Oasis returns to the music scene with their newest album in 3 years, Dig Out Your Soul. Like every album they've released since their heyday in the mid-90's, critics, fans, and the band themselves have raved about every album they've released, particularly the last 3, but the hype proved bogus on many occasions: their 2000 album Standing on the Shoulder of Giants was messy, 2002's Heathen Chemistry was good but flawed. The only exception was 2005's Don't Believe The Truth which was great but had just a few sloppy moments. I am a huge Oasis fan, and I can honestly say that Dig out Your Soul is their greatest work since 1995's What's The Story Morning Glory!
The album opens up with the aggressive rocker Bag It Up, Noel's ode to the days when he used to get high, which features crisp vocals by Liam. With lyrics like "Someone tell me I'm dreaming, the freaks are rising up from the floor", Bag It Up can't go wrong, and finds itself amongst Noel Gallagher's classiest rock anthems. This is followed by the toned down, low-key rocker The Turning, which has fast become one of Noel's best compositions and songwritings despite recent claims of plagiarism from a Cliff Richards song. The song features excellent singing by Liam, and has even more interesting lyrics than Bag It Up, take for example the chorus that starts with "So come on, shake your rag doll, baby, before you change your mind." Noel takes over singing duties next with Waiting for the Rapture, a song that borrows the guitar riff from The Doors' Five to One, and, for what its worth, is a great song. The first single, the fast paced, wildly aggressive rocker The Shock of the Lightning comes next, and it is quite simply Oasis's finest single in years. Hearing it the first time, it gave me flashbacks of hearing Definitely Maybe in 1994, particularly the songs Rock 'n Roll Star and Supersonic. The song comes charging at you like a stampede of bulls running through the wilderness. Liam's beautiful ballad, and only ballad on the album, and future hit single, I'm Outta Time, follows. It's a song that Liam doesn't shy away from showing his affection towards his rock hero John Lennon, and expressing his vulnerability with lyrics like, "If I'm to fall, would you be there to applaud?" The song even includes a Lennon soundbite from an interview he made with the BBC 2 days before his untimely death.
Noel returns to the vocals in the next 2 songs, the first, the heavily psychedelic Get Off Your High Horse Lady, a song I've described as a cowboy ditty on acid. The second song is Noel's best, and one of the highlights on Dig Out Your Soul, the elusive Falling Down, where Noel questions his religious belief. Up next is the George Harrison influenced, Gem Archer penned, To Be Where There's Life, a song that doesn't include any guitars, but relies mostly on bass, sitars, and Zak Starkey's drums. The song does feature the best singing by Liam on the entire album in my own humble opinion. Speaking of Liam, the next song is his second where he's credited as songwriter. The song is Ain't Got Nothin', and even though I despised the song when it first leaked online about 3 months ago, I've come to appreciate its straightforwardness. The song is about the fight Liam was invloved in a Munich hotel in 2002, and includes, as a result, Liam screaming and cussing in faded out vocals near the end of the song as to act out the fight. Andy Bell's The Nature of Reality is next, and it is one of my personal favorites on the album. A loud cool rocker, layered with cool guitar riffs influenced by The Beatles and to some extent Led Zeppelin. It succeeds thanks to Liam's snarling lines like "The nature of reality is pure subjective fantasy". It's also the closest sounding song to Definitely Maybe, particulary the song Columbia. The final song on the album is Soldier On, the third song written by Liam, which after repeated listenings will reveal its depth, and a fantastic way to end another Oasis classic album.
My final verdict on this album is that it is massive! Oasis are definitely back with a vengeance. For those who've had doubts about Oasis's legitamacy as one of the greatest rock bands of our time, this album will, and should, wash all that away!
I'm mad for it all over again!
Bag It Up
The Shock of the Lightning
I'm Outta Time
To Be Where There's Life
The Nature of Reality