Album Review – Oasis – Definitely Maybe

Promised I would make this a regular thing. Guess I lied. Oops, sorry. I’ll learn from it. Anyway, I started making this album review late April however I was extremely busy and just forgot about so, better late than never.

Not just one of Oasis’ influential albums but the Britpop genre itself’s most influential albums. Definitely Maybe put both Oasis and Britpop on the map (well mainly in the U.K., hence why it’s called Britpop!)

I feel that this album is pretty special as Oasis, as a band became one of the most popular rock/alternative bands in 1990’s Britain.

Here is my track-by-track review.

Track 1 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Star

The first chord of Rock ‘n’ Roll Star just rings out and we know already we have an effective opening track on our hands, followed by the heavy guitar riff played by Noel and the title isn’t misleading as with a song like that, you really do get the impression that Oasis are “rock ‘n’ roll stars” . To conclude, the song is a great opener, it has a great main riff and I like how in the mix, Liam’s vocals have the reverb, to make them sound so spaced out. 

Track 2 – Shakermaker

I didn’t really know what to say about this song at first, it’s not really that different from your usual Oasis track. The things that stand out here are the kinda slide guitar effect in the intro and the weird lyrics that Liam sing in the verses

“Mister Sifter sold me songs, when I was just sixteen, now he stops at traffic lights, but only when their green.” Pretty random lyrics, but hey, they worked for R.E.M. and Nirvana so why not?

Track 3 – Live Forever

However, the lyrics in “Live Forever” convey a deeper theme, how that if you if don’t try to accomplish your goal then you just won’t get anywhere and this idea of “living forever” is about having a dream. Noel Gallagher’s outro guitar solo is one of the reasons why I feel he’s such an underrated guitarist, I feel this song is a clear representation of just what he can do. Also, I think the drums at the beginning are pretty cool as well, not to mention the song was played at OneLove in Manchester, with Chris Martin of course.

Track 4 – Up in the Sky

One of DM’s most underrated tracks, Up in the Sky has a brilliant riff, I just love riffs that are in the key of G, reminds me of “Paperback Writer” by The Beatles. Pretty kickass if you ask me. Also the rhythm section of Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs (rhythm guitar), Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan (bass) and Tony McCarroll (drums) do more than hold it tight. That is, if Guigsy even played bass at all on the album. But I’ll save that for another time.

Track 5 – Columbia

Another pretty underrated track on DM, despite it being a rather simple song, Noel’s solos along with the rhythm section make this song really powerful. The only thing I find with the song is that it is a bit long. My friend’s band have covered this song as well.

Track 6 – Supersonic

One of the first Oasis songs I listened to, this song one of my favourites on the album, from McCarroll’s drum groove, to Noel’s riff, to Liam’s vocals. The song itself has pretty iconic lyrics.

“I need to be myself, I can be no one else, I’m feeling supersonic, give me gin and tonic”

Other bits in the song I like include the percussion/tambourine and the “aaahs” performed by Anthony Griffiths.

Track 7 – Bring It On Down

Not as well known as other songs on this album, I feel it’s faster that a lot of songs. I feel that like “Shakermaker” it does sound very similar to a lot of songs on DM so I feel I doesn’t stand out as much but it is by no means a bad song.

Track 8 – Cigarettes & Alcohol

Like “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”, it’s another song with a cool, gutsy riff that screams rock ‘n’ roll. Liam’s vocals sound pretty ace as well, there are people that excuse him of over-exaggarate his singing and “whining”, something he’s carved down on since going solo, but I do feel it is a unique style of singing that works, might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I feel that’s what makes his voice stand out.

Track 9 – Digsy’s Dinner

The album’s shortest song at 2:32, maybe could be a bit longer. Like “Bring It On Down”, listeners might not find at as memorable as “Live Forever” and “Supersonic” but one thing I do like about the song is that it features piano upfront, whereas in other songs it was in the background so it’s pretty cool to hear a different instrument in there.

Track 10 – Slide Away

Noel Gallagher can make any riff sound with that thick, edgy tone. For me, Slide Away, is a song that starts of great but it kinda gets repetitive, especially drumming the same rhythm for a 6-minute song, that’s why I’ve always preferred Alan White’s drumming over Tony McCarroll’s. Even if I do like the riff and the vocals, “Slide Away” would be my least favourite song on the album.

Track 11 – Married with Children

An acoustic closer, “Married with Children” is another short song. I feel it has quite a strong Beatles vibe coming off it, it just reminds me of “Don’t Let Me Down”. Part of me thinks this track influenced Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” (that probably doesn’t make any sense, considering they were both released in the same year, so Weezer’s album may’ve come first.) But I digress, I like the reverb put in the vocals in the “up all nights” to add some more intensity. On the whole, a great track.

To conclude, Definitely Maybe, I will argue, is a very influential album, it was the first album Oasis ever released and one of the main albums in which gained success for the “Britpop” genre. My favourite tracks on this album would be “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”, “Live Forever”, “Supersonic” and “Cigarettes & Alcohol” whereas “Slide Away” I would say is the weakest.

If you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said in this blog, feel free to leave a comment. If you’ve enjoyed this blog make sure to give it a like, give it a share, and I’ll talk in a while!

Blog by Andrew Greig.

 

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