Oasis Reviews Archive

Reviews from as many Oasis albums, singles and concerts as I can fine. Hopefully in the future incorporating pictures, audio and video.

Monday, November 02, 1998

The Masterplan

1. Acquiesce
2. Underneath The Sky
3. Talk Tonight
4. Going Nowhere
5. Fade Away
6. The Swamp Song
7. I Am The Walrus
8. Listen Up
9. Rockin Chair
10. Half The World Away
11. (It s Good) To Be Free
12. Stay Young
13. Headshrinker
14. The Masterplan

The Lantern
Kelli Ersing

The question Oasis had for the world in 1994 when they burst onto the music scene with “Supersonic” was “You can have it all but how much do you want it?” Four years and three albums later, the band is still giving their fans something to think about.

Ready to rap you on the knuckles if you’re not a good kiddie, Oasis has strutted up to the chalkboard and written out their “Masterplan.”

Spanning the band’s past four years in the spotlight, this album is a collection of B-sides from their singles and includes tracks previously unavailable in the United States. Unless you are an ardent fan of the Gallagher brothers and dished out $11 per single or a hefty sum for the singles box sets, this musical offering will provide a new perspective on those Manchester popsters.

While most B-sides, especially on the 45s of yesteryear are throwaways that are at best worthy of one listen. Most of the singles on “The Masterplan” are album worthy.

Although Oasis B-sides tend to take on a loftier purpose as opposed to their crowd-pleasing standards like “Live Forever” and “Champagne Supernova,” they have not gone unnoticed by fans, who in addition to the band members, chose the tracks that were to be included on the album.

Already garnering plenty of time on the airwaves, “Acquiesce” celebrates the tumultuous relationship of the brothers Gallagher. An anthem in its own right, anyone who has seen Oasis live is no stranger to this number. Although the song is the antithesis to the siblings’ notorious feuding, which by the way spawned a CD of its own that still tops the charts in Britain, the song is all about bonding. They may not have known what made them “feel alive” at this point in their career but they knew they “needed each other.” One virtuoso songwriter and one enigmatic, if not a wee bit cocky, lead singer.

While Oasis has paid the highest accolades to music world notables like David Bowie and Slade with covers of their hits, it is still their less than humble adoration of the Beatles that have granted them both their greatest inspiration and the most ridicule.

Proving they are the “eggmen”, their cover of “I Am the Walrus” by the Beatles will never surpass the genius of the original, but more than does it justice. If it weren’t for the fact that Noel Gallagher pens some of the catchiest songs on either side of the Atlantic, I’d say they would have had a hell of a future at some English pub as a Beatles cover band.

An interesting attribute of this album is that big brother Noel takes over for little brother Liam on vocal duties for many of the tracks. Proving that he can hold his own in this capacity, songs like “Talk Tonight,” “It’s Good to be Free,” and “Going Nowhere” showcase his vocal talents and some self-indulgence.

Much like a lot of material on the Beatles’ “White” album, there is some flight-of-fancy material on “The Masterplan,” that fans on this side of the pond may not quite grasp. The use of full strings and orchestra as well as some ostentatious guitar solos exceed the usual requirements for extensive airtime on alternative radio stations.

Serving as a manifesto for the world domination that still eludes them, “The Masterplan” takes the listener beyond the “Cigarettes and Alcohol” and “Wonderwall” moments of the past, but it still won’t be enough to transform a nation that relishes Marilyn Manson and the BackStreet Boys into Brit-pop fans.

While “The Masterplan” includes some of the bands’ best material to date, if Oasis wants more champagne supernovas, they might have to head back to the drawing board.


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