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Old 10-16-2008, 04:48 PM   #376
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Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
As promised, here are my grades (along with a short-ish review) for each Oasis album:

Definitely Maybe
Derivative, shmerivative; rock n' roll has always been about a handful of chords and palpable energy, and Definitely Maybe provides all of the above in spades. However, those cornerstone elements of rock n' roll only provide the foundation for the Gallaghers' not-so-architectural vision. Their confidence and ambition is evident from the start, and the songs, no matter their length, come across as anthemic. It's hard not to get sucked into Oasis' world; they think they're geniuses and, for a little while, their lack of genius was revelatory. You almost forget just how ridiculous songs like "Shakermaker" and "Supersonic" really are, and perhaps that's for the best. It's only rock n' roll, but I really fucking love it. A+
I agree with this.

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(What's The Story?) Morning Glory
Following a masterful debut is never easy, especially one whose apparent lack of effort was its greatest asset. How can you catch that magic on tape twice in a row? When your songs are fantastic, swagger becomes a luxury, not a necessity, and, as it turned out, Noel Gallagher was a pretty damn fine songwriter. Morning Glory still boasts a modicum of Definitely Maybe's "We're going to take over the world, and if you don't like our album, fuck you" attitude, and that takes songs like the title track and "Hello" to an entirely higher level. Of course, like I said earlier, the melodies, lyrics, etc. (EG: the songwriting) have only strengthened. "Wonderwall", "Some Might Say", and "Champagne Supernova" (whose bloat was exhilarating here, but proved to be a damaging influence on future Oasis outings) are all fantastic, and, outside of some moments of pretentiousness ("Cast No Shadow", two pointless instrumentals), it's yet another classic Oasis record. A
I give Morning Glory an A+, the same as Definitely Maybe. Cast No Shadow is simple yet gorgeous, and shows how Liam's vocals have matured since the first album. And the instrumentals, while pointless by themselves, add to the flow of the record, particularly the segue between the title cut and Champagne Supernova (which is not bloated at all, by the way).

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Be Here Now
It's a damn shame when bands figure out just how great they really are. There's something to be said about an individual (or a group of individuals) who honestly believe they have something to prove and will do anything to achieve that. Fact is, by 1997, Oasis were somewhere beyond confident. They really thought they could do anything and their legend (of, then, 3 years) could never be damaged by it. They were wrong. Be Here Now is a mess, the kind of record that only bands as popular as Oasis could have had the nerve to make. It's not that the songs are all horrible; no, Noel still had something left in the tank. However, at best, the tracks fall short of Morning Glory ("My Big Mouth", "Stand By Me"), and at worst, they're crushed under the weight of their own pretensions ("All Around The World"). The band's insane confidence could have been channeled into something great with a competent editor, but hey, who could have said "no" to these guys in 1997? Confidence can be exciting when it's justified. The rest of the time, it's Be Here Now. C+
I agree with this to a point. "Bloated" is a word used to describe this album a lot. I don't think that's the case - I just think they selected the wrong songs; Noel was still churning them out. Switching a couple of the songs here and there to some of the B-sides (Sad Song, Stay Young) would have made the album much better. As it stands, I probably would give it a B.

Also, All Around The World is an epic closer.

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Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants
You had the biggest, bestest band evar. You were all-powerful, all-knowing, and untouchable. Or so you thought. In the span of 6 short years, the grand Oasis empire managed to reach its apogee, and by 2000, it was floundering. The band apparently thought it the right time to shake things up a bit...it's just a shame that they only brought about 5-6 truly good songs along on their Magical Mystery Tour. The opening trio of songs here, "Fucking In The Bushes", "Go Let It Out", and "Who Feels Love" are a thrill; genuinely experimental, tuneful, psychedelic, and awesome. It's all downhill from there. "Put Your Money Where Yer Mouth Is" is straightforward Oasis, as hard as its facade of cheap electronica tries to betray that. There's no reason at all for the wandering "Gas Panic!" and "Roll It Over" to be 6 minutes apiece, as nice as they may sound. "Little James" is just really fucking terrible. Basically, this album is a set of inconsistent songwriting, buttressed by some truly gorgeous production. I'll take the good with the bad, and give them the benefit of the doubt. B-
While we come close to the same conclusion in terms of a grade (I'd rate it as a C+), our paths to it are varied. With the exception of Go Let It Out, I don't care for much of this album until the last four tracks, which I think are the best part of the record. Sunday Morning Call is an underrated gem, and I totally disagree with your take on Roll It Over, which I find to be very good. Although I'm not surprised - anything over six minutes long and it's mostly a negative in your eyes.

