8 May 2013

Oasis - Be Here Now

As Britpop goes, the acts don't come any bigger than the Manchester quintet, famous for being "bigger than God", or in reality bigger egos than God. Make no mistake, while I liked some of their material I have never been really enamoured with the band as a whole, chiefly because of the Gallaghers' gift of the gab, and their "Swiss Tony" policy - all talk and very little substance behind them. With the critical and commercial success of Definitely Maybe and (What's The Story) Morning Glory in the bag, it must have been in Noel and Liam's minds that the follow up album was always going to struggle to reach that benchmark. The trouble here was that Britpop was on the way out of the door and other acts were ready to stomp on Oasis's grave should they fall.

So does Be Here Now deserve the heavy criticism it has earned in the 15 years since its release? Well, for me, it's a tentative yes as the band members made a few wrong choices following Morning Glory. First of all, choosing to do recording and write up new material during Noel Gallagher's worst moments of writer's block instead of taking a rest from it. Second, and I quote, "a bunch of guys in the studio on coke, not giving a fuck." Not a good tone setter. It all starts promisingly with Do You Know What I Mean with some fanfare and heady anticipation. But then it all goes downhill slowly and sometimes rather embarrassingly with too many layers and lyrically unchallenging tunes. Clear evidence of Beatles referencing too ("Fool On The Hill", "I Feel Fine") and on other tracks of the album. There is some glimmer of hope in the Noel led Magic Pie and Stand By Me, but again, the lyrics are remarkably bland and the ending way too dragged and laboured. Even Don't Go Away is little more than a carbon copy of  Slide Away and All Around The World runs twice as long as it should as well as some unnecessary upchanges in key.

I have heard some music fans referring to Oasis as blatant rip off merchants and admittedly I don't disagree with them either. Don't get me wrong, the band had a lot of imaginative ideas behind them, but having listened to Be Here Now for the first time in its entirety, it comes close to being an absolute stinker. Plenty of garnish minus the main course. I really wanted to like it bearing in mind the power of hindsight and with the strength of Oasis' two previous offerings, but even the Gallaghers thought it was terrible. AND before the album launch, not a smart move either. M. Richardson 08/05/2013

2 out of 10. If only there was some quality control.

Oasis no longer exists, but you can keep up with all the latest activities here as well as their latest projects
Listen to Be Here Now on this Spotify link
You can buy the album here

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