Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Record Review: Oasis: Dig Out Your Soul

Not the one "that's gonna save" them.

Rating: 2.5/5

If someone wanted to list all the bands that have referred to The Beatles as an important influence to their music, it would probably take a few weeks. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with this; The Beatles are widely regarded as one of the best bands of all time. Unfortunately, Oasis didn’t realize that the first time The Beatles wrote classics like “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Come Together,” they did it right. On Oasis’ seventh studio album, Dig Out Your Soul, they aren’t ashamed to rehash any ground already covered by their obvious inspiration, but still manage to give their fans something mildly worth-while.

Dig Out Your Soul opens with tight grooves on both “Bag it Up” and “Waiting for the Rapture:” full of catchy guitar hooks and Liam Gallagher’s classic abrasive vocals, but they also contain predictable crescendos and melodies. Not surprisingly, Oasis hasn’t evolved much since 1994’s Definitely Maybe. Their problems transcend the ability to develop resonating melodies; this material was only creative fourteen years ago.

Despite the fact that Oasis hasn’t changed its formula over the course of seven albums, Dig Out Your Soul still has its share of highlights. The acoustic guitar and piano based tune “I’m Out of Time” features pleasantly simple lyrics from Gallagher, “If I’m to fall / Would you be there to applaud / Or would you hide behind them all?” Clearly channeling Lennon, the ballad manages to capture the last bit of freshness that remains from past Oasis efforts.

Right before “I’m Out of Time” comes the leading single, “The Shock of the Lightning.” Driving percussion, noisy guitars and Liam’s coarse verse vocals make up for the obvious Beatles reference in the chorus lyrics, which repeatedly croon, “Magical mystery.” The Fab Four hijacking doesn’t end there; “(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady” lifts both a drum pattern and guitar hook that sounds eerily similar to the timeless “Come Together,” but doesn’t deliver the resonating bass line and powerful chorus that comes with the Abbey Road standout. “To Be Where There’s Life” contains plenty of sitar and psychedelic progressions to show the clear attempt to channel the Revolver closer “Tomorrow Never Knows,” but lacks the suspense and unearthly sense that the Beatles’ classic delivers.

Beyond the few highlights and an obvious influence of a certain 1960’s band, there’s nothing too exciting here. The last three tracks don’t contain anything noteworthy, except album closer “Soldier On,” which uses clich├ęd and ineffective reverb on Gallagher’s voice which spouts boring lyrics like “Hold the line, friend of mine / Sing a song / Soldier on / Shine a light for me tonight / Don’t be long,” make the band sound blander than ever.

Suffering from uniform instrumentation and consistently uninspiring lyrics, Dig Out Your Soul fails to accomplish anything substantial for the veteran Brit-rockers. Not only does it fail to reproduce a “Live Forever” or “Wonderwall,” Oasis’ standard songwriting formula does nothing to challenge new listeners. Beyond its struggles, Dig admittedly churns out a few worthwhile tracks, but nothing which makes it worthy of sitting next to Definitely Maybe or (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, let alone Revolver or Abbey Road.



Andrew said...

Oh, Oasis made a shitty album, what a surprise...

Anonymous said...

finally! a negative review on this blog

The Captain said...

Nice review. I liked the album, but definately agree with a lot of your comments. I just posted my interview over on my blog. Let me know if you want to link up and I can add you to my blog roll and other reviews of this album.

Franklin D. Bluth said...

finally a negative review? i mean its an oasis album does that count?

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