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THE SILLY SIDE OF SAMPLE-HEAVY PUNK
BY LIZ HACKEN
NEXT CORRESPONDENT

Tired of love songs? Sick of mushy lyrics? Then listen to the new release from Offspring, "Americana." This CD is a unique blend of humorous lyrics, funky punk beats and samples that even Puff Daddy won't touch. It is filled with funny lyrics and music that makes you want to get up and mosh your problems away.

One thing all Offspring albums can't escape is being repetitive. Many of the songs sound the same due to the uniqueness of lead singer Dexter Holland's voice. The other fast-paced songs have similar chord progressions that sometimes make one song hard to distinguish from another. Much of this CD sounds like their smash hit of 1994, "Smash," which put the band on the map with such hits as "Come Out and Play" and "Self-Esteem." If you are a fan of that CD, then "Americana" is for you.

The silliest song by far on this album is "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)." This song has been plastered on the airwaves for the past few weeks, and the video is in heavy rotation on MTV. "Pretty Fly" also incorporates several samples, including one from a Def Leppard song.

The amusement continues with a creative rendition of Morris Albert's "Feelings." This song has been covered many times by artists of various genres, but this lively punk rendition is the best I have heard.

There is some personal growth expressed by the group in "Americana." The use of spoken word samples shows that the band has been experimenting with other ways to make its songs unique.

Sampling is becoming more popular in alternative music. Offspring is a forerunner in this new fad in the world of punk. Also, there are hints of calypso and Indian flavor in some songs.

A bonus to this CD is the multimedia feature. You can go exploring in Offspring's "Karaoke Lounge." There you can sing along with one of three songs from the new album as candid pictures of the band go flashing by. Videos for four singles from their last album, "Ixnay on the Hombre," are also included in this multimedia package.

The best song isn't even a listed track. It is a secret song that appears after the last track. This song consists of a flamenco violin and trumpet interlaced with the spoken word samples from "Pretty Fly." This mere one minute and five seconds shows the most creativity that I have heard in a long time from a hard-core punk band.

This album should be listened to with discretion due to some questionable lyrics. Though Offspring may never be appreciated for the diversity or complexity of their songs, they should be given credit for pumping out songs with a lot of energy. I highly recommend this album to anyone not afraid of laughing while moshing.

Liz Hacken is a junior at East Aurora High School.

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