Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oasis: They Don't Slide Away! Definitely Maybe

The Good: Catchy tunes, Good lyrics, Innovative instrumentals
The Bad: Thematically repetitive, A few songs that don't live up!
The Basics: Buy Definitely Maybe for a fun time; even upon repetition, it remains enjoyable, but don't expect more than a good time.

It's trademark Oasis arrogance that they begin their debut album with declaring themselves Rock and Roll stars. But it works and they are. In the most real sense, the quintet Oasis is a rock group. They are a band ruled by guitars and drums, lyrics and raspy vocals. Outside their publicity stunts, Oasis entered the market as a group of rock stars and when they leave, the Gallagher brothers will no doubt go out with a bang.

What is truly amazing is that Definitely Maybe did as well as it did given the singles that were released from it. While "Supersonic" resonates more after each listen and "Live Forever" was recently voted the #1 Oasis song ever, "Shakermaker" is almost indecipherable and "Cigarettes And Alcohol" is insulting to anyone with an intellect. Why then would you want to buy this album when those were the singles selected to market it?

Well, it rocks, even the slow tracks rock. There is a diversity to the album which goes from the poppy "Rock 'n' Roll Star" to the harder punk rock of "Bring It On Down" to the almost acoustic "Married With Children" that illustrates a wide range of sounds. In some ways, Definitely Maybe is a sampler of all that rock and roll music may be.

The lyrics are consistently good, tending to be lighter songs that try to be motivational or outright arrogant. As with most debut albums, the lines lack serious polish. They tend to lack complex themes or even terribly impressive diction. That's not to say that Noel is lacking in poetry here; "Slide Away" is actually quite poetic and "Married With Children" tells a story. Noel Gallagher, who wrote the lyrics for all of the songs on this album, has quite a bit of attention to poetics. He has a keen mind and attention to detail and even here in the group's first album he manages to evoke a great number of images and emotions with his lines. The slower "Married With Children" is a perfect example of how, even from the beginning, Oasis was about expressing real emotions and sorrow is perfectly captured on that track.

Definitely Maybe is a fun album, whereas later Oasis works turn more toward the serious and actually deep side. This album is good for what it is, but it's largely ear candy. It's a nice roll in the hay, especially in comparison to their other albums. Noticeably absent from this album is an anthem, which becomes the mainstay of Oasis. There are no songs here that have a grand, huge feel to them. Certainly a must for any Oasis fan, this is a dessert album, whereas their others are hearty meals.

"Slide Away" and "Married With Children" are my favorite tracks while the weakest link is "Shakermaker" with its incoherent vocals and pointless lyrics. It's fun and a good beginning.

For other Oasis works, please check out my reviews of:
(What's The Story?) Morning Glory
“Wonderwall” (single)
“Don’t Look Back In Anger” (single)
Be Here Now
The Masterplan
Familiar To Millions
Heathen Chemistry


For other music reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2003 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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