Review of the debut classic album from seminal Britpop band Oasis
By Carter Bagley
Coming from Manchester, these lads were always meant to be a massive rock band. Everything about them from their look, their sound, their relationships, and most importantly the sibling rivalry between lead singer Liam Gallagher and guitarist/songwriter Noel Gallagher screamed rock band. In 1994, right from the gates they exploded onto the britpop scene with a massive, loud, and straight-up amazing debut album. “Definitely Maybe” came out four years after the band had officially formed so it sounded like an experienced band who already knew exactly what they were doing. Noel and Liam Gallagher weren’t even the founders of the band originally titled Rain, but after joining it was obvious these two were the superstars of the group despite the others contributing their own big talents to the music. It was always these brothers who transcended it. After the dying grunge scene left listeners depressed and wanting inspiration Noel penned 11 songs that totally redefined 90’s music after the state it was in. It kicks off with the gorgeously cocky “Rock ‘N’ Roll Star” that’s in the same vein as The Stone Roses’ “I Am The Resurrection” in the sense that these nobodies were declaring that they were rock ‘n’ roll stars. The funny thing is they didn’t have a whole album before it to prove it, it was the first track . Although with Liam’s completely unique vocals and Noel’s kickass guitar riffs in addition to Tony McCarroll’s drumming, this song is all the proof they needed. The song “Shakermaker” was the album’s second single with I really don’t understand because despite it being a good song it’s still unnecessarily long and drags on quite a bit. However, it’s not until “Live Forever” begins that you see this band truly blossom into the brilliant band they were. Every single aspect of the song is amazing beginning with the instantly noticeable drumming, the beautiful acoustic, the simple piano keys, the rocking electric and bass and Liam’s revolutionary snarl on the opening lines “Maybe, I don’t really wanna know”. Liam Gallagher’s voice really was one in a million and although you could hear it slowly get worse over time, there’s no taking away the fact that back in the mid-90’s he had the best voice on the planet. There’s always songs you skip like “Up In The Sky” and “Bring It On Down” and “Columbia” is good just a couple minutes too long. Though none of that takes away from the album because as a whole even those song work into it’s brilliance. The latter half of the album is where it gets spectacularly consistent. The band’s debut single “Supersonic” has nonsensical lyrics but an attitude that only the Rolling Stones could rival and Liam’s voice shines on it to make it a nearly perfect and likable single. “Cigarettes & Alcohol” is a rocker with some epic lead guitar riffs and lyrics that perfectly show the mood of their home city of Manchester at the time. The album concludes with the epic rocker “Slide Away” coupled with the acoustic song of “Married With Children”. The former is one of those songs that should’ve been a single over “Shakermaker”. Liam’s vocals are some of the best on the album and the chorus drills into your head and let’s not mention the kick-ass guitar solos. “Married With Children” shows a sassier side to the band and it gives off a slight reflective tone; it’s a great simple end to a great epic album. There’s not much that hasn’t already been said about this album, but I will add that Oasis is extremely underrated for the fact that many people slack them off these days, but they embody rock ‘n’ roll just as much as any band and they actually stood for something. Liam Gallagher might have been the best leading man we’ve seen in decades and Noel always was a very talented songwriter. Though they may be broken up these days, back in 1994 Noel & Liam Gallagher said that they were gonna live forever, and live forever they will.
Highlights: Rock ‘N’ Roll Star, Live Forever, Supersonic, Cigarettes & Alcohol, Slide Away, Married With Children
Lowlights Lesser Highlights: Up In The Sky, Bring It On Down