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Standing On the Shoulder of Giants

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Album Review

Since Noel Gallagher plays most of the parts on the album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants isn't really the debut of the new, post-Guigsy/Bonehead lineup, but it is clearly the beginning of Oasis, Mark II. Such a grandiose statement may imply that it's a clear break from Oasis' past, yet that's hardly the case, since many signatures are still in place — strummed acoustic guitars, big hooks, undeveloped lyrics, familiar rhymes, and a gigantic wall of sound. The arrangements are every bit as detailed as Be Here Now, but they're clearer and better focused, since Oasis' brains weren't clouded with excess and hubris. Ironically, this is also their most overtly druggy, psychedelic release to date — Gallagher and Mark "Spike" Stent spent endless hours adding Mellotrons, swirling guitars, and vague dancefloor ideas borrowed from the Chemical Brothers and the Charlatans UK, while Noel's melodies invariably follow the minor-key patterns typical of '60s psychedelic pop. Yet for all of its heavy psychedelic influence, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants is really a self-consciously mature departure from the group's usual ebullience, a deliberately mellow, midtempo album spiked with hints of big beat and electronica to prove that they're with it. This may result in the most cohesive Oasis record since Definitely Maybe, but that cohesion has come at a price. Few songs are as bracing as Noel's best work from the first three albums; not even the rockers have the giddy rush or alluring sparkle of classic Oasis. Yes, this flows well, but it's the work of a self-consciously older band and it's hard not to miss the hard rock, pure attitude, and gigantic hooks that made the group's reputation in the first place.

Customer Reviews


Oasis have always been dissed for not experimenting with their sound. When they finally got around to (very successfully) doing so on this LP, everyone hated them for it. This is perhaps their second best album, after Definately Maybe. There are too many good tunes on it; only an idiot would write this off.

A world away from Be Here Now

Standing On the Shoulder of Giants (SOTSOG) is always an interesting conversation. After the excess of their third album, Be Here Now, SOTSOG is a breath of fresh air. However, some people do criticise it, unfairly, for sounding "too different", or, "it doesn't sound like Oasis!". SOTSOG is a more focused album than Be Here Now, and arguably their most focused to date. This makes for a more mature sounding record. It is a departure from the usual Oasis fare, with songs like Gas Panic! haunting your speakers, this is Oasis at their most vulnerable. Gas Panic! is without doubt one of Oasis' finest moments, alongside Go Let It Out. The album showcases Noel Gallagher in a more experimental mood, with the drum loops in Fuckin' in the Bushes and the trippy Who Feels Love?, it makes for a fun listen. There are moments of Oasis by numbers with Money Where Yer Mouth Is and I Can See A Liar, which are decent enough but very uninspired compared to the rest of this "different album". In all, after Be Here Now, Oasis had to make this album, something a little different that does have style. The production is questionable in parts, with Sunday Morning Call and Where Did It All Go Wrong? potential classics but unfortunately don't quite live up to their potential due to their over-produced nature, but they're good none-the-less. Check out the live versions of both of these songs to really hear their potential. Little James is Liam Gallagher's first stab at song writing, and whilst being a nice, thoughtful tune, it's very basic and the lyrics, whilst sweet, are occasionally cringeworthy. The album closes with Roll It Over, a very moody, gospel inspired 6 minute epic which is a decent track, but falls short of the usual Oasis quality you can expect from their more "epic" songs, but none-the-less it makes for a more interesting listen than "Magic Pie" on Be Here Now! I recommend obtaining "Let's All Make Believe", which was the closing track on the Japanese release of the album, and a B-side to Go Let It Out in the UK to close the album. Overall, a very good album that deserves pride of place in your collection. Experience Oasis at their most reflective and then see my review for Heathen Chemistry, their fifth album.

One of their best...

Standing On The Shoulder of Giants is perhaps Oasis' most under rated album by far, Roll It Over and Gas Panic! are with out a doubt two of the strongest songs Oasis have written. The only reason why this record flopped is because there isn't another Morning Glory or Wonderwall on it.


Formed: 1993 in Manchester, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Oasis shot from obscurity to stardom in 1994, becoming one of Britain's most popular and critically acclaimed bands of the decade in the process. Along with Blur and Suede, they were responsible for returning British guitar pop to the top of the charts. Led by guitarist/songwriter Noel Gallagher, the Manchester quintet adopted the rough, thuggish image of the Stones and the Who, crossed it with "Beatlesque" melodies and hooks, injected distinctly British lyrical themes and song structures like the...
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