Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Oasis - Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants (2000)

Go let it out....

  

Released 28 February 2000

Running time 47.53

After three seismic albums, one compilation of odds and sods, endless, often embarrassing media hype and many destructive rows, Oasis ‘Mark Two’ began here in some ways. In other ways, however, not much really changed - the music was still full of acoustic as well as electric guitars, rhyming lyrics, sneering vocals and a huge wall of crashing sound. Whereas Be Here Now was indulgent and at times rambling, this offering, three years later, contained songs that were more cohesive and concise, slightly better crafted and, it has to be said, less drug-influenced. Noel Gallagher, in particular, was maturing and both the brothers were fathers. Dad rock indeed. It was seen as Oasis’s psychedelic album. Their Revolver. The music is certainly not all crashing guitars, there is more instrumental variety and experimentation present than on any of the band’s output thus far. Having lost two band members the Gallagher brothers took over much of the working out of the instrumentation, using other guest musicians and drum loops and the like too. As I said, like their beloved Revolver. Noel was rapidly becoming a multi-instrumentalist. For example, Go Let It Out features only the brothers and Alan White on drums.

In the fickle world of media-driven music, though, Oasis were already old hat - yesterday’s (now old) men. However good this album may have been, the eventual decline of Oasis, started with Be Here Now, properly set in here.

Not that that really matters now though, as the album is retrospectively viewed as just an album rather than a statement that everyone needed to pay attention to.

TRACK LISTING

1. Fuckin’ In The Bushes
2. Go Let It Out
3. Who Feels Love?
4. Put Yer Money Where Yer Mouth Is
5. Little James
6. Gas Panic!
7. Where Did It All Go Wrong?
8. Sunday Morning Call
9. I Can See A Liar
10. Roll It Over                                                          

Fuckin’ In The Bushes (great title) begins with a drum intro straight out of Led Zeppelin’s Rock ‘n’ Roll and continues as a psychedelic -influenced, powerful instrumental with a vaguely funky groove to it in places. The backing vocals sort of remind me of Sly & The Family Stone circa 1971. The sound on the track is a bit mushy and indistinct, however. Go Let It Out is one of those semi-anthemic Oasis numbers with a typical Liam Gallagher vocal and lots of Beatles Walrus-era noises behind its singalong chorus. Some Eastern-style percussion introduces the hippy-ish Who Feels Love? It is very Revolver-era Beatles-ish, almost embarrassingly Lennon-esque in its vocals and Harrison-esque in its instrumentation. That said, it’s good, though, by far the most psychedelic the band had sounded thus far. I have always been a bit perplexed by Oasis's Beatles obsession, they actually didn't need to lean so heavily on those influences.

Put Yer Money Where Yer Mouth Is is powered by a keyboard riff more than a guitar one and although the vocals are familiar in style, it is a looser sounding number with echoes of Paul Weller all over it. Little James has Liam Gallagher going all Lennon in a syrupy song about his stepson, it includes very Beatles-style drums too.



Gas Panic! is an unusual number - a lengthy, blues meets psychedelia concoction full of late sixties vibes. It is totally uncommercial, as indeed is the slow grind of the Weller-ish and possibly prescient Where Did It All Go Wrong? which features the less harsh tones of Noel on lead vocals. Sunday Morning Call is also comparatively laid-back and spacily reflective. None of this material is fist-pumping stadium fare. It is mature, adult rock music, everything Oasis didn’t really set out to be, but then again they always lived in a past of their own making.

I Can See A Liar is the closest thing on the album to the typical riffy material found on the group’s first two albums. That rousing feel doesn’t last long, though, and the slow George Harrison-influenced sound of Roll It Over ends what has been an impressively understated piece of work.

B-