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Dig Out Your Soul

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Album Review

Maturity always seemed an alien concept to Oasis. The brothers Gallagher may have worshiped music made before their birth but there was no respect to their love: they stormed the rock & roll kingdom with no regard for anyone outside themselves, a narcissism that made perfect sense when they were young punks, as youth wears rebellion well, but the group's trump card was how their snottiness was leveled by their foundation in classic pop. This delicate balance was thrown out of whack after the phenomenal success of 1995's (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, when the group sunk into a pit of excess that they couldn't completely escape for almost a full decade. When Oasis did begin to re-emerge on 2005's Don't Believe the Truth they sounded like journeymen, purveyors of no-frills rock & roll.

All this makes the wallop of 2008's Dig Out Your Soul all the more bracing. Colorful and dense where Don't Believe the Truth was straightforward, Dig Out Your Soul finds Oasis reconnecting to the churning psychedelic undercurrents in their music, sounds that derive equally from mid-period Beatles and early Verve. This is heavy, murky music, as dense, brutal, and loud as Oasis has ever been, building upon the swagger of Don't Believe and containing not a hint of the hazy drift of their late-'90s records: it's what Be Here Now would have sounded like without the blizzard of cocaine and electronica paranoia. Dig Out Your Soul doesn't have much arrogance, either, as Oasis' strut has mellowed into an off-hand confidence, just like how Noel Gallagher's hero worship has turned into a distinct signature of his own, as his Beatlesque songs sound like nobody else's, not even the Beatles. His only real rival at this thick, surging pop is his brother Liam, who has proven a sturdy, if not especially flashy songwriter with a knack for candied Lennonesque ballads like "I'm Outta Time." To appreciate what Liam does, turn to Gem Archer's "To Be Where There's Life" and Andy Bell's "The Nature of Reality," which are enjoyable enough Oasis-by-numbers, but Liam's numbers resonate, getting stronger with repeated plays, as the best Oasis songs always do.

But, as it always does, Oasis belongs to Noel Gallagher, who pens six of the 11 songs on Dig Out Your Soul, almost every one of them possessing the same sense of inevitability that marked his best early work. Best among these are the titanic stomp of "Waiting for the Rapture" and the quicksilver kaleidoscope of "The Shock of the Lightning," a pair of songs that rank among his best, but the grinding blues-psych of "Bag It Up" and gently cascading "The Turning" aren't far behind, either. These have the large, enveloping melodies so characteristic of this work and what impresses is that he can still make music that sounds not written, but unearthed. These six tunes are Noel's strongest since Morning Glory — so strong it's hard not to wish he wrote the whole LP himself — but what's striking about Dig Out Your Soul is how its relentless onslaught of sound proves as enduring as the tunes. This is the sound of a mature yet restless rock band: all the brawn comes from the guitars, all the snarl comes from Liam Gallagher's vocals, who no longer sounds like a young punk but an aged, battered brawler who wears his scars proudly, which is a sentiment that can apply to the band itself. They're now survivors, filling out the vintage threads they've always worn with muscle and unapologetic style.

Customer Reviews

Boys are back with DOYS

Bag It Up and The Turning are the best two opening songs on an Oasis album since D'you Know What I Mean and My Big Mouth. They're a great way to kick off the album. Waiting for the Rapture is a excellent song, but a real special version of the song can be found on the deluxe bonus disc. Everyone knows about the Shock of the Lightning, its Oasis and its a great lead single in the vein of Lyla, Hindu Times. Liam's first track on the album I'm Outta Time is one of the best from Dig Out Your Soul, brillant. The next three songs High Horse, Falling Down and Where There's Life work really well together - taking the album to places Oasis haven't ever really gone with the exception of some glimpses on Standing on the Shoulders. These three songs are best listened to together, really enjoyable and the highlight of the album. Aint Got Nothing is a Liam Gallagher by numbers track - in the same vein as Meaning of Soul and Songbird, short and to the point. The only negatives to the album are the last two tracks - you wouldn't go out of your way to listen to them, but I must say they do fit the vibe of the album very well and in a way give it a sastifactory conclusion. However, Liam's track Boy With The Blues (which is on the deluxe bonus disc) would have been a better album closer in my opinion. Also "My Record Machine" and "Stop the Clocks" - both written by Noel - were left off the album for some reason. Overall a really good album, that works well as a whole. Highlights are: THE TURNING, I'M OUTTA TIME, FALLING DOWN, TO BE WHERE THERE'S LIFE.

still setting the standard

they seem to have really pushed themselves with this and took there time and it shows.a great album up there with def maybe and whats the story.

Gem and Andy finally click with Gallagher bros.

After 1997's Be Here Now Oasis have been up and down, and with new recruits Gem and Andy replacing guigsy and co,. I had my doubts. Heathen Chemistry was mediocre, Don't Believe The Truth was good, but with this record the group have found their niche once one and have recaptured the exuberance and style that made them such a bloody good listen in the first place. The heavy guitar riffs are back, Liam's vocals are as sneering as ever, and as usual Noels philosophical lyrics are as deep as always. But with this record is not only musically sound it offers the listener everything from the tongue-in -cheek of early britpop from Morning Glory to the swaggering pure rock 'n' roll sound of Definitely Maybe.God bless the kings of Britpop!Top Stuff!


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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