The B-sides should have definitely been put on here in the middle of this thing. It would have improved it dramatically.

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Heathen Chemistry
As hard as the band tried, SOTSOG never really got off the ground. Sales weren't amazing, reviews were worse...hey, not everyone can be as accepting as their loyal fans, right? I suppose the band figured that trying something different from the norm was a lost cause at this point. And hey, even if they didn't, Heathen Chemistry provides nothing to make me believe the contrary. Trying harder than they've ever tried before, the album not only cherry-picks from the usual suspects, but now they've even begun to pillage themselves. For instance, "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" is such a blatant attempt to channel the epic, teary sweep of "Don't Look Back In Anger" that even I was tempted to ignore Liam's demand (advice?). "Force Of Nature" and "Hung In A Bad Place" aren't a ripoff of one particular Oasis track, but sound derivative of their entire sound circa Be Here Now. And they pretty much suck. The rest of Heathen Chemistry isn't so much "awful" as it is bland and uninteresting. "She Is Love" manages a nice melody, and "The Hindu Times" is a decent single. But, realistically, why would I ever want to listen to this again? C
This is probably where we disagree the most. While Heathen Chemistry certainly didn't bring the group back, it's rated much too harshly by a lot of critics (I particularly laugh at Pitchfork's 1.2 rating), and it does show that the band has some signs of life, as it improves on the previous album. The Hindu Times is a terrific leadoff track, the roughness of Noel's voice makes Force Of Nature stand out, and there's a trilogy of absolutely gorgeous songs that make this album worthwhile (Songbird, Little By Little, Stop Crying Your Heart Out). And I don't get your comparison of the latter song with Don't Look Back In Anger. Besides the opening piano, there's really no similarity betweeen the two at all, except that they are both terrific.

Heathen Chemistry gets a B- from me.

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Don't Believe The Truth
In early 2005, it must have been rough waiting for this album to surface. Oasis had just come off of a weak album, and went out of their way to hire Ringo's son as their drummer. "Is it just me, or do they like the Beatles?" a snarky internet hipster (who declined to mention that he once found "Live Forever" to be exhilarating) would intone. Fuck da hataz; this is a really good album. Oasis responded to their critics precisely the way they did with Heathen Chemistry, only this time, they brought some great songs with them. "Lyla" may cop "Street Fighting Man", and "Mucky Fingers" may take its insistent beat from "I'm Waiting For The Man", but at least they're not stealing from themselves anymore (though "A Bell Will Ring" strikes me as "The Hindu Times" with genuine energy), and the songs are damn good. This is a fun album, and they hadn't made one of those since...well...maybe the debut. A-
They responded to the critics by bringing more great songs than Heathen Chemistry, not just some. Whereas the previous album was a starting point, it still had several weak tracks on it. But this album just absolutely blew the doors off for me. Oasis were definitely back, and even the critics had to admit it this time. I give this album an A.

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Dig Out Your Soul
With Dig Out Your Soul, Oasis, having been successfully resuscitated with Don't Believe The Truth, found itself in an interesting spot. They couldn't strip their sound down further, as that's just not the Oasis way, but beefing up their sound and stretching out their songs has only worked at select times in the past. However, what else could they do? DOYS manages to (somewhat) salvage Oasis' credibility as an experimental rock band, with a whole lot of help from David Sardy's exciting, colorful production, and some inspired sequencing. However, the songs don't hurt either. Outside of a few moments of tepid trad-Oasis ("Bag It Up", "Ain't Got Nuthin'", "Soldier On") the album is filled with inspired rockers and newfound confidence. This is a genuinely good record, and I'm curious to see how they build on it. Let's just hope they don't shoot for the moon and make a musical Tower of Babel that scatters the non-Gallagher members abroad. B+
I agree for the most part, although I like the album a bit more than you, with Bag It Up a raucous opener and Ain't Got Nothin' a raging rocker. Soldier On is ok, but they've had much better closers. Other than that, this album is fantastic. A- for me.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:24 PM   #377
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Although I'm not surprised - anything over six minutes long and it's mostly a negative in your eyes.
Oh, now you know that's just not true. I much of progressive rock (I don't use those tracks on DI because I prize variety in those contests, but that doesn't mean I don't care for the genre, or lengthy songs in general), and a lengthy song can be magical if it finds a way to make the most of its time. I just don't believe that Oasis is very good at making 6+ minute tracks that captivate for their entire length. They did it with Champagne Supernova, but most of the tracks I can think of just repeat that predictable intro/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/verse/chorus/(really fucking epic) outro pattern.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:31 PM   #378
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I still haven't bothered checking this album out yet...maybe I should
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:25 PM   #379
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Sad Song was from the Def Maybe sessions, bonus track in Japan I think.


Who Feels Love - that song shines......those first three songs on SOTSOG is a 5 star beginning
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:30 PM   #380
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Sad Song was from the Def Maybe sessions, bonus track in Japan I think.
Yeah, that's right. I forget that since it was also a B-side on the Don't Go Away single.
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:33 PM   #381
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Yeah, that's right. I forget that since it was also a B-side on the Don't Go Away single.
Going Nowhere could have contributed to the album in a good way though, and maybe Angel Child
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:34 PM   #382
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Agreed on Going Nowhere.
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:33 AM   #383
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In terms of grades, for me most Oasis albums hover somewhere around B mark, add plus or minus. Except for Be Here Now, which has the dishonour of being the first ever album I sold at the second-hand CD store.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:54 PM   #384
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Be Here Now is underrated.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:56 PM   #385
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Be Here Now is underrated.
You seem to like the relatively unpopular albums... Sam's Town, You Could Have It So Much Better, Be Here Now...
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:00 PM   #386
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You seem to like the relatively unpopular albums... Sam's Town, You Could Have It So Much Better, Be Here Now...
I just think that, especially with Be Here Now, it suffers from "Great Discography Letdown Syndrome." Kind of like how a lot of people hate certain U2 albums because they're comparing them to The Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby. Be Here Now is Oasis' Pop. Anyway, the ear likes what it likes. I mean, I think you're crazy for thinking You Can't Always Get What You Want and Sympathy For The Devil are "boring".
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:03 PM   #387
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ZING!
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:32 PM   #388
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Oasis to headline Slane next year. Hmmm, am gonna have to give that some serious thought and starting making some plans. Gonna be mega
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:37 PM   #389
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There's a very funny interview with Noel on the BBC entertainment news site about the upcoming Wembley gig, he's on fine form. Definitely one to check out guys.

One of the things which always strikes me about BHN, is just how confident the band sounds, their ego's were at an all-time high of course and they (mistakenly) believed they could do no wrong, but to my ears, it has a free-wheeling audacity that none of the subsequent albums have quite recaptured.
They have seemed a little more tentative and cautious since then, IMO anyway. SOTSOG has a mournful air about it (for good reason probably) whereas BHN has the feeling that literally anything is possible. That's probably one of the reasons I prefer the latter.

I think the backlash both helped and hindered the bands development. From SOTSOG onwards, the overblown nature of D'you Know What I Mean? and All Around The World has (more or less) been dispensed with a we're back with taut, economic rock songs, but on the other hand their sense of risk and daring seems to have been lost too...I don't know.

Sorry I'm just rambling
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:09 PM   #390
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No, that makes sense, actually.

I liked the go all out nature of Be Here Now, and I personally liked the experimental and expansive aspects to it. I think it could have been better with a couple of songs switched for B-sides, but otherwise, it's a decent album.
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