Conspiracy of One
Ah, the Offspring. After “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy),” it didn’t take a genius to come up with a formula to market the Offspring to the masses. So their latest contains their “Pretty Fly” for the new millennium, “Original Prankster,” a rappy punk ripoff of War’s “Lowrider.” Ugh. I hope the guys from War are at least set for life now. When they’re not trying so hard to please the bosses and fill the stadiums, the Offspring is a pretty good rock band, with a singer with an immediately-recognizable voice perfectly suited to their genre. But all too often, the lyrics are such lowest common denominator crap (“One Fine Day,” for example, extols the virtues of “pounding a case of Strohs” and “torching” cars) tailor-made to appeal to the average 11-year-old. Although “Want You Bad” actually shows a glimmer of wit.
But mainly, it’s about stadium-friendly mixes (they actually sample the “Hooked on a Feeling” “oog-a-chuck-a” backing vocal that the Internet Dancing Baby grooved to), multitracked whoa-oh-ohs, and slick marketing (the back cover looks like something from a mid-’70s Journey album). Funny sidenote: the chorus to the aforementioned “One Fine Day” is actually only a couple notes from being a sped-up version of the theme to “Petticoat Junction.” I shit you not.