By: Dennis Cook
This is one fine rock 'n' roll album – full of sharp teeth, big ideas and even bigger guitar crescendos. It really should come as no surprise since Oasis hasn't made an outright bad album yet. One may quibble over various chapters but there's no mistaking the artistry and conscious intent of their music. In the group's vernacular, Dig Out Your Soul (released October 6 on Reprise) is the vibe of "Cigarettes & Alchohol" with the musing mind of "Wonderwall." It's a nifty snapshot of guys comfortable enough in their craft to continue experimenting with their sound.
Dig is some of the toughest, smartest material of their career with some of the edge of say Queen's Sheer Heart Attack or Thin Lizzy's Johnny The Fox. It's nigh impossible to escape the specter of the Fab Four in Oasis but now they channel George as well as Lennon-McCartney (and poor Ringo is left to sod off). One hopes they lean heavily on Dig during their upcoming world tour because "Bag It Up," "Waiting For The Rapture" and "Soldier On" have huge live potential. The weakest cuts are the singles, "The Shock of the Lightning" and "I'm Outta Time," which too consciously echoes their Morning Glory period and thus feels kinda dated, though "Time" has a sleepy John Lennon feel that's alright. Better is the Soho-ized Middle Eastern feel of "To Be Where There's Life" and "(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady," a lightly bent handclap ditty that's honestly weird. The thuggish smack of "Ain't Got Nothin'" is pretty swell, too, and not far removed from Grinderman territory.
Whatever boyish qualities first propelled them to fame (flamboyant bravado from cute English lads IS very charming) are long past and we're left with an incredibly solid rock band with top notch tunes and the skills to execute them in a highly engaging way. When I get the itch for the Gallagher brothers this will likely be the one I reach for, and given their pedigree that's a pretty decent compliment.
You gots to love the Internets, which offer us neat flotsam like this fan produced, highly unofficial video for "To Be Where There's Life" that gets the song's druggy vibe just right.
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