I haven’t liked anything Oasis has done since Be Here Now; the album most trashed by both the band and its critics. I suppose it’s Oasis’ Pinkerton: The great album everyone hates, after which everything sucked.
Every once in awhile, I check back in with Oasis, just to see if I’m missing anything. And that’s why I picked up Dig Out Your Soul. Before hearing a note of any single, I had been made aware of its grade by one of my favorite assholes, Noel Gallagher, who stuck a dirty middle finger up at the Radiohead / Trent Reznor game: “That’s not our bag,” He told BBC 6 Music. “I didn’t spend a year in the most expensive studio in England, with the most expensive producer in America, and the most expensive graphic designer in London to then give it away. Fuck that.”
In hindsight, I should have taken more notice in the fact that he said anything other than the music is worth paying for. But I didn’t, and I can’t fault him now for not lying.
I think that statement sums up the position Oasis has failed to dig itself out of since their 90s glory days: Flippant, spoiled, and British. The first five songs on the disc all sound the same; They follow the same formula, with a big, stupid drumbeat in back, and worn out Brit-Pop vocal melodies lifted by every rock band to come from that side of the ocean since the Beatles, who lifted them from Beach Boys wannabes long forgotten.
The highlight of the disc is tracks six and seven: (Get Off Your) High Horse Lady and Falling Down both follow that tired Oasis formula, maybe even more obviously than any other track on the disc, but it holds together for a catchy eight minutes.
Unfortunately, it’s around track eight that any reasonable human being with a functioning auditory system grows weary of constant sameness. The Nature Of Reality, the second to last track, flashes in the pan for a second, with the biggest and most stupidest of all the booming beats, but the vocals are even more standard and whiny, which leaves the song a bit of a wash.
Maybe I wouldn’t be so hard on this album if their old stuff wasn’t so great. I threw on Be Here Now for some perspective, and the the first three tracks alone have got an energy not even approached by anything on Dig Out Your Soul. I find the album title an ironic suggestion, as I wonder how much digging it would take Oasis to get back to 1997, where they seem to have left theirs.
Reviews published prior to February 23, 2015 used a 1-5 star rating system.