring deliver their 8th studio effort and they do themselves justice, in spite of their reputation to some as a gimmicky band (Pretty Fly for a White Guy, Why Don't You Get A Job)and the combined pressures of the music industry and "true" fans. The Offspring handle this well, and manage to strike a balance between writing music for themselves and that will please fans, both old and new. My main gripe with the album is that it starts off brilliantly and then declines. However, after the emotionally intense "Fix You" at number 10, it is sometimes nice to end the album on an upbeat, poppy finish. It is nice to see Noodles back on form, there are many more solos in this album than in the previous few albums, and Dexter's refrains are top notch. Overall, a good solid album. Certainly a contender for their best album, definitely top 3. If you're expecting an all out return to punk roots, this is not the Offspring album for you. However, approaching the album with an open-mind and appreciation for the band's maturing and wanting to try something new, you'll definitely find it enjoyable and worthwhile. // 9
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
GoodCharloteSux, on july 02, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Offspring are back at it again with 2008's release of Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace. Bob Rock (Metallica, Motley Crue) was signed on to produce the record. So a gritty, edgy record wasn't necessarily expected. Splinter wasn't received insanely well by hardcore Offspring fans. The album was without theme and was more like a collection of eclectic rock songs. RFRG shows some of that prime offspring energy that many felt has been missing since Americana. The music has more flow on this record compared to the last couple of releases. Although still varying from punk, to pop punk, into rock, the album doesn't feel as if it some sort of collection of songs, but more as a full cohesive album. The Offspring have never been scared to try something new and a nice amount of experimentation was exhibited on the album. Keyboard/Piano was featured in a couple of songs. Musically they are as strong as ever and have always been great at writing good catchy songs. // 8
Lyrics: There is a nice mix of statement, fictional ranting, and socio political views featured on the album. Songs like Half-Truism features the reality of everyday being your last. Nothingtown talks about modern suburbia's downfalls. Hammerhead goes into the situation of war. Stuff is Messed Up shows off an adamant Dexter Holland and his views on society. Most of the lyrics on the album are very solid. The music and lyrics go great hand in hand. Bob Rock is known to stress on vocal "perfection" and Dexter has never sounded better vocally. Very strong and his signature chants are once again present. // 8
Overall Impression: Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace is a very solid rock/pop punk album that has hooks on top of hooks. It isn't as abrasive as the old Offspring from the early to mid 1990's but the signature sound is still there. The album overall, reminds me a lot of Inxay on the Hombre. I think one of the main criticisms the band has received was their habit of trying to appeal to a wide audience by releasing overtly goofy poppy songs as singles. Fortunately, their is not one of those songs on this album. There however is a bit of a ballad-esque sounding song that will be the next single by the name of "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay? But it is a step up from such songs as Hit That, Original Prankster, and the others. The album has a serious vibe to it and the musicianship is there. Greg K has some nice bass lines and Noodles and Dexter's riffs and song writing has remained consistent. Josh Freese (The Vandals, APC) did a great job in playing session drums for the album. I love how the Offspring didn't lose their crunchy sound while at the same time, stepping outside the box and not being caught up in being a punk band. The Offspring write great songs and this apparent. A small complaint is that the album sounds a bit over produced but as aforementioned, that was expected when you hear the name Bob Rock. The first half of the album is stronger then the second but as a whole this album delivers to be one of the better releases of the year. If you are expecting Smash or Ignition, your fooling yourself. But, if you have a realistic grip on what the Offspring have grown into this album will be a fresh breath of air Offspring fans haven't inhaled since Americana. // 8
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
sweetpeasuzie, on november 18, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Offspring's latest release Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace is one album that should not be overlooked by guitar fans. The band's guitarist, nicknamed Noodles, does some very fine fretwork from the tiers of slamming punk-rock riffs lining Let's Hear It For Rock Bottom to the balladry panels of Fix You. The shifts in his acceleration determine the volume of the guitar's clattering chords and torque of the knotted wires. The mounds of sweltering fumes seething through Half Truism and Trust In You create a level of melodic tension making mountains of rapid splashing and crisscrossing bars rib-caged by the choke-hold of lead singer Dexter Holland's throaty pitch. The rails of bumpy bass grooves by Greg K put craters in the floor plan which cause the guitar wires to jostle and entangle into bulky masses and striking projectiles.
