Zorg wrote:R.E.M. vs. Oasis - But let's just admit it guys, (What's the Story) Morning Glory IS a pretty great album.
I used to be a big fan of Britpop, and there's no denying that Oasis were at the forefront of the genre in the mid-'90s. Then it started to annoy me. And just when I was about to call the whole Britpop thing a load of ole horseshite, I read this very eloquent post from Nick during last year's all-time albums poll, and it changed my mind...
Nick wrote:I totally agree, I'm a pretty big britpop fan myself and I always get a little disheartened when people entirely write it off.
Bands like Blur and Pulp crafted excellent pop music while at the same time conveying very deep messages, primarily ones about the intricacies of British life in the 1990's.
While Oasis never made "smart" music, I wouldn't ever call them disposable. Apparently I'm the biggest "Morning Glory" fan on this site, so I think I should defend them.
Oasis don't have particularly deep lyrics. They don't have bad lyrics, just ones that are (for the most part) kind of meaningless. And that's okay. Because to me it's not about the lyrics, it's about the way the songs make me feel. "Morning Glory" could be the definitive guide to how to craft a pop song. You have the sprawling "Champagne Supernova", the soaring ballad of "Don't Look Back in Anger", the life affirming anthems of "Roll With It", and "Some Might Say", the endearing "Wonderwall", and 5 other really great pop songs. Everything sounds like it could be a single. The album sounds just like a greatest hits album would.
What separates "Morning Glory" from disposable pop? For one thing the bold attitude that the songs convey. Some might say (no pun intended) that the music is loud and rude, however I disagree. To me it simply sounds like the music of a couple of guys who are really really excited about life and about being alive. If there's one consistent message of theme that runs through the album it's about being happy. That sounds mundane, but when I listen to the album the term that instantly comes to mind is "life affirming".
The album is loud. Everything part of the instrumentation (particularly the guitars) creates spirited atmosphere. To borrow a term from Phil Spector, there's like a "wall of sound" that envelops the album. I don't know how else to explain it. Maybe it's in the layered guitars. Just everything about the album sounds big and bold. This isn't some faint disposable pop we're hearing, these are big audacious anthems.
Another common criticism is that the music is "derivative". First of all, maybe this is just out of pure ignorance, but I have never ever heard any albums that sound like "Definitely Maybe" or "Morning Glory". No other albums have managed to capture that same distinctive "wall" of sound that I hear when I put on either of those albums. I understand that Oasis are influenced by The Beatles, but I honestly would never mistake a Beatles song for an Oasis one. Furthermore, britpop itself is heavily based on the music of bands like The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, and especially, The Smiths. Oasis sound like none of these bands.
In the end, there are albums that are smarter than "Morning Glory". There are albums that are more experimental. There are albums that are more complex, more deep, and made by more likable people. But in terms of pure fun, great hooks, and a bold, unashamed love of life, "Morning Glory" does it for me.