11 new tracks from Oasis, the vast majority of which are very good, making it their best album in quite a while.
The good news is that Noel Gallagher seems to have rediscovered his muse, and his 6 songs on the album are among the best Oasis have made. Strangely, his offerings are also the ones that sound least like Oasis- ranging from psychedelic ('Bag it up') to Bluesy ('(get off your) high horse lady)) to a dreamy, out of this world feel ('falling down', my personal favourite from the album). Luckily every sound seems to work and it gels together surprisingly well.
The problem is that all of Noel's songs come in the first 2/3s of the album, leaving the other band members to fill the gaps. Liam offers 3 songs. First is 'I'm outta time', which is a typical Liam-written Lennon style ballad, although it is rather good. His second song 'Ain't got nothin'', is unfortunately quite poor, whilst 'Soldier On' is a solid but unspectacular conclusion to the album.
Finally, there's an offering from both Gem Archer and Andy Bell. 'To be where there's life' is a grower, (and surprisingly doesn't feature any guitars,) whilst 'The Nature of Reality' features terrible lyrics and is the second poor song on the album.
Overall, it's a better album then 'Don't Believe the Truth', but don't expect the string of great songs in the first half of the album to last. Why 'the shock of the lightning' was chosen as the first single is a mystery to me, as is why Oasis appear to have dismissed better songs (such as 'Record Machine' and 'Stop the Clocks'), just to be democratic.
If you like Oasis, you'll love it anyway, and if you're unconvinced you might be in for a nice surprise.
Best tracks: 'Bag it up' and 'Falling down'.