Music: Americana

The Offspring

The Offspring is a best-selling punk band, but it isn't a great one: the group lacks the caustic poetry of Nirvana, the righteous snarl of Rancid and the amiable snottiness of Green Day. In its new album the Offspring attempts to make a virtue of its creative limitations: the songs on Americana are basic and direct, and a few of the tracks, including The Kids Aren't Alright, have a brutal appeal. But the band's weakness for cheap laughs soon grows tiresome--there's even a punk-rock parody of the easily mocked standard Feelings. For a group that revels in attacking the emptiness of...

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