Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace
Producer(s): Bob Rock
Genre: ROCK
Label: Columbia
It sounds weird to say about a band of brainiac 40-somethings well into their second decade of work, but the Offspring makes an argument for its evolution—and, indeed, relevance—on this ambitious eighth disc, which is utterly devoid of pranksters, fly white guys or summer-barbecue anthems. Sure, the snot-rocket punk band putting on its big-boy clothes thing has been done before, and the Offspring don't quite live up to the "American Idiot" here. Lyrically, Dexter Holland focuses more on big-ticket targets in the "shit is fucked up" sort of vein, and producer Bob Rock conjures standard rock crunch on tracks like "A Lot Like You" and the Snow Patrol-channeling "Fix You." There are potent moments like the rise-and-fall ballad "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?" and the fierce "Nothingtown," but "Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace" sounds more like a tentative step in the Offspring's new direction. —Jeff Vrabel

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