The rhythmic movements gallop at high speeds through You're Gonna Go Far, Kid and Hammerhead while the reels of guitars exude knarly screams with an insatiable urgency. The tracks are rock solid brimming with animalistic traits like a panther's pounce in Nothingtown and a jack-rabbit's scrambling feet and playfulness in A lot Like Me. The acoustic wings spread out across Kristy, Are You Doing Okay are furled with electric elements braiding the contrasting textures into a rich melodic compound. Guitar chords are crimped and pressed into the throbbing rhythms moving from racy flusters in Rise And Fall to a motivating pulsation along Stuff Is Messed Up. Though much of the album is typical of The Offspring liken to their previous hits, Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace is a solid rock album brimming with excitement. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics can be personal like in Half Truism with verses that reveal, The cuts in my heart / They show in your eyes / Don't make it better / The twisting knife turns all by itself / Move onto someone else. And sometimes the lyrics are observations about life like in Kristy, Are You Doing Okay when Holland reflects, Oh waves of time / Seem to wash away / The scenes of our crimes / But for you this never ends / Can you stay strong / Can you go on / Kristy, are you doing okay? / A rose that won't bloom / Winter's kept you / Don't waste your whole life trying / To get back what was taken away. The lyrics share a theme of resigning oneself to the conditions that the past has imposed, and to move on to a better future. // 8
Overall Impression: The Offspring's album has a tubing of melodic tension that has the potential to increase one's metabolic rate. The athleticism in these tracks accelerates the means to go from point A to point B, moving swiftly and surmounting obstructions in the path. Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace is a strong guitar album with an insatiable lust to ride into a better tomorrow. // 8
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
actaderock, on july 27, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I think this is just another American Idiot, just as Sum 41's underclass hero and Blink's self-tittled. This was better than the Splinter CD that came out 5 years ago, but still disapointing.
As mentioned before, it is just another American Idiot (that was an awful album, Blink's self-titled was also EPIC, but it is sad how the 4 most important pop punk bands are going downhill and more alternative each day). // 5
Lyrics: The lyrics didn't impress me or bother me. There are songs that for being "punk" at a certain degree, impresed me by the way he music goes with the vocals, these are Kristy Are You Doing Okay? And Hammerhead, the mix of punk and pop also goes really well with the song's theme.
About the singer skills, these is one of the best punk vocalists regardless of your definition of punk. // 7
Overall Impression: It compares to the other 3 mentioned albums before, American Idiot, Blink 182 and Underclass Hero (in order from awesomeness to least awsomness). It doesn't compare to their old albums, but as any band, when they do a kickass album it is almost impossible to make a better one in the future (there are a few exceptions, including Green Day and Blink 182).
You Are Gonna Go Far Kid is the most impressive song for sure, it can be seen in it's number of plays in the radio and the weeks it has been #1, this is probably the only song of this album that I would include on second Greatest Hits: The Offspring CD.
I love the cover and the name of the album, hate the turn from pop punk to alternative rock and love the songs that keep some old fun pop punk escense. If was lost or stolen, I wouldn't care, actually, I lost it. // 6
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
iwannabesedated, on december 07, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: So, the Offspring finally got their newest offering out after five years of waiting (at least we got Can't Repeat in the middle). It's easy to see that the Offspring were trying to get the lightning in a bottle to reinvigorate their image with the youngsters that Green Day got with American Idiot, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but they didn't quite deliver. This album has three distinctly different sounds: 1. The good old Offspring trying to recapture the sound that made them famous in the first place, 2. A new heavy kind of sound that they're trying to get the younger fans into, 3. The poppy crap they're trying to get air time with on the radio. Only the first two could be called successful, and the second one just barely.
