Sunday, May 19, 2013

I'm Still Not Sure Why The Deluxe Edition Of Dig Out Your Soul Has A Parental Advisory!

The Good: Interesting stories, Decent video, Wonderful album
The Bad: A bit muddied on the clarity of the documentary
The Basics: As a fan of Oasis, I found there was just enough to the bonus features to make picking up the Special Edition worth it for me.

I am told by many of my readers that it is impossible for me to write a short review. I beg to differ and this shall be my attempt. When I picked up the deluxe edition of the new Oasis album Dig Out Your Soul, I saw this as a great opportunity to try writing a brief and very helpful review.

This is the two-disc version of Dig Out Your Soul, and I had picked up and reviewed the one-disc version (here!). Because the first disc in this Deluxe edition is absolutely identical to that disc, I'm going to stick to the second disc for this review. In the deluxe edition of Dig Out Your Soul, there is a DVD, which is unique to this two-disc special edition of the album.

The DVD contains three tracks or features and I'll admit right off the bat, it's a tough sell to anyone who isn't a fan of Oasis. The three tracks are a featurette on the making of the album, a pretty pathetic behind-the-scenes of the making of the music video for "The Shock Of The Lightning," and the actual music video for "The Shock Of The Lightning." The total running time on the DVD is less than forty-five minutes, so it seems like it would have low repeatability.

"Gold & Silver & Sunshine," the mini-documentary on the making of Dig Out Your Soul is a grainy, often jumbled behind-the-scenes look at the time Oasis spent at the Abbey Road Studios in London writing and playing the songs for Dig Out Your Soul. The documentary is adequate for fans, those who know the band, but otherwise utterly inaccessible. There are four prime members of Oasis at this point, plus drummer Zak Starkey. Throughout the documentary, the voices of the four members of the band are heard, but they are never clearly identified. So, for example, one moment, Gem will be talking using the first person, then Noel will speak using the first person and Liam will mumble through something using the first person. This is dreadfully unclear, especially when - at least in the context of providing voice-over work for this documentary - they all sound pretty much the same.

To add insult to the injury of the documentary not identifying on-screen who is speaking at any given moment, there are large chunks of the documentary where one member of the band is speaking and someone else is shown on screen. This is especially problematic when Noel is speaking about how he began drumming on the album Dig Out Your Soul, but Gem is on screen (drumming). So, it's not the most clear documentary as far as that is concerned.

On the plus side, the documentary is fairly informative if you're not too concerned about things like getting basic facts straight. The group talks about using a sitar on one of the tracks (that instrument is not credited in the album's liner notes) and there is an amusing story about buying the toy musical instrument and using it on the album. The documentary does a decent job of going track by track and providing an anecdote about each song. It's funny, for example, to note that the group was several songs in before they realized that the Rapture was a theme of the album and that was what helped generate the cover art. Moreover, the band speaks well about how the songs fit together, like the way "I'm Outta Time" breaks up the heaviness of the early tracks on the album.

As for the documentary on the making of "The Shock Of The Lightning," there is a waste of four and a half minutes if I ever saw one! I watched the video for the "The Shock Of The Lightning" first and it is a fairly visually dense video, most reminiscent of the video Oasis did for "All Around The World." There is a ton of animation and surreal imagery and it is one of the band's more creative music videos. The four minute, thirty second "behind the scenes" featurette is mostly filled with shots of the men of Oasis singing and illustrating the warping effects used on them for the video. The thing is, the video for "The Shock Of The Lightning" has (at best) thirty seconds worth of footage of the band members and none of it is as clear as it is in this little documentary. It's ridiculous how little this featurette discusses the actual full body of the making of the music video.

Then there is the video for "The Shock Of The Lightning." It's a decent video, actually. It is mostly a mix of surreal images and animation, like palace guards marching and hands turning into butterflies and such. It might be best likened to a blending of the videos for "All Around The World," Red Hot Chili Peppers' "The Zephyr Song" and the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army." Beyond that, it's a tough one to describe. It's all about imagery and matching a psychedelic sound to similar images.

None of this is going to wow a casual listener to Oasis. For them, the one-disc version is going to be enough. But for fans of Oasis, this is a nice bonus and it is an inexpensive enough addition to the album price to make it worth it. It is not, however, the greatest set of bonus features ever and anyone looking for that from it will be disappointed.

For other Oasis works, please check out my reviews of:
Definitely Maybe
"Cigarettes And Alcohol" (single)
"Whatever" (Single)
(What's The Story?) Morning Glory
“Wonderwall” (single)
“Don’t Look Back In Anger” (single)
"Some Might Say" (single)
Be Here Now
"D'You Know What I Mean?" (single)
"Stand By Me" (single)
"Don't Go Away" (Single)
The Masterplan
Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants
"Go Let It Out" (single)
"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, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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