It's a return to form
Chris Jones 2008
Legend has it that if Noel Coward was back stage after a production that was less than glowing, he'd merely say, "Darling, you've done it again!". Thus, unless you truly believe that Oasis are still the saviours of the dead horse we call 'rock 'n' roll' it's pointless to gripe about Dig Out Your Soul. It's a return to form for them and followers who have had their patience tested, waiting for a return to the big swaggering days of yore, will be well-pleased. Yes chaps, you've done it again.
As you'd expect the album's packed with the Sex-Pistols-play-the White-Album material we love 'em for. The Fab-Four-alike game continues with (Get Off Your) High Horse Lady as Give Peace A Chance; the intro to Dear Prudence making up the coda to The Turning; and apparently love is a ''magical mystery'' in The Shock Of The Lightning.
Liam's songs now give him the opportunity to do the 'sensitive' thing that his brother usually reserves for himself. Both I'm Outta Time and closer, Soldier On may be ostensibly Lennon homages, but they're the equal of anything else here. And top double negative expressing Ain't Got Nothin' throws you a curveball with its leery waltz timing. The newly-expanded band democracy also gives room to Andy Bell's The Nature Of Reality: a monstrous boogie, and Gem Archer's drone/raga-style To Be Where There's Life.
It still seems odd that the Mancunians choose cod-psychedelia as their modus operandi. Considering Noel's truculent inability to say anything nice about anyone else who dares to make a record, you get the feeling that if you took Oasis back to 1967 they'd be having a ruck with Syd Barrett and telling Paul McCartney to get ''fookin' real''. Nevertheless, Dig Out Your Soul comes equipped with all kinds of flowery sonic jiggery pokery: bells and even sitars join the footsteps on beaches, police sirens, bleeping games machines etc. But this cartoonish contradiction means that if the band ever really resemble any 60s heroes it's probably the Troggs. Street kids dressed in paisley...
Dig Out Your Soul has a huge sound. As reported by the siblings, it is ''rockin'''. Zak Starkey's drums pound in fine neanderthal style; the guitars crunch and feed back; the barre chords pummel; and Liam's voice still does that sneer that conveys that whatever we may think, he's not remotely bothered.