The Good: Good songs
The Bad: Unique track isn't anything to write home about!
The Basics: Wonderwall is a nice sampler of what Oasis has to offer, but does not have enough original content to make it worth buying.
Oasis has a nice habit of putting out singles with new material on them and the b-side work tends to be pretty good. The U.S. release Wonderwall five-track c.d. is a good example of Oasis doing that right. Unfortunately, with the single that put Oasis's album (What's The Story) Morning Glory? on the map in the U.S., has most of its b-side material released elsewhere, making it tough to want to hunt down the single. While other Oasis singles, like Don't Look Back In Anger (click here for review!) have multiple tracks that have not ended up on compilations, Wonderwall had so many strong b-sides that they have ended up on other releases.
The Wonderwall single starts with "Wonderwall" and also contains the magnificent "Talk Tonight." Also on hand are "Rockin' Chair" and "I Am The Walrus" which (along with "Talk Tonight") may be found on the full album The Masterplan. The only unique track is "Round Are Way" and yes, "Are" is "Our" misspelled. It's annoying. The song, too, isn't terribly good. "Round Are Way" is a surprisingly popish sounding track that's everything being fine in the neighborhood.
Oasis is a rock and roll band and outside the more popish "Wonderwall," this single is strongly rooted in rock and roll. The songs are very typical guitar, bass and drum tracks.
The lyrics, written by Noel Gallagher, (save on The Beatles' "I Am The Walrus") are both melodic and are more complicated than most pop-rock songs (many of us are still figuring out what a Wonderwall is). The vocals all have Liam Gallagher presenting the lyrics in a raspy tenor range that comes clear in only the quieter songs.
It's a weird little disc and if you like "Wonderwall," but don't want to get into the whole Oasis experience, this is a very solid way to go. The acoustic "Talk Tonight" is even better than "Wonderwall" and "Rockin' Chair," well, rocks. If you're a causal Oasis fan, and collect their albums, Wonderwall isn't worth it - "Round Are Way" isn't THAT good of a track. If you're a serious Oasis fan, it's enough to buy the album. The plus side is, it tends to be cheap when you can find it!
For other albums from male bands or vocalists, please check out my reviews of:
Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell
Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight
Crash Test Dummies - God Shuffled His Feet
For other music reviews, please check out my index page!
© 2010, 2001 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.