1997–The Offspring–Ixnay on the Hombre

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By no means a new album, or even an underrated album that I wanted to help people discover, I found myself listening to this one again just last week and I had to share it with everyone.  Ixnay on the Hombre (mp3 download or on CD ) is one of those hallmark albums by a band.  It had some of the biggest hits, and the long time fans all agree it’s one of the best: just before The Offspring “sold out” with songs like Pretty Fly for a White Guy & Original Prankster.

 

ixnay

This was the album where, I feel, The Offspring really began to show they were more than just punk rockers with power chords.  They had songs like Amazed that seemed to have been influenced by the likes of Nirvana, Way Down the Line, which almost had some kind of karmic message, and Mota, which at first seems to glorify the use of marijuana, but actually goes to great lengths to stress how it’s ruined the life of the song’s protagonist.  This album also holds what for many is the pinnacle song of The Offspring’s maturity: Gone Away.  What people consider the last great song before the “sellout era” (which, I must admit, at the time I started to turn a little against the band, but I couldn’t get enough of songs like Staring at the Sun).

 

Gone Away is one of those songs that really gets at the core of why we listen to music in minor chords.  To know that other people have been in the same dark places we are.  This album takes you there and back out, with songs that make you smile, laugh, and even some that make you want to riot in the streets.  Some may consider this the album where The Offspring lost their edge, but just before they really sold out.  I consider this the album where The Offspring showed they had the ability to mix up their playing style and really showcase some previously untapped talent.