Sound — 10
The sound on "Splinter" is a real mix. Basically, if you took "Smash" and sprinkled it with "Conspiracy Of One", you'd get something like "Splinter". A lt of the songs are a return to the old punk style, but there's also quite a bit of other stuff on here too, for example the ska-reggae sound on "The Worst Hangover Ever", and the slower, powerful ballad "Race Against Myself". It's a great sound, much improved from the most recent efforts, and less commercially produced. It's still not a full return to the days of the self-titled album, but it's a refreshing change of direction. The sheer diversity of this album ranks it higher than both "Americana" and "Conspiracy of One", with the best songs being the more punky tracks.
Lyrics — 10
Dexter Holland has a great punk voice, and the lyrics always suit th style of song. The serious lyrics of "Long Way Home" and "Race Against Myself" are thought-provoking, whilst the anthemic sing-a-long chorus of "The Worst Hangover Ever" manages to sound stupid in a good way! There are a lot more back-up vocals on this record, again pointing the band back in the direction of the older releases. Which is great.
Overall Impression — 10
Obviously, I'm fairly biased, but this is a great album! It's such an improvement on the last two releases, whilst still managing to sound distinctively like The Offspring. It's clear that they have matured both individually and as a band, and their overall sound has become less raw and more melodic over their 17 years of existence. My favourite songs are "The Noose", "Race Against Myself" and "Da Hui" (the video of which is included on the bonus DVD), but I was impressed by all the songs. It's a really easy album to get into, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone. Ever. It rocks...much like stones.