Friday, January 11, 2013

Stand By This! More From Oasis's Masterpiece Album - "Stand By Me"

The Good: Great single, followed by other well-lyriced rock songs
The Bad: Best tracks are available elsewhere
The Basics: While not the best Oasis single, there is enough to recommend "Stand By Me" for the lyrical quality of three of the four tracks.

The Oasis album Be Here Now, which I believe is the only perfect album Oasis has produced to date, is known for big, anthemic tracks that rock and linger. The album remains one of the group's less commercially successful albums, despite having reached #1 in the UK and being the fastest selling album of all time in the UK. It's hard to call an album that is 9X Platinum a failure, but that's what most people figure it for. I was surprised to learn that some of the singles, like "Stand By Me" did fairly well in the U.S. My surprise is based on the fact that I've never heard "Stand By Me" on the radio anywhere in the U.S. As it is, "Stand By Me" is one of the more worthwhile c.d. singles for fans of Oasis and general fans of rock and roll alike.

With only four tracks, "Stand By Me" suffers in the same way every other c.d. single in history suffers; it's short! In this case, it's rather short. The title track is available on Be Here Now and "Going Nowhere" appears on The Masterplan. The two middle tracks, "(I Got) The Fever" and "My Sister Lover" are unique to the disc. Having tracks only available on this disc makes the work pretty much essential to fans of Oasis, though the other two tracks are easily superior to the unique ones.

"Stand By Me" is a roaring Oasis anthem about sticking together. Despite the simplistic refrain ("Stand by me - nobody knows the way it's gonna be") and a disarming opening ("Made a meal and threw it up on Sunday . . ."), "Stand By Me" remains one of Noel Gallagher's most charming poems. As well, this song has one of the most distinctive melodies of any Oasis work. Like "Wonderwall," "Stand By Me" is a song one finds themself humming and singing - better than Liam does - in their car. The real charm in this epic-sounding song is the concept of discovering life together and that's a surprise coming from Oasis.

"Stand By Me" leads right into the rock track "(I Got) The Fever," which has a more punk flavor to it, reminiscent of Oasis' debut album Definitely Maybe. "(I Got) The Fever" is a middling Oasis song and it's easy to see why it didn't make any of the albums. The closest to religious Oasis gets, "(I Got) The Fever" ends with the narrator on his knees in awe. The only thing truly awesome or awe-inspiring about the track are the instrumentals backing it. The guitar work on this song saves it from being a complete wash.

The same can not necessarily be said for the third track, which melds right from "(I Got) The Fever" on "Stand By Me." "My Sister Lover" is classified great by one of its opening lyrics, "Today I think I'll waste my time." This song is almost gibberish, save the bridge, "Faith in the lord is something I will never have / 'Cause the lord I know don't got no faith in me." The guitars on the track are sloppy and the poetics is muck until the bridge. Even the refrain, which is just "You're my lover" repeated over and over again is pretty much crap. It's a disappointing track, even for fans of Oasis.

What puts the single over the top and makes it worth recommending is the final track, "Going Nowhere." "Going Nowhere" is a slacker anthem, which might seem like an oxymoron, but Oasis makes it work. With its mellow trumpets, lackadaisical guitars and somewhat droned lines, "Going Nowhere" makes hanging out a mellow listening experience. And the lyrics are decent, "Different versions of many men / Come before you came / All their questions were similar / The answers just the same . . ." wonderfully contemplating success and ambition without desire to initiate it. Liam's vocals are cool and simple, making it easy to see how it made it onto The Masterplan.

In all, the songs are arranged to meld one into long listening experience and in that way it is somewhat deceptive, capturing the listener and taking them through the turns of the album that are not always welcome, but fortunately they get better at the end. This is a fairly average single and ultimately, my "recommend" is only for Oasis fans. Those who are not fans of obscure Oasis tracks would do better to pick up Be Here Now and The Masterplan.

The best track is "Stand By Me," the worst is "My Sister Lover."

For other Oasis works, please check out my reviews of:
Definitely Maybe
"Whatever" (Single)
(What's The Story?) Morning Glory
“Wonderwall” (single)
“Don’t Look Back In Anger” (single)
Be Here Now
"Don't Go Away" (Single)
The Masterplan
"Sunday Morning Call" (Single)
Familiar To Millions
Heathen Chemistry
Don't Believe The Truth
Stop The Clocks
Dig Out Your Soul


For other music reviews, please check out my Music Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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