Sunday, 8 March 2015

Has Noel Gallagher beaten 'the Oasis effect'?

I tend to call it 'the oasis effect', but in truth in can quite as easily be levelled at any other artist that you know and love, or perhaps had loved more than you do right now. The type of band that you have developed a loyal devotion to over time.

You know the scenario, the hype and build-up falls away as the album release date arrives and you are left with the blistering reality of the new album in whatever form takes your fancy.

For me, my interest in Oasis peaked with the critically derided Be Here Now and held steady for Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, and for all other post-millennial releases I would witness the same behavioural pattern in my listening.

The new album gets a few spins, I've never hated it, but something in it reminds me of the former album, and so a reverse chronological dive head first into the back catalogue begins, with more time spent reliving former glories than getting to know the latest release, at least not until it takes it's eventual turn in the musical cycle.

With the fracturing of Oasis into two factions this process developed to include a little contrast and questions of what could have been, but noticeably Chasing Yesterday has yet to relieve its current residency in my stereo.

Has Noel Gallagher finally upheld 'the Oasis effect'? Sure, opener Riverman distinctly reminds me of Broken Arrow from the eponymous debut and occasional Beatles homages rear their heads, but despite these I've still found myself gravitating back to the album for repeat listens, often as soon as the last chords of The Ballad of the Mighty I ring out.

My main qualms with his previous effort was an over-reliance on what seemed like children's choirs to bolster and lift his arrangements, everything felt too anthemic, as if Noel had set about making a full programme of Oasis album closers. This time the album is structured perfectly, ticking all the boxes in terms of form, musicality and running time.

This feels like Noel Gallagher, comfortable in his own skin as the sole focus and ready to make a Noel Gallagher album, and it doesn't look like Beady Eye or Oasis will be gracing my ears for a good while yet.



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