Chinese Democracy (You Snooze You Lose) aka Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace... new album from The Offspring (June 17th, 2008)

I almost crapped my pants when I foolishly believed rumours in April of the Offspring calling their latest album Chinese Democracy (You Snooze, You Lose).
Opting instead for the title Rise and Fall With Rage and Grace, the Offspring's follow up to Splinter is their 8th studio album, and is set for release on June 17th.
To be fair to the Offspring I'm not going to compare this to any former albums. According to a quote from the band on "all our albums are relevant to punk when they were created, and this one will be no different..."
So, in comparison to punk today, I found this album weak. The intent to incorporate music of today is obvious, but I find it hard to believe that they were focused on "punk". It sounds more like Simple Plan meets 3 Doors Down for an Offspring cover album... or as if the Offspring collaborated with those bands and this is the aborted fetus from the sweaty romp.
Clearly designated to be top 40, it seems like the band is trying to appeal to the younger mainstream “punk” kids. At the same there are still some original Offspring harmonies and driving bass lines that soften the blow of the Daughtry-like rock songs.
While some songs threaten to take it back to Americana at best, the album has enough complete misses that I started to frantically search for something large and sharp to jam in my ear in order to end the torture. Fix You and A Lot Like You sound like they were written by Coldplay, sped up slightly and thrown onto this album in order to hide the similarities between all the rest of the tracks.
Maybe there's just no pleasing me lately, but so far this summer some of my timeless favourite bands have been letting me down with their 2008 releases (with the exception of No Use For a Name).
Especially now with the influences of Face to Face members Pete Parada and Scott Shiflett I was hoping for a little bit more from this album. (Side note: Who do I have to blow around here to get Face to Face back together for a new CD anyway?)

Here's a full album stream, listen for yourself: