Splinter review by The Offspring

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  • Released: Dec 9, 2003
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6 Neat
  • Users' score: 7.8 (34 votes)
The Offspring: Splinter
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Sound — 6
Hmm. This album sounds a lot like Americana, but harder in some places. The parallels are there if you listen for them: "The Worst Hangover" borrows the same Caribbean feel from "Why Don't You Get a Job?", and the harder, more punk material sounds like it always has. In fact, that is my greatest criticism of it: I heard "(Can't Get My) Head Around You," I swore I had heard it before. When a new single instills that sort of deja vu in a listener, the band has succeeded in doing nothing more than badly rehashing its old work.

Lyrics — 6
Holland has a voice easily recognized by anyone who has listened to the "alternative" (read: mainstream for depressed teens) radio stations, and it's not a bad voice. On the album, he sings extremely high, up in the contratenor range in chest voice, and he sounds good when doing so, probably because of studio magic. The lyrics are about the same sorts of things that the Offspring have been putting out for a long time, a good mix of social commentary, loud, angsty things, and joke tunes. "Hit That," the first single from the record, is a strange number that mixes the social commentary and joke vibes, while tracks like "Long Way Home" and "The Noose" are standard "well, I'm fucked" songs that The Offspring have been making since Ignition. The subject matter gets old after awhile, but the lyrics are written well enough that it isn't so repetitive as to detract from the music.

Overall Impression — 6
This album is definitely THE Offspring album to buy...if you can't get your hands on Ignition, Smash, Ixnay on the Hombre, Americana, or Conspiracy of One. It's amazingly short, with twelve tracks clocking in at about half an hour. Also, some of the tracks, most notably "Neocon" and "When You're In Prison," aren't worth the disc they are printed on ("Neocon" for being so reminiscent of AFI in terms of blind, cliched teenage rebellion; "When You're In Prison" for having no redeeming graces whatsoever, unless you enjoy forties music and anal rape). The best three tracks off of the album are, in my opinion, "The Noose," "(Can't Get My) Head Around You," and "Spare Me the Details," which is my favorite, mainly because any song with the lines "I'm not the one who acted like a ho/So why must I be the one who has to know" over a happy acoustic tune, and a lyric comparing the singer's girlfriend to a "dumb donut," is automatically great, hands down. However, in terms of their other work, Splinter as a whole is short, hackneyed, and weak, and at best deserves to be called Average. If it were ever stolen or "losted," as the question prompt so amusingly puts it, I probably wouldn't buy another copy, but perhaps use the money to buy another copy of Smash or Ignition in case either of those got stolen or "losted." I'd then download the one or two songs that were good off the album, and return to listening to The Offspring back when they were young punks out of O.C. with something to bitch about.

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