New Oasis Merely a Mirage

Oasis - Be Here Now
(Epic Records)
2 stars (out of 5 stars)

By Tony Bonyata

Would somebody please tell me what all the hype about Oasis is about? I mean, these guys from Manchester blow onto the music scene a few years ago with some knock-off Beatle-esque melodies and pop hooks from Monkees: 101 and take England, and now the States, by storm.
Even worse, if you've read any of bandleader and guitarist, Noel Gallagher's pompous interviews he makes it sound as though his band Oasis is the second coming of The Beatles.
On Oasis' third release, Be Here Now, Gallagher along with his brother Liam, who handles the lead vocals, have released an album full of references, both lyrically and musically, to the Fab Four. The only problem is that it is all style without substance.
Filling songs with a heavy George Martin styled orchestration complete with piccolo trumpet, as in the song "All Around The World (Reprise)", does not help the Gallaghers achieve the sound they so emulate. Nor does Noel Gallagher's one dimensional song writing abilities (catchy but forgettable melodies followed by forced choruses) along with Liam's follow-the-bouncing-ball vocal delivery.
While their last, hugely successful album, (What's The Story) Morning Glory, managed to produce a few memorable highlights such as "Wonderwall", "Champagne Supernova" and "Don't Look Back In Anger", Be Here Now rarely rises to that level, except for "The Girl In The Dirty Shirt" and "Fade In-Out", featuring actor Johnny Depp on slide guitar. Instead it reveals that Oasis has discovered their "formula" for making and selling records.
If they truly wanted to take a tip from their masters they would learn that diversity in their sound is the answer. The Beatles, on just one album, could move from scorching rock and roll numbers ("Back In The USSR" and "Yer Blues") to emotionally scarred numbers ("While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Julia") while exploring experimental, advent garde sounds ("Wild Honey Pie" and "Revolution Number 9"). Oasis, on the other hand, keep churning out the same empty, although catchy, pop songs that will eventually earn them the label of complacent rock act instead of creative artists.
For my money, if I want to listen to a second rate Beatles I'll pull out Badfinger's No Dice, or worse yet, the new Paul McCartney album before I get suckered into this mediocre fluff.

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