The Offspring

Americana

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With integrity intact and a hearty combination of poppy punk and wit throughout, the Offspring's fifth album is a raucous ride through America as seen through the eyes of a weary, but still optimistic, young kid. Riffs on political correctness, '70s radio fodder, and suburban disquiet are spread thick on Americana. If the band's targets seem a bit simple and predictable, its music rarely is. The SoCal roots aren't played to a fault, the blend of salsa and alterna-rock sounds natural, and the Offspring pretty much laugh at their culture, as well as themselves, the entire time. Best track is "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)," which manages to bridge Def Leppard and Latin hip-hop (and the musical timeline they represent) and, in the process, disrobes Middle America's average white teen's quick fascination with and instant disposability of a once-regional heritage. With Americana, the Offspring are merely contributing their part.

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