Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul
Record Label: Big Brother / Warner Bros. Records
Release Date: October 6, 2008
Resilience is an accurate way to describe the career of Oasis. Considering all of the issues and turmoil the band has gone through, there's a certain validation in why they keep making music. It really shows them to still be one of the strongest rock bands around, even if they didn't always have the best albums to show it. 2005's Don't Believe the Truth showed some new momentum for the band. Dig Out Your Soul, however, reconstitutes the band's own sound with interesting results.
A smart choice of opening the album, "Bag It Up" is by far the catchiest song on the album with a dynamic that makes you feel like some sonic avalanche keeps approaching emphasized by some sharp execution of feedback coupled with some pretty fun and nonsensical lyrics. "The Turning" is more of a loose rock song than normal, but packs a good shot of adrenaline and manages to flow pretty well. "The Shock of the Lighting" is a classic anthem for the band and recalls a particular force that songs like "Morning Glory" had. The first third of Dig Out You Soul above anything else still shows how good Oasis still are as a rock band. It's a great start that never really lets down, but the rest of the record does a better job of showing how creatively unique this is as an Oasis album.
Liam's voice on Dig hasn't sounded this good since Be Here Now, which helps "I'm Outta Time" be very effective. Gallagher has now made a song to properly succeed "Songbird" in his progression as a songwriter. It's an incredibly bittersweet song that ends with an audio clip of John Lennon, which on paper might be seen as a boring reference, but it's done in a way that gives the song a poignant touch. The Beatles influence is always going to be obvious for Oasis. It's been a model for the music they wanted to make, but this time they've done more with it. Dig Out Your Soul marks a similar jump in sound for Oasis that The Beatles went through on Revolver and Rubber Soul coincidentally.
One of the main points of this album was re-approaching their music rhythmically here. "(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady" demonstrates this with a constantly climbing rhythm. Starting with a bluesy strum, a industrial drum beat kicks in and the song builds an atmosphere for itself which sets up "Falling Down" to take place. "Falling Down" is an impressive new sort of agnostic anthem for Oasis. It's comes forward in the same way a regular Oasis rock song would, but in a completely different mood, manner, and execution. Noel has reached a significant moment in his songwriting with this song and it sums up a lot of the major themes on the album both musically and lyrically.
More than any other song, "To Be Where There's Life" is a song I keep coming back to. It's psychedelic textures allows the song to coast along in a interesting way while being anchored by an exceptionally strong bass rhythm. "Ain't Got Nothin" and "The Nature of Reality" shows a particular grit in it's pounding beat but overall aren't too strong of songs. "Ain't Got Nothin'" shows off the classic Liam sneer and "The Nature of Reality" comes from a interesting lyrical perspective, but is just poorly executed musically which is shame because bassist Andy Bell (who wrote the song) holds out on the potential he gives to Oasis. "Soldier On" is a fairly accurate description of itself. A slowed military-styled drum beat is the song's foundation and slowly morphs into dream-like stance. There are a lot of of interesting sounds here you wouldn't normally hear on a Oasis song. This song is a grower and it takes time to appreciate it. But "Soldier On" allows the album drift-fully conclude.
Dig Out Your Soul has finally unearthed a new creative outlet for the band. They've taken the right time to start challenging themselves more. Depending on who you ask, you may or may not have already been enjoying what they've been doing, but since Standing on the Shoulder of Giants they've finally achieved a promising new exodus for their music. This isn't a band that has gotten it's swagger back (not that it really ever completely left them), but a band with a completely new flow. I hope they continue to let it out.