our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
Two drab albums
had blasted Oasis off their Britpop pedestal and placed them on
the edge of the musical abyss. They needed to return to their
routes, provide an album full of great rock anthems and prove
they could still compete with the best.
Chemistry answers the critics and does more besides. It's
everything that an Oasis album should be. It rocks, it's addictive,
you can sing along to everything and it's littered with Beatles
influences. Forget the last two albums, push them to the back
of your collection and let them gather dust. If Oasis had brought
Heathen Chemistry out straight after Definitely Maybe
and What's The Story (Morning Glory) there would have been
no talk of Oasis going astray during the late 1990s.
one single "The Hindu Times" marked the start of their
comeback and this is what gets the new long-player blasting into
action, with a beautiful and familiar noise. But there is no let
up before Noel Gallagher takes over the vocals from Liam and belts
out the superb "Force of Nature," which just has to
be a single because it's Oasis at their most powerful and rock-like.
It's not much
of a secret that Noel is consistently a better and smoother singer
that Liam and he certainly has the upper hand on Heathen Chemistry.
A lot of Liam's songs are not delivered with the gusto that Noel
gives to "Force of Nature" and "Little by Little."
But even so, you have to grant that Liam's performance on "Hung
in a Bad Place" and "Born on a Different Cloud"
is exactly what Oasis fans have been crying out for. His vocals
on the new single, "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" give
the band their best ballad since "Wonderwall" and it
amounts to a turning point in their history. And with lines like
"You're smoking all my stash/you're burning all my cash,"
it's a positive return to the high of rock 'n' roll.
for their allegiance to the Beatles, Oasis do not shy away from
letting the Merseysiders influence their Manchester style. The
beginning of "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" had the feel
of "Imagine," while "(Probably) All in the Mind"
has the Fab Four stamped all over it and would be just at home
on Revolver as on Heathen Chemistry.
It's a classic
Oasis album and those of you who loved the first two will once
again reap pleasures from this one, right down to the simple and
neat instrumentals such as "A Quick Peep" that fill
in the gaps.
If there is
one criticism it's that it's far too short. Just 11 tracks are
included and you've not to be fooled by the 76 minute reading
your CD player might give because the last track waits an eternity
before giving a reprise. But do not be deterred. This is Oasis
getting back to the form that made them our best rock act.
liked Heathen Chemistry...