After all, no 'Wonderwalls,' instead, Oasis's rawer, harder, better debut album, which has aged VERY well!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 December 2017
Oasis' debut hit the unexpecting UK Rock Scene like a ton of bricks, more or less coining the term/genre/whatever 'Britpop/rock,' Oasis were never comfortable with the label and understandably so. For all the clamouring on their much more polished and radio friendly, sophomore effort '...Morning Glory?,' 'Definitely Maybe,' is a rawer, more guitar-driven and unashamedly 'rock' album, despite what the one off 'Wonderwall' fans and journalists of the time will argue.
Liam Gallagher's voice is a brilliant mix of 'The Sex Pistols'' Jonny Rotten's OTT sneer and, well, Liam Gallagher, hos voice is very unique and compliments the music expertly, Noel might have written most of these songs (if not all!?) on his own, but as Liam retorted, commenting on their still ongoing separation : 'He wrote them, I made them,' ..hard to argue really!
To give Noel his due though, the guitar work is masterful, from borderline heavy/hard rock, up tempo, good time on a night out bounce on 'Rock 'n' Roll Star,' slowed down, pseudo-psychedelia 'Shakermaker' all the way to the mellow blues, country tinged closer 'Married with Children,' it's the guitar that is the perfect foil to Liam's throat and arguably, the leading voice..argue away! Kudos to the bassist and drummer who do an excellent job and are perhaps, the most eclipsed and under-appreciated band members ever!
Everyone knows the other 'big tracks,' 'Live Forever,' 'Cigarettes and Alcohol,' and 'Supersonic,' but its' the 'other' under appreciated gems that carry the weight of this album and make it just that - an album - not 5 massive hits and 6 fillers the track listing might suggest to someone who's never heard them before. 'Slide Away' is a long, epic and 'Columbia' is arguably the bands' best ever track. 'Digsy's Diner' might be considered a 'dog's dinner' by many but it's enjoyable enough, despite being the weakest on the album.
Finally, what males this album even more remarkable after 23+ years' is how well its' aged. The music is as fresh as ever, and while some of the 'up in the air' lyrics seem pretty random, a key line form 'Cigarettes and Alchohol;'
'Is it worth the aggrivation? To find yourself a job, when there's nothing worth working for?'
is as poigniant and relatable today to the average blue collar citizen as it ever was in an age of zero hour contracts. There are many more examples no doubt, but this is the one that stands out for me - you will no doubt find our own! After all, no 'Wonderwalls,' instead, Oasis's rawer, harder, better debut album, which has aged VERY well!
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