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Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul

Oasis, Dig Out Your Soul

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

OASIS frustrate and impress in equal measure. Their arrogance is no longer matched by the scope of their ambition, but their music remains strangely compulsive.

Dig Out Your Soul, their latest long-player, does exactly what you’d expect from an Oasis album… and does it very well. But you can’t help but rue another missed opportunity to push themselves forward and really justify their self-proclaimed status as one of – if not the – biggest bands in the world.

Progression this time comes from the fact that Liam Gallagher has penned a few more songs than usual (three), while fellow band members Andy Bell and Gem have also got in on the writing act.

Yet their sound remains unmistakable and anyone expecting the start of a brave new Oasis era had best think again.

Lead single The Shock Of The Lightning pretty much signals the sound of what to expect… piledriving guitars, wailed lyrics and a rousing, anthemic approach that’s designed to lift voices and fill the biggest stadiums.

Ironically, The Shock Of The Lightning is one of the weakest tracks on the long-player… perhaps because of the radio bombardment we’ve had to endure ever since it was unveiled as the lead single. It’s certainly a powerful slice of indie rock but it doesn’t really capture the imagination in the way that the best Oasis tracks do.

Fortunately, there’s plenty more on the album that fill the gap. Opening salvo Bag It Up is a hard-hitting starting point – a thumping back-beat paving the way for some rip-roaring power riffs and an impressively gruff set of vocals from Liam (proudly predicting he’s gonna take a walk with the monkey man). The chorus is a barnstormer and a nice reminder of why Oasis were able to become so popular in the first place, courtesy of heavy-hitters such as Supersonic and Rock N Roll Star – albeit with a maturer, grittier edge.

Then comes The Turning, which makes fine use of a great bassline and some nice organs. It’s mid-tempo by comparison to its predecessor, but underlines the strong start to the album.

The guitars come over all scuzzy and foreboding for another instant hit, Waiting For The Rapture, which finds Noel taking vocal duties to seamless effect. Again, the chorus is a belter.

The Shock Of The Lightning then drifts over you like the track you’ve heard a thousand times, before one of the album’s real highlights lands in the form of the Liam penned slow-burner I’m Outta Time. Slightly psychedelic, and featuring a haunted Liam vocal, it’s a terrific ballad of sorts, which even leaves you pining for a little more of the same.

The pianos that drift in and out even hint at Imagine era Lennon – although such comparisons will come as no surprise to Oasis’ listeners.

Sadly, they can’t follow it with another gem as (Get Off Your) High Horse Lady is one of the worst songs on the long-player – a lazy effort that’s repetitive, droning and uninspired.

Falling Down fortunately elevates proceedings once more to register as another instant classic – a driving bassline, some atmospheric drums and another haunted vocal once again exciting the senses as only Oasis know how. It’s another easy favourite.

To Be Where There’s Life, meanwhile, combines a thumping back-beat with Kula Shaker-inspired mysticism and a funky strut akin to David Holmes’ Ocean’s 11 soundtrack work. It’s arguably one of the funkiest tracks Oasis have ever laid down and it’s all courtesy of Gem.

The Liam-penned Aint Got Nothin’ strips things back down to raw rock ‘n’ roll roots, and offers an undemanding listen, while The Nature of Reality finds Bell placing the guitars very much to the fore. It’s almost Zeppelin-esque at times, and another guilty pleasure.

Soldier On, meanwhile, brings things to a typically epic, slow-building conclusion – the only difference being that Liam penned it. Unfortunately, it’s probably the weakest of his three tracks – even if it hints at some trippy tendencies.

And so another Oasis album draws to a close, having impressed and frustrated once again. Dig Out Your Soul may not captivate and excite in the same way that Oasis did in their glory days, but it remains a slick, satisfying listen that confidently ticks all the boxes we have come to expect.

Download picks: Bag It Up, I’m Outta Time, Falling Down, To Be Where There’s Life, The Turning

Track listing:

  1. Bag It Up
  2. Turning
  3. Waiting For The Rapture
  4. Shock Of The Lightning
  5. I’m Outta Time
  6. Get Off Your High Horse Lady
  7. Falling Down
  8. To Be Where There’s Life
  9. Ain’t Got Nothin’
  10. Nature Of Reality
  11. Soldier On

  1. The last great Oasis album was their second one. It’s never got better since. Dig Out Your Soul comes close… but they need to get over themselves and start surprising people musically once again.

    Brian    Oct 17    #
  2. For me, Oasis continue to be over-rated. Each new album brings fresh expectation and, ultimately, fresh disappointment. Dig Out Your Soul, despite a terrific lead single, and the odd good Liam track (as pointed out in the review) OFFERS MORE OF THE SAME.

    Jess    Oct 21    #