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Oasis - Don't Believe The Truth


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 Stones.

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 slightly.

Roll with it, therefore, and you're sure to feel reasonably entertained.

Click here to find out more about Oasis - Don't Believe The Truth!

 

Track listing:
1. Turn Up the Sun
2. Mucky Fingers
3. Lyla
4. Love Like a Bomb
5. The Importance of Being Idle
6. The Meaning of Soul
7. Guess God Thinks I’m Abel
8. Part of the Queue
9. Keep the Dream Alive
10. A Bell Will Ring
11. Let There Be Love

Click here to find out more about Oasis - Don't Believe The Truth!

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