Oasis’ Greatness May Live Only In Their Mind

noah | October 6, 2008 1:00 am

Our look at the closing lines of the biggest new-music reviews continues with a roundup of reactions to Dig Out Your Soul, the new album by the banged-up British rockers Oasis:

• “For more than a decade, Oasis have continued to sell millions of records while stuck in a musical holding pattern. It’s a perversely impressive feat, partly down to their fans, who, depending on your perspective, are either remarkably loyal or risibly undemanding. But it’s also down to Oasis’ willingness to graft, dutifully touring, never declining to play the hits. Neither masterpiece nor catastrophe, more experimental than Noel would allow but no one’s idea of adventurous, a lot of Dig Out Your Soul sounds like hard work, and not in the latter-day Scott Walker sense of unorthodox or avant garde. Perhaps that’s fitting.” [Guardian]

• “The rest of the disc, featuring contributions from a still-sneering Liam and secondary members Andy Bell and Gem Archer, is predictably spotty, with fresh lyrical atrocities around every corner. But, hey, that’s nothing new.” [San Francisco Chronicle]

• “In addition to those four, Noel Gallagher wrote two more tunes here, both excellent. Unfortunately, age has softened his heart, and he cedes the album’s other half to his bandmates (including lead-singing brother Liam), who offer subpar material such as ‘I’m Outta Time,’ a shameless John Lennon rip, and the undercooked garage-blues vamp ‘The Nature of Reality.’ (Surprise! It’s ‘only in your mind.’) The result reminds us once again that while democracy makes sense in plenty of places, a rock band is rarely one of them.” [Spin]

• “But for the most part, Dig Out Your Soul is an almost comically generic Oasis release, from its preponderance of plodding midtempo rockers (‘Bag It Up,’ ‘Waiting for the Rapture’) to the vaguely Indian raga-flavored psychedelic anthems (‘To Be Where There’s Life’). Then there’s the issue of Liam’s ‘philosophizing’—he’s entered the Maharishi phase of his Beatles worship, clogging songs with beatitudes like ‘Space and time and here and now/Are only in your mind.’ Got that?” [RS]