Album Review: Oasis "Heathen Chemistry"


Ideally music reviews should serve two purposes: (1) to introduce new, obscure music, and (2) to save you (and the record companies) a bit of money by informing the public when somebody's number is up. Now, Oasis are probably the least obscure band on the planet, so this review must be concerned with the second of these important functions.

I've always enjoyed the expansive, panoramic feeling of their (reputedly) cocaine-driven music, but detested their (allegedly) cocaine-fueled antisocial behaviour. The new album still sounds quite like Oasis. The much touted single-in-waiting Stop Crying Your Heart Out tries to recall the sweeping grandeur of Oasis classics Slide Away and Champagne Supernova, but comes over as a tired epic.

Another symptom of the band's diminishing circles is the degree to which tweeness has replaced swagger in such songs as Songbird and Little by Little. The main problem seems to be that despite the infusion of new blood - Gem Archer and Andy Bell each do a Ringo by writing a song for the album - Oasis are jaded. On recent single The Hindu Times, they revealingly sing, "I get so high I just can't feel it." Still, it's nice to know that the Gallaghers are already planning the next stage of their career, emulating MTV's hit fly-on-the-wall reality drama featuring the family of rock legend Ozzy Osbourne, with one of their own.


C.B.Liddell
Tokyo Journal
July, 2002

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