Alas! A great Oasis album! The best Oasis album since Be Here Now (yes I am a “best since Be Here Now” person, not a “best since Morning Glory” person) one which is great from start to finish, unlike the patchy efforts of Heathen Chemistry and Don’t Believe the Truth. Dig Out Your Soul is the most ambitious Oasis album since Be Here Now. Their previous three albums missed the large-scale orchestras and choirs present in their 90’s output and instead relied more on the acoustic side of things. Dig Out Your Soul brought it all back, creating the most richly textured Oasis album - one soaked in a trippy, psychedelic, moody, 60’s inspired atmosphere.
The first good sign with Dig Out Your Soul is the album cover - it rocks! I haven’t seen an Oasis album cover that good since The Masterplan but onto the actual songs, the first two tracks are excellent and they’re not singles. The structure of Bag It Up reminds me of Rock ‘n’Roll Star in how the final portion of the song has no vocals with epic over the top instrumentation. This along with The Turning and The Shock of Lightning are the most balls to wall rockers Oasis have done since the 90’s. Waiting For the Rapture is a good mid-tempo rocker, although I do feel the demo version is more atmospheric. I consider I’m Outta Time to be the best song Liam ever wrote. Oasis aren’t the first band to come to mind when I think of love songs; with several of their songs such as Wonderwall I’m unsure whether they would be classified as love songs but this is one song which can undeniably be classified as such and such a beauty at that. Falling Down is one of Noel’s finest accomplishments, showcasing Oasis vision of the apocalypse. It’s strangely prophetic this dark and brooding song would be Oasis’ final single, as well as with the album as a whole; signaling the final days of a band whose popularity was shrinking. The album still isn’t without its weak songs, coming in the form of Ain’t Got Nothin’ and The Nature of Reality. With the later, I can tell you a lot of Oasis fans hate this song with a passion: Me? I think it’s more mediocre than terrible.
The other important aspect of Dig Out Your Soul which I’ve not heard anyone else mention is this may be a concept album, or at least that’s the impression I get. The songs tell a story of an impending apocalypse as we are told to “Bag It Up” because we are “Waiting for The Rapture” which occurs with “The Shock of the Lightning”. The use of a John Lennon quote sampled in I’m Outta Time reinforces the apocalyptic theme (“It’s every Englishman’s inalienable right to live where the hell he likes. What’s it going to do, vanish? It’s not going to be there when I get back.”) even more so as Lennon said this shortly before his own untimely death in 1980. The remaining songs dealing with the aftermath of the apocalypse such as the alien sounding (Get Off Your) High Horse Lady and To Be Where There’s Life (I believe the title of that one explains itself). This all culminates in the album’s final song Soldier On, that we will soldier on until the very end.
Dig Out Your Soul can proudly sit beside Oasis’ first three albums and partially makes up for the band’s lackluster run during the 2000’s but hey, we don’t look back in anger, I heard you say.
Oasis: 1991 - 2009
Dig Out Your Soul Era B-Sides and Rarities
In 2005 CD singles were on their last legs, by 2008/9 they had all but gone, becoming designated to collector’s items. With the three singles to come of Dig Out Your Soul, only one B-side was produced. Those Swollen Hand Blues from the Falling Down single - a good trippy, psychedelic number. The box set of Dig Out Your Soul contained a CD of bonus material comprised of alternative versions of songs, remixes and two alum outtakes, Boy With The Blues and I Believe In All. The rarities produced for Dig Out Your Soul won’t give the likes of Live Forever a run for its money but they are with unearthing.