Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Oasis

  • Definitely Maybe [Epic, 1994] *
  • (What's the Story) Morning Glory? [Epic, 1995] **
  • Be Here Now [Epic, 1997] **
  • Standing on the Shoulder of Giants [Epic, 2000] Neither
  • Stop the Clocks [Sony/BMG, 2006] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Definitely Maybe [Epic, 1994]
Sixties Schmixties--back when they were a tribute band they were the Diamond Dogs ("Rock 'n' Roll Star," "Slide Away") *

(What's the Story) Morning Glory? [Epic, 1995]
give them credit for wanting it all--and (yet another Beatle connection!) playing guitars ("She's Electric," "Roll With It") **

Be Here Now [Epic, 1997]
"Uncle! Uncle! Let go of my ear! Uncle, for chrissake!" ("Be Here Now," "My Big Mouth") **

Standing on the Shoulder of Giants [Epic, 2000] Neither

Stop the Clocks [Sony/BMG, 2006]
One of the many things I never got about this band was where the Beatles were. Where was the ebullience, the wit, the harmonies, God just the singing, and, uh, the songwriting? Cotton Mather made me understand that when Oasis say they love the Beatles they really mean they love the post-Help!, pre-Sgt. Pepper Beatles. Since that span encompasses Rubber Soul and Revolver, many would say tally ho, but (a) not me 'cause I love the Beatles start to finish and (b) only if you're writing songs as good as, uh, "We Can Work It Out." Instead Oasis, meaning loudmouth bro Noel Gallagher, write songs that resemble "We Can Work It Out" in thickened texture and momentum but not depth or charm, then add arena size in the swagger of the drums and the bigged-up vocals themselves. This band-selected best-of--two discs lasting 87 minutes, like an old-fashioned double-LP except it's only 18 tracks--capture their sonic moment as fully as any freelance music historian needs. A 2010 package repeats 11 of these songs and adds 16 others--too many, I say. Also, it omits the opening "Rock 'n' Roll Star." If ever there were guys whose message to the world is summed up by an opener called "Rock 'n' Roll Star," it's these bigheads. B+