Oasis: Still that Cool

Dig Out Your Soul

The drunken heathens of Oasis return with their seventh and most entertaining studio album, appropriately titled Dig Out Your Soul.

The first single, "The Shock of the Lighting," is classic Oasis - edgy, exciting and full of tension. Recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London, Dig Out Your Soulre-introduces Oasis's unmistakable sound-walling recording techniques, in which the instruments are tracked especially loud, giving each track a natural distortion.

However, "The Shock of Lightning" is by no means, the album's best track. Think of it as a statement, like a billboard that merely warns passers-by that the boys are coming home, ready to shake things up. The song evokes images of the guys' beating-up reporters, and quarrelling on stage in front of thousands of crying fans.

The video, an acid-bathed collage of an un-aged and un-phased Gallagher brothers [Noel and Liam, Oasis's core songwriters], is no less entertaining. With aviators strapped tight to his head, Noel grooves on his guitar, while Liam harasses the vintage microphone. In a Lennon-like fashion, Liam sings, "Love is a mystery," as random images of flowers, soldiers and military medals flash across the tie-dye filtered screen.

The album continues with a Sixties theme, as "Waiting for the Rapture" is a shameless ode to the Doors' 1968 hit, "Five to One." Ironically, the Door's lead singer, Jim Morrison, was arrested in '69 for attempting to incite a riot and indecent exposure while performing "Five to One." Noel takes a different lyrical approach to Morrison and they're showcased over the top of a taunting rhythm section that provokes a seemingly love-crazy wild man. Morrison would be proud.

"I'm tired, come get me off the merry-go-round," Gallagher sings as his melody swaggers through thoughts of a lustful relationship gone loco. He sings about enduring a metaphorical love whooping. Images arise of vocalist, Liam Gallagher's antagonistic stance and sneering British accent with his hands clamped behind his back as if to say, "So what if I stole your drugs? C'mon hit me." Yeah, Oasis is still that cool.

They're cooler than they were in the mid Nineties, when good times were made that much better because "Wonderwall" and "Champagne Supernova" were flooding radio's across America?

There aren't such innocent songs on "Dig Out Your Soul, as Oasis seems to shift their musical direction away from the Beatles-influenced vocal melodies and more toward the bluesy-er rival Brit band, the Rolling Stones.

"Soldier On," the album's closer, is a foot-dragging, military march song with echoing vocals, spacey organs and delta guitars. The song scoots into a trance with a shadowing harmonica that sounds rooted deep in the vast audible battlefield. "Soldier On" encapsulates not only Dig Out Your Soul,but the band as well. Oasis has tanked through rock n' roll for over a decade, beaten-down by each other and held up by their fans worldwide.