I've always wanted to do this, but never found the time. So here it goes.
This is a review for the Offspring's latest studio effort, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace. First off, I'm looking at this not only from a fan's point of veiw, but also from a musician's point of veiw. This album makes up for the length of the last album, offering 12 fresh tracks. While the sound of the last album, for me, made up for the lack of songs, this album meets a middle ground. At first, this album seems disappointing for it has a drastic change in sound. It features two ballads and a fresh alternative rock approach, but maintains the familar Offspring sound. It's amazing how fast the songs can grow on you, but it's does have it's disappointments.
Half-Truism: An awesome opening track, giving off an epic feel while not drifting too far from the Offspring's brand of punk rock. The political message encoded in the well though out lyrics make this track my personal favorite.
Trust In You: A good mixture of old and new Offspring, giving off a sound reminiscent to the Ignition days, but also blending it with their refined pop-punk sound. It can be noted that the verse riff sounds similar to their song "Smash", but who cares!? It's catchy.
You're Gonna Go Far, Kid: This is what fans have been waiting for. Another song to sing along to and shout "DANCE, FUCKER, DANCE" as loud as they can. The instrumental is catchy and the lyrics give off an anthem for those who feel they are not to be screwed with.
Hammerhead: The badass lead single with a hypnotic riff that makes you wanna get up and hit somebody dead in the face. A perfect mosh song. This song also shows off more social commentary, talking about school shootings. A touchy subject, but The Offspring pull it off with a punk rock attitude.
A Lot Like Me: This steers away from the fast punk rock and enters piano driven rock with a personal message. A risky move, but they pull it off well.
Takes Me Nowhere: A typical pop-punk song, almost like they are following a pattern. It's fun to listen to and gives fans a good a message, but I wanted something more.
Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?: The boys show off their sympathetic side in this acoustic ballad. With molestation as the song topic, Dexter Holland shows off a knack for taking touchy subject and turning them into great songs.
Nothingtown: Another great pop-punk song about getting out of you boring home town. The 1950's guitar-like solo makes the song very unique and fun to listen to.
Stuff is Messed Up: More social commentary to give, they show they still have some snot-nosed punk feel left in them. Fun to listen to and sing along to, this is an instant fan favorite.
Fix You: An ordinary, piano driven ballad about one's significant others faults and how they wish they could correct them. Get's kinda heavy towards the end, but is very disappointing.
Let's Hear It for Rock Bottem: The ska song of the album, this song makes up for "Worst Hangover Ever" on their last studio album, Splinter. It a great song overall. Far from a throwaway track, the message coincides with the album's title. Sometimes we hit rock bottem, but it's not so bad.
Rise and Fall: A pop-punk closer about our nation government, it's structure reminds people of Green Day's "American Idiot" and that song sucks. This is not a bad song, but it's a disappointing closer. I wanted somthing more.
Overall, a great CD. It's got it's moment and it's disappointments, but let's hope that album number 9 will show improvements over them.
Recommended Tracks: Half-Truism, You're Gonna Go Far, Kid, Hammerhead, Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?, Stuff is Messed Up.
My rating: 8/10