Sound — 10
I have every Offspring record, and I have to admit I prefer the older sound. "Smash" was the first rock album I ever bought, and for this I am greatful to the Offspring for making a good album, or I might be listening to Justin Timberlake and the like. The sound on this album represents, for me, the transitional period in the Offspring's career. The first two albums were all about punk and raw guitar sounds, whereas "Americana" and the more recent "Conspiracy of One" take a new, 'poppier' direction. The music is still undoubtedly good, but this particular album manages to balance out the melody with the aggression. There's even a bit of ska! For the most part, however, this is a punk album, and a damn good one at that.
Lyrics — 10
For me, the Offspring have always had the kind of lyrics that never fail to satisfy - nothing amazingly poetic or original, but they make sense and do the job without sounding corny or cliched. Dexter Holland has one of the best voices in modern punk, and this blends nicely with the style of lyrics he writes to create a good sound. On this album, topics range from aggressive themes such as in "Bad Habit" to more 'real' themes such as the awesome "Self Esteem", about women. Overall, a nice mix of styles and a quietly impressive array of lyrics.
Overall Impression — 10
The Offspring's rise started with this album. "Smash" was the beginning of a new era in the Offspring's career. Whilst retaining the raw, punk sound of old, Dexter, Noodles, Greg and Ron (now sadly departed) managed to successfully blend in more accessible riffs and lyrics. I love this album for it's sheer energy and everlasting appeal. I will never get tired of "Self Esteem". Other highlights include "It'll Be A Long Time", "Genocide" and the title track "Smash", which then leads into a secret track (actually a short demo of the intro for "Change The World", from the next album). Overall, a great album, and one that only gets better with time.