Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Offspring

  • Ignition [Epitaph, 1992] Neither
  • Smash [Epitaph, 1994] Neither
  • Ixnay on the Hombre [Columbia, 1997] Dud
  • Americana [Columbia, 1998] A-
  • Conspiracy of One [Columbia, 2000] Neither
  • Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace [Columbia, 2008] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Ignition [Epitaph, 1992] Neither

Smash [Epitaph, 1994] Neither

Ixnay on the Hombre [Columbia, 1997] Dud

Americana [Columbia, 1998]
Four or five years late, they make selling out seem both easy! (unlike the major-label labor Ixnay on the Hombre) and fun! (unlike the fluke smash Smash). A dozen or two bpm faster than when they caught Green Day's punk wave, they sound like a Bad Religion whose catchy drone is at long last unencumbered by any message deeper than "The truth about the world is that crime does pay"--which, to their credit, makes them indignant--or, more generally, that "The Kids Aren't Alright." This truth they explore as fully as--but, as is only fitting given their relatively privileged upbringing, less solemnly than--any gangsta. Only on the title track do they get grandiose. And while keeping it light keeps them on the right side of their frat-boy base, it also makes the fuckups they mock and mourn seem all the more hurtful. A-

Conspiracy of One [Columbia, 2000] Neither

Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace [Columbia, 2008] Dud