Oasis, ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ (Big Brother/Warner Bros.)
Haven’t Oasis already released a record called Dig Out Your Soul? No, wait — it was “Go Let It out.” or was it “the Meaning of Soul”? Even if Dig’s déjà-vu-inspiring title suggests that these champagne supernovas have finally run out of ideas, much of the album itself proves that Britpop’s last men standing aren’t ready to pack it in quite yet. In fact, the first four tracks here are among the band’s most satisfyingly adventurous: opener “Bag It Up” is a midtempo blues strut with brash guitars; “The Turning” flips between a dreamy, piano-led verse and a menacing noise-soul chorus; “Waiting for the Rapture” sports a killer T. Rex trash-glam groove; and “the Shock of the Lightning” rides a hurtling krautrock beat. You won’t be able to blast these jams loud enough.
In addition to those four, Noel Gallagher wrote two more tunes here, both excellent. Unfortunately, age has softened his heart, and he cedes the album’s other half to his bandmates (including lead-singing brother Liam), who offer subpar material such as “I’m Outta Time,” a shameless John Lennon rip, and the undercooked garage-blues vamp “the Nature of Reality.” (Surprise! It’s “only in your mind.”) the result reminds us once again that while democracy makes sense in plenty of places, a rock band is rarely one of them.