Dig Out Your Soul

From the beginning, Oasis' greatest strength and most glaring weakness has been shamelessness — the belief that no classic-rock riff is too timeworn, no Beatles allusion too banal to merit blasting out at top volume. At its best, this brutish approach has produced some transcendent music ("Live Forever," "Wonderwall"), but as years have passed and gray hair has sprouted in the Gallagher brothers' moptops, the self-parody has often seemed less charming than wearying. Oasis' latest is heavier on groove than normal, and there are a couple of gripping moments, especially Liam's stately, Lennonesque ballad "I'm Outta Time." But for the most part, Dig Out Your Soul is an almost comically generic Oasis release, from its preponderance of plodding midtempo rockers ("Bag It Up," "Waiting for the Rapture") to the vaguely Indian raga-flavored psychedelic anthems ("To Be Where There's Life"). Then there's the issue of Liam's "philosophizing" — he's entered the Maharishi phase of his Beatles worship, clogging songs with beatitudes like "Space and time and here and now/Are only in your mind." Got that?

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