This is one of the coolest pop-punk albums I've heard. The band is The Offspring, who've been around for a while (this is their third release) and are rapidly gaining popularity. Songs like Self Esteem (which reminds me of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit), Gotta Get Away, and Come Out and Play indicate a consistency in the band for producing catchy hooks and riffs with strong bass lines and tight drumming. Definitely a collector's item for when you reminisce about the 90s.
"Now I know I'm being used; that's okay cause I like the abuse. I know she's playing with me; that's okay cause I got no self esteem." --The Offspring, Self Esteem
This is The Offspring's fifth release, and the second on a major label. Perhaps contrary to what one would suspect, the music on the album is fairly consistent with The Offspring's past efforts (in other words, they're no one-hit wonders). Though the album isn't as good as their 1994 breakthrough Smash (which, released on Epitaph, was the one of the first albums to achieve multi-platinum status while not being on a "major" label), it is in line with their followup effort Ixnay on the Hombre and is a worthy successor. I think the lyrics have gotten a bit preachier, going from the self-deprecating "I'm just a sucker with no self esteem" in Self Esteem to "every kid on the whole damn street was gonna make it big and not be beat" in The Kids Aren't Alright or "'cause I'd like to make the world be a better place" in Have You Ever. However, for the first time, The Offspring appear to be experimenting some what. There are certain progressive rock elements present in the music, particularly in the track Pay the Man where part of the riff is reminiscent of Saint Saëns' Sampson and Delilah (Saint-Saëns was a classical music composer). It's amusing to watch this divergence from pop-punk into (somewhat) complex experimentation. The derivative influence is also apparent in their sampling of Def Leppard in Pretty Fly (for a White Guy), the Beatles-like Why Don't You Get a Job? (reminiscent of Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da), and more blatantly in their cover of Morris Albert's Feelings. The hidden track at the end is pretty cool as well.