The Offspring – Americana: #896 of best 1,000 albums ever!

The Offspring - Americana

Why is The Offspring’s Americana on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

I can think of, say, uno dos tres quatro cinco cinco seis reasons…

What does The Offspring’s Americana mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

“Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” pulls off the unique feat of being kind of ridiculous and fully kick ass punked up power pop music at the same time.

Most of all, it’s really catchy and really fun and power saws through its three minutes in a fully amped up yet pleasurable way. All Music takes it far deeper than I just did, intriguingly noting that it “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.”

I’d also add that its crushing power chords wouldn’t be wildly out of place on a Nirvana Nevermind-era B side. Which for me is high praise indeed.

Also: are we sure that’s not a high school age Mark Zuckerberg in this video?

Americana plays it straighter in most other respects, simply cranking up the amplifiers while delivering powerhouse yet accessible and catchy punk rock. I particularly dig “Staring at the Sun,” which has a really nice and subtle tempo change in the middle that ratchets up the excitement level. Very strong song overall, with great vocals from Dexter Holland on the chorus particularly.

The Offspring is a band where even their mid-tier stuff is catchy and listenable. With the rare exception of “Why Don’t You Get A Job” (which is a bit lame bar band for my taste), most of the rest of Americana fit the bill in this regard.

“The Kids Aren’t Alright” – playing off The Who’s “The Kids Are Alright,” I’d wager – is actually quite a hit if Spotify plays mean much, but a good example of an Offspring song in my book that, while it’s not super memorable, is engaging and exciting and listenable while it’s throwing its audio at you.

In no way do I have a fully fleshed out theory or rationale for this, but I’m just going to go ahead and state that Americana feels like a very 1998 album.

And, as it turns out, that was a very Americana year for yours truly as during that year I a) ditched out of my first go at graduate school b) took my personal savings and, ahem, some of my loan money and embarked on a five-week roadtrip across the American South with my good friend and future best man, Adam and c) in the fall of 1998, based on that road trip and some other factors, moved with Adam from New York City to Berkeley, California (with a brief and ill fated stay in Oakland in between).

Finally, d) I’ve lived all over the west coast since, but never wound up moving back east after having lived most of my previous life in New York state.

Some stats & info about The Offspring – Americana

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock, Rock Music, Alternative Rock, Punk, Punk Rock, SoCal Bands, Pop Punk
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating3 out of 5 stars
  • When was Americana   released? 1998
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #896 out of 1,000

The Offspring’s Americana on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.