Oasis

Dig Out Your Soul
(Big Brother/Reprise)

Sometimes the journey is better than the destination. Take Oasis' musical career. As hungry upstarts trying to become rock stars with their first two albums, there was no more exciting band on the planet. With stardom achieved, has there been a more boring one? Here's the proof: Spot someone all the songs on new disc Dig Out Your Soul and the previous four studio records and they wouldn't be able to cherry-pick an album as strong as The Masterplan, the B-side compilation that covers the era of the group's debut, Definitely Maybe, and its followup (What's the Story) Morning Glory? Still, the Gallagher brothers — chief songwriter/guitarist Noel and singer Liam — can occasionally flash the brilliance that made them great in the first place. The new album's lead single, "The Shock of the Lightning," is fantastic with its driving riff and a soaring chorus for Liam's sneering, swaggering vocals. It's vintage Oasis, but nothing else on Dig comes close. Despite their noted Beatles fixation — which continues here with lifted licks and lyrics, Ringo's son Zak Starkey drumming, and even a John Lennon interview snippet in one tune — Oasis have essentially become the Rolling Stones. They're rock 'n' roll careerists periodically releasing mostly mediocre new material when all anybody really wants to hear is their early hits.

 
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