Review: Jack Foley
THE temptation to write off the sixth Oasis album as still more
of the same is an easy one, especially given the relative mediocrity
of their 'comeback' single, Lyla.
Yet while Don't Believe The Truth is still very backward
looking in terms of inspiration, it does at least spread its net
wider, taking in everything from the Velvet Underground to The
Kinks, along with the usual smattering of The Beatles and the
And given that many of the 'bands of the moment' have also been
looking into the past to write their new material, why shouldn't
Oasis do so as well, particularly as they started the trend.
Yet the Gallaghers biggest problem has not so much been their
music, but their arrogance, given that each new album has been
hailed as the second coming and the best f**king record since,
well, the last Oasis record.
Were music fans just allowed to sit back and enjoy the simple
pleasures they offer, the desire to shoot them down might not
seem so great.
So don't believe the hype surrounding Don't Believe The Truth
and you might just have a belter of a time.
Treat it as the most important album of 2005 and you're sure
to be disappointed; accept it as a rousing, ball-busting, stadium-pleaser
with artistic moments of magic and you're sure to be singing along
with at least five or six of the choruses.
The album gets off to a flyer with the Andy Bell penned Turn
Up The Sun, a hybrid version of classic Oasis mixed with
Hurricane #1. Bell's guitars stand out, as do Gallaghers, and
the lyrics sound like a statement of intent, beginning with the
memorable line, 'I carry madness everywhere I go, over the border
and back to the snow', delivered as only Liam knows how.
It's quickly followed by the monstrous Mucky Fingers,
a shuffling crowd-pleaser that Noel wittily refers to as 'his
trip on the Velvet Underground, fuelled by Jack Daniels and an
old, beat up organ bought on e-bay' - not to mention some flavoursome
blasts of harmonica.
The lazy Lyla follows in its wake, quickly emerging
as one of the weakest tracks on the album, before the acoustically-driven
Love Like a Bomb picks things up again, marking the first
of the Liam-penned numbers (it was apparently written with Julie
'fucking' Christie in mind!).
The Importance Of Being Idle, from its title alone,
suggests a self-importance overload that could easily stand as
a metaphor for the Oasis approach to songwriting; yet it arrives
on a fanfare of Mariachi-style guitars that sound anything but
lazy, before veering into the sort of guitar riffs that Hank Marvin
may have been proud of in his heyday.
Liam returns to songwriting duty with the ballsy The Meaning
of Soul, an explosive slice of Fifties-based rock 'n' roll
that clocks in at a little over a minute and a half.
While Guess God Thinks I'm Abel is trademark Oasis;
a slow-builder that plays to the strengths of Liam's strained
vocals and builds deftly towards its guitar crescendo.
Part of the Queue is notable for the energy of its acoustic
guitars, despite being fairly routine in places, but Andy Bell
beefs things up for Keep The Dream Alive which, again,
contains nods to his Hurricane #1 days.
And the old-school, psychedelic vibe returns with A Bell
Will Ring, a Sixties-based guitar anthem that emerges as
one of the album's guiltiest pleasures - and one that is certain
to get those hips swinging.
Final track, Let There Be Love, opens with the sort
of piano key that Lennon made his own, before drifting into a
tender duet between the Gallaghers about the importance of love
that recalls the chorus of Slide Away.
But, sadly, it is another example of Oasis seeming content to
churn out the songs of Oasis for easy crowd-pleasing value and
brings the album to a slightly flat note.
Aside from the odd glitch, however, there are enough flourishes
to make Don't Believe The Truth worth recommending, while
also hinting at the possibility that their sound may be diversifying
Roll with it, therefore, and you're sure to feel reasonably entertained.