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where the bright new hope for rock (ldlewild) will modestly go top ten and those revolutionaries who were supposed to destroy the whole thing
to steal the limelight back. What was it those second rate Oasis impersonators Embrace said again? ‘Get back to what you know,’ wasn’t it?
Oasis tried a concept album with Be Here Now and
made a right arse of it. Here, they appear to have
retreated, pondered and realised they should just stick to
1 1 1 Denis Leary, Anthony Hopkins
Heathen Chemistry My; Brother; .00.
It’s hard sometimes, y’know. In a month
just flounder (Prodigy), in strut the men who are (were?) kings with a new record
_ Internet _ pping
1 10 Dodgy dating
1 13 Harvey Nichols
Videos “ Food
j,” 1 10 The Long Good Friday " 1 15 Fish, Spoon
1 17 The Love Parade ln Berlln
‘Song Bird’ is an appropriately flighty, acoustic jaunt, one of three penned by Liam and hints at Gallagher Jr’s growing ability to knock out affecting Beatlesy pop romps. His big bruv would never be outdone and takes his turn his with the flute decorated ‘She is Love’.
The 75-second Doorsian jam ‘A Quick Peep’ is Andy Bell’s slight writing contribution and could well be an illustration of what’s to come if he’s given the opportunity. Other (relative) new boy Gem Archer illustrates just how effortlessly he fell into stride with the Gallagher swagger: his ‘Hung in a Bad Place’ is textbook Oasis, thieving from the Stooges to build a romper stomper topped by an unreformed wail from Liam.
Noel has another attempt at his own ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ with ‘(Probably) All in the Mind’, but inevitably holds back the reins from going for the whole psychedelic wig out. We’re probably all the better for that.
There are patchy moments, however. ‘Little by Little’
what they’re best at: big, bumbling, feelgood guitar is a flabby anthem for lighter wavers and ‘Born on a
anthems. Not to say this is ‘The Hindu Times’ on repeat
Different Cloud’ finds Liam’s Lennon impersonating
times 11: there are degrees of melancholy and sensitivity going interstellar while Alan White proves himself oddly
here. But don’t go expecting John Denver. Despite what foaming Q hacks might think, all of
best at: big,
ham-fisted with some stickwork Ringo Starr would cringe at. The song threatens to rumble to a mammoth
Oasis’ albums are flawed affairs but Heathen Chemistry, crescendo but limps off, half-finished.
their fifth, enjoys far more hits than misses.
The lead single ‘The Hindu Times’ is the opener, a full- on bombast that establishes the theme that this is an album of growers. ‘Force of Nature’ robs the drum rattle from Iggy Pop’s ‘Nightclubbing’ and builds to a big chorused anthem which may or may not be a commentary on Noel‘s divorce from Meg Matthews: ‘Yer smoking all my stash, yer burning all my cash,’ he bellows. Matthews just received 24m and a £1.2m house in London in their divorce settlement last month. Hmmm.
Conversely, ‘Stop Crying your Heart Out’ is a beautiful ballad and rates as one of Noel’s finest, resting alongside ‘Champagne Supernova’ and ‘Cast No Shadow’ as exquisitely capturing the
‘sunshine after rain’ sentiment of the their more reflective moments.
Liam redeems himself with closer ‘Better Man’, borrowing lyrical stylings from Richard Ashcroft and a riff the Stone Roses robbed off someone else ages ago. You can almost hear his Wallabies shuffling into the sunset, satisfied.
Heathen Chemistry is a live and vivid record, and while it may not paint from a palette expressive as any of their heroes, it does suggests a degree of progression. Also evident is that undiluted sense of fun so apparent on many of their earlier recordings. This is more of a band than Oasis have been for over half a decade.
This record proves that far from imploding in the seething ball of antagonism that they could have, they emerge revitalised. Noel Gallagher says Heathen Chemistry is Oasis’ second best album. He might just have something there. (Mark Robertson)
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