When I was 14, this album was relatively ubiquitous, but not to the extent of some other records I’ve listened to recently. I only know about 3 of the songs, I think.
But those 3 songs never made me want to listen to Oasis. I never really had any desire. Other bands I ignored when I was a teenager had a great deal of appeal to me later – Pearl Jam in particular, but also Blind Melon, Blur, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and on and on – but I have never heard an Oasis song and thought “wow, I really need to listen to this band.” Never.
So I guess it should come as no surprise to me that Oasis sucks.
This is, according to many, their best album. It’s also, somewhat appallingly, one of the most successful albums of its era. And I have no idea why. (Okay, I know why. People have awful taste in music.)
Here is a competent band playing fairly indistinguishable songs that have had the “rock” squashed out of them by an elaborate, wall-of-sound production that emphasizes the lead vocals over everything else. (There are a few signs of rock music on this record, but the most obvious one of them is a 44 second excerpt from a jam, which tells you everything you need to know about the ambitions of this band.)
Gallagher’s songs range from reasonably catchy to completely unmemorable. His lyrics are borderline awful. (And, as befitting his public persona, he has discussed how great they are in public.)
As a guitarist, he is uninteresting and seemingly uninterested in celebrating his guitar playing, as the lead guitar is buried in the mix. Him and the rest of the band sound like a ’90s version of the Smiths – which was probably the point – backing someone even less appealing than Morrissey. (Morrissey, though I may dislike him, is at least intelligent.)
And in addition to all of these problems, the record is artless. Everything is obvious. Gallagher doesn’t want to challenge you. He wants you to like him (despite his obnoxious behaviour), if the sound of this record is anything to go by.
I give it the 5/10 because it’s all very competent and professional. But this record is not good rock music. I wish I could go back in time and subject the Gallagher brothers to the Stooges’ discography on loop for months on end. Maybe they would have learned what rock music sounds like.