Oasis – Dig Out Your Soul
It has been almost 15 long years since the brothers Gallagher snarled, sniffed and spat their way onto the international stage as hedonistic, self-declared rock stars. 1994’s flawless Definitely Maybe set the benchmark for a long and prosperous career, and the follow-up colossal hit (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? transformed them into household names in – Å“95.
Thumping tunes with the ever-present Beatles tribute such as Live Forever, Shakermaker, Roll With It and Champagne Supernova were songs that formed the – Å“90s decade, appealed to a wide range of ages, and no doubt heightened the popularity of parkas. Noel and Liam’s public spats with Britpop arch-rivals Blur, the rest of the band, and each other, were well publicised, adding further fuel to their notoriety as cocksure yet talented musicians.
Third album Be Here Now was disappointing, a lineup change following before the fourth (Guigsy and Bonehead departed), predominantly filler studio album Standing on the Shoulders of Giants; Noel’s first album written whilst sober. That said, Go Let It Out is a major Oasis hit to this date. 2002 saw Heathen Chemistry; spawning fantastic Noel material such as Stop Crying Your Heart Out and The Hindu Times.
2005’s Don’t Believe the Truth was not the resurgence album needed, but was still much more solid than many contemporaries. What must be said is that Oasis do not need to prove themselves as a tremendous act in their own right, and they hardly need to win over new fans. But they do owe their immense fan base a taste of what they are still capable of; a collection of songs the calibre of Definitely Maybe, and if not at least Morning Glory.
Dig Out Your Soul sees an obviously more mature Oasis sharing song responsibilities amongst one another. Newcomers Andy Bell and Gem Archer penned The Nature of Reality and To Be Where There’s Life respectively. Although not bad songs, the Gallaghers truly shine through their penchant for sublime melodies and massive guitar riffs, particularly in album standouts Waiting for the Rapture, Bag It Up and lead single The Shock of the Lightning.
Lennon-esque references aplenty, there is talk of “heebeegeebies in a little bag”, space/time travel, and their token nonsensical lyrics replete in the added – Å“groove’ Noel was aiming for since DBTT. It appears that, aside from the passage of time, Oasis have recaptured the essence of a wholly marvelous album, without going off on a notably electronic/trippy/’some other genre-specific adjective’ tangent. The psychedelica of their original sound is intact, their Beatles nod is done with respect, and Liam’s echoic rasp as brilliant as ever.
Opener Bag It Up is 2008’s Columbia; a spacious, immediate hit, followed by the beautiful Dear Prudence -ending to The Turning. Waiting for the Rapture channels pulsating Doors guitar, culminating in a euphoric ending that will grow on you.
I’m Outta Time could have been lifted straight off Double Fantasy, a piano ballad making for a welcome break mid-record. As a matter of fact, at the end of this track, you’ll hear some footage from a John Lennon interview thrown in, for good measure. Falsetto-laden Falling Down and Soldier On perhaps display Noel and Liam’s lyrical differences best, each disenchanted and mournful in their own way toward the ending of the album’s journey.
As Liam yowls on The Shock Of The Lightning, perhaps the – Å“second coming’ of the Oasis juggernaut was “all in good time”?
Dig Out Your Soul is out now on Sony BMG.