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Music Review

Oasis: 'Dig Out Your Soul'

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Oasis: 'Dig Out Your Soul'
Released on Monday, Oct 6 2008

Maybe it's the impending economic meltdown or the gloomy autumnal weather, but there's something rather comforting about the release of another Oasis album. The Gallagher brothers have been typically bolshy during the interview rounds, taking swipes at every piddling indie band that's ever had the audacity to cross them, while the group's steadfast refusal to enter into the world of free downloads comes across as a refreshing alternative to the norm. Chalk it down to warm-hearted nostalgia, but the music world seems to need Oasis more than ever.

Following lukewarm receptions for albums four and five, 2005's Don't Believe The Truth was a relative return to form for the band. Sure, Oasis were still trading in the same sixties-indebted rock 'n' roll as before, but with new members Gem Archer and Andy Bell on board they gave up trying to recreate the glories of Definitely Maybe and began turning out material that was appropriate for a bunch of blokes who've been around the block a bit. Freed from the shackles of their first two albums, the band sounded energised and seemed to be having fun playing together again.

Never afraid of repeating themselves, Dig Out Your Soul finds Oasis tweaking the formula from last time around. Lead single 'The Shock Of The Lightning' is the younger, more raucous sibling of 'Lyla'; Zac Starkey's drum flourishes and Noel's arsenal of guitars smother any lyrical deficiencies, making it a dead cert for future Best Of compilations. Meanwhile, 'Bag It Up', with its Stooges-style guitars and fun, throwaway lyrics, should replace 'Turn Up The Sun' as the band's live set opener.

The rest of the record is a real mixed bag. 'The Turning' - the one that cribs from Sir Cliff's 'Devil Woman' - houses Liam's best vocal performance in a decade, while the Noel-led 'Falling Down' and Liam's touching Lennon tribute, 'I'm Outta Time', are one in the eye for critics who deride them as thuggish simpletons. Sadly, quality control slips dramatically during the album's second half. The Andy Bell-penned 'Nature Of Reality' is a clod-footed snooze-fest and Liam's attempt at psychedelic mysticism, 'Soldier On', leaves the album with a rather limp finale.

They may not rattle the music scene with quite the force they did 15 years ago, but this album generally rewards those who've stuck by the Gallaghers through their ropiest times. If you're still waiting for Noel's trip-hop concept album, you'll be disappointed, but anyone interested in the spirit of old fashioned rock 'n' roll will come away thoroughly satisfied.

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