01. Half Truism: a very good song to start the album on. It's catchy and hints at the serious tone without getting too invested into it, and it's short, which makes the album overall easy to get into. 4/5
02. Trust In You: trying to back to their hardcore roots, this song hits hard and fast and is a more memorable song from the album. 4/5
03. You're Gonna Go Far Kid: this song has one of those opening hooks that very few songs in this album has, but doesn't quite keep it going. It makes up for it by being pretty short, and a catchy chorus never hurts. 4/5
04. Hammerhead: the opening guitar reminded me a little too much of the opening to Half Truism, but that's the biggest criticism I have (except for maybe it's a little long for a punk song). The guitar hits hard, the chorus is good, and the second half of the song really puts it above most of the others. 5/5
05. A Lot Like Me: after hearing the first 4 songs I thought I might have to make a new place in my album hall of fame. Then this song stopped all momentum. It's just long andboring. End of story. 1/5
06. Takes Me Nowhere: a bit of an upturn, but still nothing spectacular. A bit simplistic, but it doesn't overstay it's welcome being pretty short. 2/5
07. Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?: this song started out as a very interesting opening riff and verse. I had some high hopes, but then the chorus and subsequent verses just send it into radio pop hell. Good lyrics though. 3/5
08. Nothingtown: I really want to like this song. I really do. It describes a situation very similiar to the one I am presently in. But it just doesn't have anything that good about it. It's about as simple and lame musically as any song by The Offspring could possibly be. But, the effort is there, and I did enjoy it the first bunch of times I heard it. 3/5
09. Stuff Is Messed Up: this album has it's ups and downs, and the Offspring haven't been truly great since Conspiracy of One, but for a glorious 3 minutes and 32 seconds the amazing Offspring of Smash, Ixnay, and Americana bursts into the album and makes it worth the price of purchase in one song. Listen to it. NOW. 5/5
10. Fix You: okay lyrically but once again the music kills all the momentum by the previous song. It's about 2 minutes too long, and just another pop rock song you've heard before. 3/5
11. Let's Hear it for Rock Bottom: this song helps move the album along to the last track. Not that good, not bad either. Worth a listen or two, but nothing to download illegally (and I know you do). 3/5
12. Rise and Fall: a bit of an American Idiot ripoff, but not a bad song (and not a bad one to rip off either). It's a good upbeat end to this album and wraps up the theme into a little bow in about 3 minutes. 4/5 // 8
Lyrics: These lyrics make me think The Offspring are trying to be a lot more serious than we're accustomed. I'm not sure whether it's a good thing or not. Dexter can still sing better than anyone I care to listen to, but his funny, smarmy, and smart ass punk songs are missing (save for Stuff is Messed Up). Songs like Trust in You, You're Gonna Go Far Kid, and Rise and Fall are catchy as hell, but for each of them I keep thinking there's some deeper meaning they're trying to get across which doesn't. They're not bad lyrically, but the point seems to be lost. Their ballads, though not very good musically, aren't bad lyrically. Kristy has a nice deep meaning, I just wish the music could match that, and the others are not bad, but they're nothing to write home about. Hammerhead and Stuff is Messed Up are easily the best songs lyrically, Hammerhead with the interesting buildup and the hidden meaning that doesn't make sense until the last few amazing lines, and Stuff Is Messed Up with that good old fashioned Offspring fun. // 7
Overall Impression: This album was a bit of experimentation by The Offspring, and although it wasn't exactly the quality we're used to from these 40 something punk rockers, it was well worth it. If it weren't for two songs, I would probably say pass, but The Offspring still have it in them and can show it off at times. The show I saw with most of these songs in it still got everyone going, except for the piano interlude of A Lot Like Me and Fix You. If for nothing else, buy it for Hammerhead and Stuff is Messed Up. Dexter, Noodles, and Greg show few signs of aging (maturing maybe, aging no) and I'm hearing about another album coming up next year. No group (except maybe the Beatles) can just continue to put out amazing work every album so bearing that in mind there is nothing wrong with this album. It won't set the whole world on fire, but it might torch a car or two. So open up the fridge, have a tall boy, and take a listen. // 7
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
Shredderman2010, on march 05, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound in this album definatley changes my thoughts on the band. Songs that realy suprised me was alot like me, fix you and Kristy are you doing ok. Which use acoustic guitars and piano, which in my opinion certaintly isn't punk rock. The sound just isn't punk, the closest to their original sound would be your gonna go far kid and maybe trust in you but not all that much. Its new territory with bright songs and heavier songs. So overall the main sound is pop - punk. If you liked the first couple of albums I don't recommend this one. // 6
Lyrics: The lyrics are alot deeper than i think The Offspring have gone, hammerhead is a very deep war song, almost poetic. Kristy are you doing ok and fix you are alot more heart felt in the lyrics showing that dexter was feeling what he was writing. Trust in you, Half-Truism and Alot Like Me are an unusual idea for the Offspring. Stuff is messed up is a good punk song with punk lyrics, your gonna go far kid is about decieving which is also an interesting sound for the offspring. Over all the lyrics are deeper and therefore give a very different vibe to the album. // 9
Overall Impression: Ok Overall this is gonna be a let down for most punk rockers. Comparing it to the self titled, ignition, smash, ixany and maybe even americana it isn't a very good album. If your into more pop like Green Day you'll probably like most songs off the album. But all together any Offspring fan that didn't get hooked by Pretty Fly For A White Guy will not like this album as much as others. // 7