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Don't Believe the Truth
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Don't Believe The Truth is the sixth Oasis studio album their first since the number one multi-million selling Heathen Chemistry, released in 2002. It includes the soon-to-be-classic single "Lyla". Noel Gallagher describes the track as "the Soundtrack of our Lives doing The Who on Skol in a psychedelic city in the sky (or something!)"
After a three-year wait for Oasis to release the follow up to Heathen Chemistry I'm sure you'd love to read that Don't Believe the Truth is a return to form. Back to the glory days of Britpop, teeming with modern classics like "Whatever" and "Cigarettes And Alcohol".
I'm sure you'd love me to write that. But it simply wouldn't be true. However, the good news is that this album is their best work since 1997's Be Here Now.
The truth is that Noel Gallagher could probably write a whole album's worth of "Wonderwall"s if he put his mind to it, but what would be the point? We don't need another "Wonderwall" when Noel is writing songs like album highlights "The Importance Of Being Idle" and "Part Of The Queue", two of the finest songs he's written in years. So what if one rips off The Kinks and the other The Stranglers? We're talking about Oasis, what did you expect?
As for Liam, his voice sounds great again, and his song writing has come on leaps and bounds since his previous efforts. "Love Like A Bomb" is a gentle acoustic number with beautiful twinkling piano and "The Meaning Of Soul" is another of the album's highlights. Imagine early b-side "Headshrinker" played acoustic, if you can. At only 1 minute 43 seconds it's practically gone before you know it, but still manages to leave you gasping. It's so good you could almost forgive Liam for the Standing On the Shoulder Of Giants lyrical atrocity that was "Little James". Almost...
Don't Believe the Truth is far from perfect. Andy Bell's Revolver-esque "Keep The Dream Alive" sounds like it was left over from the aforementioned flop Standing On the Shoulder Of Giants. What's more, album closer "Let There Be Love" is a typical Oasis ballad - but it sounds like it's looking backwards whilst the rest of the album tries to look to the future.
After the dust has settled, I doubt that this record will be hailed as a classic Oasis album, up there with Definitely Maybe or Morning Glory butit won't be forgotten. Hopefully it just might be remembered as the moment Oasis regained their sense of direction. --Simon Fernand
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Top customer reviews
Streaming it sounds better, but, any hardcore oasis fan knows already to get the vinyl!
Buy it anyway
Now no one can argue that the introduction to Oasis albums of songs written by Liam, Gem Archer and Andy Bell has meant that the songs Noel has contributed to an album are of a higher quality. He explained why this had happened himself - he simply had more time to work on the songs. The problem then, is not with songs being contributed by others, but with Noel's songs being sung, almost solely, by Noel. I would suggest that the only song on this album that it was necessary for Noel to sing is the great single The Importance of Being Idle, which with it's Kinks-esque chorus and lovely lyric is an Oasis classic. It also, of course, had a brilliant video (starring Rhys Ifans). Let There Be Love sends shivers down my spine throughout, especially when Noel comes in in the Middle 8. And Lyla, in some ways, was probably the best single since Morning Glory. But the chance to make Mucky Fingers one of the best Oasis songs of all time was there, but without Liam's growling vocals it becomes merely very good. Part of the Queue is a difficult one, but I can't help but think - if in doubt, let Liam do it. I'm certain that if either of those had been sung by the younger Gallagher, it would have been a single and a hit.
So what am I saying about the album - it is a return to form. The songs are great - particularly those written by Gallagher Snr. Particularly the singles. And yet, there is a feeling that we were inches from someone saying 'this is as good as Morning Glory'. Which is something that a lot of fans have been hoping for for a long time.
Much has been made of the shared songwriting, as Liam, Gem and Andy Bell chip in with some fine songs.
But Noel is really the star of the show. 'The Importance...Idle' is as good as anything he's ever written, and 'Mucky Fingers' & 'Part Of The Queue' find him stretching his wings into different styles.
Unlike the hideously underproduced 'Heathen Chemistry', 'Don't Believe..' sounds as strong as the songs. Producer Dave Sardy has done a great job in relighting the creative fire under Oasis.
A tremendous effort, with not a dud track on the disk. Highly recommended.
Liam has learned to write a decent tune and Noel's contributions offer a more reflective and wiser stance. Gem and Andy's songs are more reminiscent of early-Oasis than the Gallagher's efforts, but Liam's vocals define them as late-Oasis. The album represents an age group that has grown older with Oasis, one that has settled down, started families and become increasingly mellow.
Musically the songs are still classic Oasis in style, but perhaps only Let There Be Love offers the anthemic chorus most would normally associate with the band. Singles Lyla and The Importance Of Being Idle reflect how much Oasis have changed since the mid-nineties, but the catchy melody is still there and songs like Part Of The Queue and Guess God Thinks I'm Abel indicate Oasis still have a musical future.
The album is never going to make any all-time top lists, but it is one of those albums that you will put on in a couple of years time and think I cannot believe I did not listen to it more than I did. A solid 7/10.
Best Track: The importance Of Being Idle
I'll start by saying that the Gallagher brothers have been (justifiably) accused of being stuck in the summers of 1995-6 and unable to move on, and I for one never quite liked that stuff anyway. This album however is totally eclectic with a whole bunch of different writers and styles - not just the Noel G show for once. Having said that, Noel's The Importance of Being Idle is probably the strongest song on the album and is something to look forward to in the first half and pushes the rest of the material along in the second half. Also the last track (an unsual Noel and Liam duet) is awesomely tender and quite moving, considering it comes from the kings of the sing-a-long.
Yea, I dig it and it's well worth a listen... especially if you're not a fan of the G chord driven drivel Oasis have been putting out for the last 10 years since WTSMG.
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