Plenty of SoCal punk diehards decried The Offspring to be "sellouts" when they leapt from cherished indie Epitaph to the major-label stables at Columbia Records. But one listen to this GREATEST HITS compilation points to a band that was never destined to stay underground for long. In crafting clever pop-punk that addressed the concerns of teen skate-punks everywhere, this California quartet cranked out radio-friendly cuts every bit as viable as anything peers like Green Day and Blink 182 were producing during the same time period. Social observations not only poked fun at suburban kids affecting inner-city mannerisms ("Pretty Fly [For a White Guy]"), but gold diggers ("Why Don't You Get a Job?") and the lost opportunities of a younger generation ("The Kids Aren't All right"). The sing-along choruses and irresistible bassline of "Self Esteem" succinctly paint an all-too familiar picture of lovelorn guys getting played by manipulative gals. And there's no denying the chunky, Middle Eastern-flavored hooks that made "Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)" such a ubiquitous presence on mid-'90s airwaves. A hidden bonus cover of The Police's "Next to You" tops off this superb compilation from one of the most successful and likeable acts of the mid-'90s punk-pop scene.
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