Hailed as the second coming of the Beatles, Oasis crooned its way into the British pop music scene in 1994 with a sound and an image that finally did away with all that nostalgia for the melancholy Smiths. Yes, Oasis ushered... [more]
Hailed as the second coming of the Beatles, Oasis crooned its way into the British pop music scene in 1994 with a sound and an image that finally did away with all that nostalgia for the melancholy Smiths. Yes, Oasis ushered in a new mood. Cocky and flamboyant, melodic and glam-inflected, they announced the return of rock 'n' roll -- infectious force, gorgeous loudness, clich's, naughty behavior, and all.
Their music is catchy, lush, guitar-driven, and keen. Of course, it's also simple -- there's no pretense of high art here, no attempt to be prog. They stick to basic arrangements and full, tuneful refrains. Yes, this is rock 'n' roll. In fact, rock 'n' roll appropriation seems to be one of Oasis' talents. Everything from Wham! to T. Rex to Stevie Wonder percolates through their songs. The band even released a monolithic cover of the Beatle's 'I Am the Walrus,' though their version leans more towards loud, joyous guitar noise than '60s pyschedelia. In the end, Oasis is always on the lookout for a good epic -- The album 'What's the Story, Morning Glory?' (1995) revels in grandiose ballads and soul-vibrating strings.
But tabloid hype seems to play an equally large role in the cultivation of Oasis' rock status. Notorious for their inflammatory sneers and public fights, Noel and Liam Gallagher are talented yet sullen personalities who may have taken up where Curt Cobain left off. Oasis' "The Masterplan" (1998) reveals a bit of that celebrity self-reflection that plagued Cobain. (Gallagher insists in one song that it's "all too much for [him] to take.") But while Cobain cowered from fame's spotlight, the Gallagher brothers still seem to bask in it despite remarks to the contrary.
Sure, there might be angst in Oasis' tunes (and demeanor), but it's all in the great tradition of rock 'n' roll. Oasis has brought fun back to British rock -- their songs announce that it's ok to be catchy, to be humungous, and to believe that conquering the world is only a matter of time. [show less]