The flurry of promotion and anticipation accompanying the release of their seventh studio album has bolstered Oasis to ‘super-group’ status – joining the ranks of bands such as U2 and inspirations like the Stones. A world tour, endless radio coverage, and the two brothers getting gobby in America have pounded the release of this album into the conscience of many. But is it worth it?
Lead single ‘Shock of the Lightning’ is a safe bet, with the familiar chord progressions and Liam’s signature drawl. But familiarity doesn’t always pay – the single was pipped to the Number 1 spot by Pink – and some of the tracks on the album just slip into the background upon listening.
Some do stand apart however, such as ‘(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady’ (a wailing country stomp), ‘I’m Outta Time’ (a ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’ reminiscent love song) and ‘Bag It Up’ (an old-style Oasis chords-and-riff combo with a soaring chorus). And the album has moments which showcase new direction, with a heavier, chord and piano based sound, which, with the help of tight production, the band pull off well.
But on the whole Dig Out Your Soul doesn’t deviate from the now standard Oasis formula of anthemic stompers, radio-friendly sing-a-longs and a few ‘geezer with a heart’ ballads.
For a Britpop band, fourteen years after their debut, this album is definitely satisfying, but maybe not quite ground-breaking.