Monday, July 8, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 153



Oasis' latest does enough to survive

By Ed De La Garza
The Daily Cougar

There are moments in Heathen Chemistry where Oasis sounds like it's about to return to the days of old when Noel Gallagher didn't
care about being labeled as a Beatles wannabe.

Photo courtesy of Epic Records

After creating more news than music, Oasis' (from left) Andy Bell, Alan White, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher and Gem have
released its fifth album, Heathen Chemistry.

Those Beatles-inspired melodies still form the foundation of the album, but they're not as overt as they used to be. Oasis still sounds
like a band out of place.

The album starts with the catchy and effortless The Hindu Times (the first single), with Liam Gallagher singing "And I get so high I
just can't feel it" backed by a power pop arrangement.

The first three songs, in fact, sound like Noel wants to prove he can still write a song so simple it has no business being good.

"Stop Crying Your Heart Out" may be another attempt at "Wonderwall," but the album's best moment is the surging "Little By Little." It's
a song that finds a more assured Noel singing "You know I didn't mean what I just said/ But my God woke up on the wrong side of
His bed."

He follows that moment of inspiration with the cheesy but heartfelt "She Is Love." It's just a silly love song, but you believe Noel feels
"All I know is I'm in love/ With someone who loves me too."

While Oasis' last studio release, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, was an album almost devoid of memorable songs, it featured
the debut (a bad one) of singer Liam Gallagher as a songwriter. 

In Heathen Chemistry, the younger Gallagher pens three songs, and one of them is one of the band's best.

The strange "Born On A Different Cloud" begins with an intro that sounds like it was lifted off Radiohead's OK Computer, before Liam
goes into an almost dead-on John Lennon impersonation. It's an odd combination, but it works its spell.

Oasis has no business being as good as it is. As with most memorable things the Gallagher brothers record, you're never sure if
you're left humming the melody because it's Oasis or because it sounds like someone else.

It's doubtful Noel will ever take Oasis in a completely original direction, but after the disastrous SOTSOG, it's on the road to being as
important as it thinks it is.

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