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V. French "smige"

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Definitely Maybe
Definitely Maybe
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I live my life for the stars that shine, 25 April 2010
This review is from: Definitely Maybe (Audio CD)
It is actually quite difficult to define exactly why I like Definitely Maybe so much. There's nothing particularly innovative about its music. Although I emphasise the importance of quality lyricism, many of the lyrics on here are nonsensical, or reference aspects of life such as drug usage which I have no relation to. Yet somehow, Oasis' debut is so much more than the sum of its parts. Disregarding any objective analysis, the most important aspect of music is how it makes you feel. The songs on Definitely Maybe are probably the most uplifting I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Let's take, for instance, debut single Supersonic. Its lyrics are ridiculous, but anybody who can listen to its chorus without wanting to punch the air is quite evidently dead inside.

This is not to say that the album's lyrics are entirely vacuous. Perhaps as a reaction to the misery of the 80's and the grunge scene of the early 90's, many of the statements made on this album are extremely poignant in reminding us why it's good to be alive. "In my mind, my dreams are real," cries Liam Gallagher on opener Rock 'n' Roll Star. It's the sound of five working-class young men who had nothing, and yet felt they had every reason to get up in the morning. "You and I are going to live forever," is a bold statement to make, yet it is sung so convincingly here you think they genuinely believe they will.

The album was written entirely by Gallagher Senior (Noel) and is the only Oasis record on which every song is sung by Liam. The talent of both brothers shines throughout. Take Slide Away, one of the most powerful yet tender love songs ever written. Noel managers to encapsulate not just the joy of love, but the feelings of uncertainty and utter helplessness that come with it. It's made all the more incredible by Liam's brilliant vocal performance, singing with such emotion one knows he believed every word. There's also the rock and roll anthems Bring it on Down and Cigarettes & Alcohol, the underrated Digsy's Dinner and the gentle acoustic Married With Children which puts a final cherry on the end of an exceptional collection of songs.

Oasis would frequently be criticised in the years which followed for failing to make an album of the standard of Definitely Maybe (although they came close with follow up ...Morning Glory). As the ever self-confident Noel Gallagher would later comment, they hadn't managed to better their debut but nor had anybody else. It sounds like an arrogant statement, but it's completely true. This is undoubtedly one of the finest albums ever produced. It's the sort of album that makes life worth living. It is, of course, "Just rock and roll," as Liam snarls on the opening track. But when a record makes you feel like this, it really is so much more.

Love Ire & Song + The First Three Years
Love Ire & Song + The First Three Years
Offered by rsc-media
Price: £13.70

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's be radical thinkers who never have to test-drive the least of their dreams, 25 April 2010
I was first introduced to Frank Turner by Love, Ire & Song's, title track, the album's dramatic centerpiece. Putting on an mp3 of the song I acquired from a friend a few months after the album's release in March 2008, I was surprised by how moved I found myself. Turner's rage against apathy, as exemplified in the heartfelt chorus of "Let's be young, let's be crass enough to care," was unlike anything I'd heard before. I searched on YouTube for more of his material, and discovered Reasons Not to Be An Idiot - an uplifting song which urges the listener to enjoy life rather than wallow in his own self-pity. As soon as I heard Frank sing the lines: "She's not as pretty as she thinks she is - just picture her after she's had kids! I bet she sits at home and listens to The Smiths..." I was sold.

I got the album soon after, which became the soundtrack of my summer - my fondest memory being listening to it on the walks I'd started taking. The quality of songwriting, as sampled by my first exposure, turned out to be constant throughout. Turner's songs often take a narrative form, and as such everything he writes tends to have a point, be it the lamentation of the past in Jet Lag, the refusal to resign oneself to a monotonous adulthood in Photosynthesis or the celebration of friendship in St. Christopher Is Coming Home. In a generation with such lyrical insights as "Oh oh oh, this sex is on fire," it was refreshing to discover an artist who actually has something to say.

If one word can best describe Turner, it's 'genuine'. Few other artists are so detached from any superficial musical scene or trend. Consequently it's hard to define his music - it's too epic to be folk, but too acoustic-based to be rock. Perhaps it's best just to describe it as heartfelt music produced by an ordinary, but nevertheless interesting and intelligent man. It's on account of his integrity that he's able to pull off a beautiful song such as Long Live the Queen, written about the death of a close friend, without appearing crass. Likewise, the incredible opener I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous could not have been written by any other artist. Beginning as a quiet pondering on everyday existence, the song eventually explodes and culminates with the potent statement, "The only thing that's left to do is live." Turner possesses the skill to take the simple aspects of contemporary life and turn them into a celebration.

Throughout the album, Frank covers pretty much the entire emotional spectrum - amusement, joy, anger, sadness, love and inspiration. The running theme throughout is that every song will make you feel something. It is for this reason that Frank Turner, and his fantastic second album, should be treated preciously.

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