The Good: Imaginative songs, Good lyrics, Catchy tunes, Fine vocals
The Bad: A couple of simple tracks
The Basics: Sharp and fun lyrics make (What's The Story) Morning Glory? a pleasant surprise and a part of any essential rock collection.
Oasis succeeds, when it does, because Noel Gallagher can write! The man is a genius when he applies himself and his brother, Liam, interprets his words into music with his voice like no one else can. A great lyricist is what is missing from most bands and musical artists these days and many of the ones that have the writing talent, do not have the musical imagination to bring the lyrics to life. The Noel and Liam Gallagher are two minds and bodies that possess both. The rest of the band is fine, but the brothers Gallagher are the nucleus of Oasis.
(What's The Story) Morning Glory? is one of those albums that proves just that by exposing Oasis for what it truly is. From the soaring "Don't Look Back In Anger" (which is easily one of Oasis' best songs ever) to the bemoaning "Cast No Shadow" this album shows a depth of sensitivity one would not expect from people who rock as much as they do on "Roll With It." Oasis has a nice combination of being able to say something and making it sound great. The anthem "Champagne Supernova" caps off the album perfectly. All of these tracks have wonderful lyrics that are emotive, appreciable by adults, people who have emotions and are in tune with them.
But that has always been Oasis' strength and on this, their sophomore effort, they do what a band in their position ought to do. They continued writing lyrics that their audience would empathize with while growing their sound to a more mature level. Indeed, "She's Electric" has the same fundamental energy and vibe to it as Definitely Maybe's "Digsy's Diner," but it is less of an inside joke and thus more accessible to all audiences.
The two unnamed tracks (6 and 11) are instrumentals and seem fairly unnecessary. In fact, they act as a foil to the rest of the album, proving its quality. That is, if the strength of Oasis is in the lyrics of Noel and Liam's vocals, then the instrumental tracks prove it by, well, being not so good. That's not to say that these guitar-laden, sometimes screechy tracks aren't worthwhile. They are fine and they illustrate the talent of the fingers of the Oasis men, but they are not as good, not as impressive as the other tracks on the album.
"She's Electric" is easy to dismiss as simple due to its catchy, singsong tune, but it's just plain fun. The truth is, it's lyrically impressive, not only in its rhyme scheme, but in its message, the story it tells. Too few artists these days try to tell a story with their songs and so it's refreshing that when one does try, it succeeds as Oasis does here.
Musically, (What's The Story) Morning Glory? is diverse. Most of the album is heavy in guitar and bass ("Wonderwall" and the title track of the album) but the sound of the work is not homogeneous. That is, Oasis does not play the same three chords each tune. They have some musical imagination here and they illustrate that well. No two songs on this album sound alike. "Don't Look Back In Anger," in contrast, is a piano work and it sounds different, but feels distinctively Oasis. And it rocks. And it has a message, a purpose.
It's a pleasure to listen to a c.d. like this every once in a while. It's the kind of c.d. a lot of people bought based on one single (in this case, "Wonderwall") but will be pleasantly surprised by the other tracks because most are even better! The superlative track is "Don't Look Back In Anger" and the weak links are the instrumental tracks. This album is a wonderful album on a lot of levels and a solution for anyone who feels rock has gotten dull and uninspired.
For other Oasis works, please check out my reviews of:
“Don’t Look Back In Anger” (single)
Be Here Now
Familiar To Millions
For other music reviews, please be sure to visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!
© 2011, 2003 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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