Even when the album has some compositions that many years down the line have stood the test of time respectably, there are others that seem absolutely gratuitous. These include “I Can See A Liar”, a song that as one of the weakest lyrics of Noel’s career by his own reckoning, although it is quite a punchy tune and the lyrics (while unfinished) paint an interesting portrait of an Elvis-like figure “sitting by the fire/trouble in his heart, laughing as he goes into overdose… I wonder what he thinks of me”. But that is strictly a personal appreciation, and the song is not only lacking a proper development but the lyrics that are featured denote a lack of effort (“I can see a liar/sitting by the fire”). That problem is aggravated on the song “Put Yer Money Where You Mouth Is”, about as repetitious as “Roll With It” but without a nice sentiment to wash you over.
Liam’s first composition in particular showcases what little imagination the man has, with one of the most egregious “Hey Jude” appropriations I have ever witnessed. Not even brother Noel could pull it off at the end of “All Around The World”. What made him think he could do any better? Well, if we think of the reason Liam learnt to play guitar (“If Noel can I can”) then we can determine that he is not the most sensible person around. From day one, it was all a game in which he strove for recognition. It was all a matter of “If Noel does it, I can do better”. Say what you wish about Noel, he was a very talented composer, a very methodical crafter of songs. Start placing his compositions next to Liam’s and treating them as equal and acrimony is bound to start accumulating. Continue reading →
I Hated "Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants" Upon Its Release, But Now It Is Easy To See It Had Its Fair Share Of Decent Songs
The first album of original compositions that Oasis released after a three-year break, “Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants” was the first record without Guigsy and Bonehead. Only the two Gallagher brothers and drummer Alan White remained onboard, and they were to be soon supplemented by Andy Bell and Gem Archer, two dudes with fantastic hairdos and about as much attitude as a cucumber. You won’t get to hear them on this record, though, as Noel played all guitar and bass parts himself.
The disc is notable for a markedly somber tone, inspired not only by the loss of two original members but also by events such as Noel leaving drugs behind after all those years of use and abuse. “Gas Panic!” in particular was directly inspired by the panic attacks that made Noel resolve to steer clear of substances for good. The song (much like the disc) is a bit of a perplexing listen at first. There is such a strong psychedelic thread running through it all that I must admit I detested it when I first bought it, and after living with it for a month upon its release I had never listened to “SOTSOG” again until now that I felt like reviewing it.
It is quite funny, but now I don’t feel the album is that much of a letdown. Of course, knowing what came afterwards tips the scale in its favor a little – yet, that little is enough to appreciate its good bits. Continue reading →