Saturday, August 23, 2008

NEW OASIS! I don't wanna scream out loud and wake up

So, the new Oasis single is hitting airwaves, and the video has leaked online. I'm quite pleased with it, but then... I'm an Oasis fan, so I go into it with my own prejudices. Actually - it's very, very, good.

Plus, it's the latest in that trend started by "Go Let it Out" in 2000 of "comeback" singles after nearly 2-year long droughts, so fans always rush toward it like a literal oasis in the desert, and critics sharpen their teeth and start deciding how best to again turn the phrase, "same sh*t, different day."

Hotpress quickly dismissed it, although their reviewer lost severe points for trying to look well versed in the band's back catalogue but being unable to distiguish the 1994 "Fade Away" from the Be Here Now track "Fade In/Out." Sure, the titular similarities are there, but when you're talking about one song's merits using the other one's title... you look really stupid.

Anyway, the review closed with this potshot at the Oasis comeback singles of the decade thus far:

"It should sound good live, but it's not a good song. As far as Oasis comeback singles go it's up there with 'The Hindu Times'. Indeed this could be their worst comeback single yet....nah, 'The Hindu Times' was pretty poor wasn't it? (I digress, I must have blocked out 'Go Let It Out')."

I always thought "The Hindu Times" was a decent enough song, although I also think it would've been better had it retained the drum loop that anchored the song's demo. But worst comeback single?

Them's big words, because Oasis singles (maybe to a lesser extent this decade) have always been pretty special affairs in terms of quality B-sides. By the looks of it, "The Shock of the Lightning" actually looks to be the worst Oasis single ever. One B-side. And they've crossed the rubicon -- it's a f*cking remix. Le sigh.

Thoughts on "The Hindu Times" aside, the fact of the matter is the single's two B-sides were both pretty great songs, and showed a side of Noel that he hadn't (up until that point) really touched before.

Oasis - Just Getting Older
An almost identical demo of the song had trickled out to Oasis fans and bootleg hoarders when the pile of demos for songs that constituted 2000's Standing on the Shoulder of Giants found their way out of the vaults. Noel's reflective, post drugs side really came into blossom on that album and it's B-sides -- "Gas Panic!," "Where Did it All Go Wrong?," "One Way Road," "Carry Us All" etc. But to hear the guy who wrote lyrics to "Rock and Roll Star" and "Cigarettes and Alcohol" drop a line like "Staying in / I can't be bothered / Making conversation / With the friends that I don't know" less than a decade later was still kind of jarring. Nevertheless, it's still a pretty song and bucks standby references like the Beatles and Paul Weller in favor of a little more celestial Pink Floyd vibe.

Oasis - Idler's Dream
People always take potshots at Noel's lyrical ability and while inane couplets run rampant in Oasis back catalogue, too few are willing to concede that once inwhile, Noel can write a really beautiful lyric, and if you go back to "Hey Now!" or even further to "Slide Away," you know he's been able to do it for awhile. I've always felt that "Idler's Dream" is one of the most severely underappreciated things ever released by Oasis, and I also wonder if it'd been released in their mid 1990s heyday, it'd be just as legendary a B-side as something like "The Masterplan." Sure, it's just a slow ballad, but listen. No guitars, beautiful harmonies, a light touch of orchestration. It's almost Oasis doing the Smiths' "Asleep." Just a little less suicidal. I think...

And considering these two self reflective moments, backed THIS song... it's hard to say "The Hindu Times" package was bullheaded or one-dimensional, isn't it?

I have the new Oasis single and will post it in the next couple of days - here is the leaked new video!

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