Newest Review: ... over it. However one of the shining lights on this album is the musical interlude which is the first track on the album. It is typical O... more
The one they should have forgotton.........
Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants - Oasis
Member Name: jo1l
Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants - Oasis
Advantages: The second half
Disadvantages: Little James!!!!
Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants - Oasis 4th studio album released back in 2000 was perhaps the album that should never have been released. With half the band departing, Noel and Liam squabbling and supposedly it was to be the album that was to show the fan base who were mightily disappointed following Be Here Now (- the album even Noel Gallagher described as being written by two gob shites on Charlie) that Oasis were back on track, well it failed and miserably so in places. You know how you listen to an album and you just know that the heart and soul of the musicians just isn't in it? Well unfortunately Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants is one of those albums. Don't get me wrong in places you see the sparks of greatness but only in places. It is very much an album of two halves, unfortunately the bad half over shadows the good. It has potential, but unfortunately that got lost some where from going into the studio and the finished item. Some of the tracks could at best be described as mediocre others the only word that springs to mind is dire. From a band that does have talent and who has perhaps one of the best song writers of the 90's on board you do wonder why such offerings as Little James were given house room yet alone space on an album that should have been seen as the album to salvage reputations. Thankfully Oasis turned up trumps with Heathen Chemistry -their 5th studio album or else they might have been known as the band who throw it all away with such wonders as Little James and Fuckin' in the Bushes.
As you might suspect this isn't one of my all time favourite albums -it is one of those albums that if I'd have paid full price for I'd have been writing to the brothers Gallagher and asking for a full refund forthwith! As was I paid £1.49 on Ebay for it!
Now call me old fashioned but I do tend to find that opening an album with one of your strongest tracks actually works, you know a catchy tune that drags the listener in, involves them a bit and makes them think "wow that's good what else is on here?" Apparently it was the in thing to find the worst, the most dire - ok not the most dire track that comes later, the most user unfriendly track when Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants was produced. Fuckin' in the Bushes -the track that got the album the parental advisory stick is dire. It reminds me of the night my best mate and I went to see a band we followed in Hull only to find they were the supporting band and we'd missed them! Oasis must have seen the band we saw that night as every time I listen to this track I get flash backs to that night! Imagine a record getting stuck, imagine some one upping a bass amp and some comments laid over and you have this track. Experimental pop perhaps, was Noel going throw his John and Yoko phase? Who knows but it is bad. Listen once then hit the skip button!
Thankfully, the influence of Spike Stent - the producer who's worked with such greats as U2 and Madonna prevails and we are offered a rather catchy tune one that perhaps should have opened the album! Go Let it Out allows you to forgive Oasis for the drubbing your ears got with the preceding track. Go Let it Out was rightly released as the first offering from the album -you know the teaser track to make you go buy the album when it comes out. With Go Let it out you get the typical Oasis sound and yes it is good. If you were to give this album a school report style mark then Go Let it out would be the B+. It is good but you just know they can do better.
Noel Gallagher swore he was off the non prescription meds when SOTSG was made after listening to Who feels Love with it's blatant Beatleseque sound you do wonder! In places Who Feels love is so psychedelic it wouldn't go a miss on some greatest hits from the 60's. A grower is how you'd be describe this track. It's not bad but you would be hard pushed to say it was one of Oasis's better offers. It sounds too much in places as a blatant Beatles rip off given a modernisation in place. Mellow but lacking that certain something to make you sit up and say "Wow"
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is -you can imagine Noel and Liam squabbling as kids and slinging that statement at each other. It had potential, it might have had dull mediocre lyrics, but it had one of the best bands in the world and a decent producer to pull it off and they failed! Totally! In places you see the old Oasis magic but that get lost in the mirage of sound that competes for your attention. A track that would have been way better if the glam rock sound had been ditched and the old Oasis rock formula put in it's place.
Remember how I said this album should have been the album that paid back the fans for the mediocre Be Here Now album? So they gave you Little James instead. My Nan always said if you can't say something nice about something you shouldn't say anything at all unfortunately I've never subscribed to that mantra! Little James is bad, no not bad add the f word then bad and you might have it. I subscribe to the theory that Mrs Gallagher told Noel he had to play nicely with their Liam and that's how the cringe worthy Little James sneaked onto this album either that or Noel was off his face when he agreed to this cringe worthy dirge being added onto the album. As a parent I look on Little James with some smug satisfaction, yes I might be an embarrassment to Niamh as all parents are to their children, but at least 20 million or so people don't know that I am! Liam Gallagher penned Little James as a track for Patsy Kensit's son , yes it's a lovely idea. Don't get me wrong there are some wonderful tributes stars have done for their kids unfortunately Little James isn't one of them! Think Junior school poems with rhymes and you've kinda got the feel of Little James.
I did say this was an album of two halves didn't I? After Little James I was of the feeling they'd better come up with the goods or else! Gas Panic, restores your shaken faith. It's one of those tracks that Oasis can pull of and leave you wondering why it never got released as single. It's mean, moody and just Oasis doing what they do best. Liam Gallagher pulls this track off with a stunning vocal performance amidst some great guitar work. Finally you see why you bought the album in the first place. If there is one track that makes this album then Gas Panic has to have that accolade.
I'm going to have to confess up here, if I list my favourite Oasis tracks then 90% of them have Noel Gallagher on lead vocals, he might not have the same range or authority vocally as his brother does but he ain't bad with the right material either! "Where did it all go wrong" is one of those Noel tracks that you warm to instantly. It's poignant in places without being overtly slushy. It's not one of those acoustic tracks that Noel is fond of doing when he takes the mike, but it's just a slightly more gentler sound probably to accommodate Noel's vocal style. And on an album with such mediocre tracks it stands head and shoulders above some of the other tracks.
Of course I was going to love " Sunday Morning Call" it has the right formula for instant appeal. Take a poignant sounding Noel Gallagher, throw in some very touching poignant lyrics, turn down the amps just a touch and you have an instant winner on the slushy stakes for me. The track works because you have Noel Gallagher singing, to be honest if Liam Gallagher had grabbed the mike on this one the track would have been totally different, Noel Gallagher's vocal style gives him the edge when it comes to poignant tracks.
Ok Oasis does slush is over with the next track and you get back to what Oasis does best but unfortunately don't with "I Can See a Liar", don't get me wrong it's not a bad track just it could be better. It's formula Oasis - you know add a snarling sounding Liam, add in some pretty good guitar work, up the amp and bingo you have a winner on your hands. Unfortunately it just lacks something for me.
The album closes with Roll it Over, mellow would be the best adjective to describe this track. It works, it's not a classic by any stretch of the imagination but it has one of those choruses that you just end up humming along to. It makes you just about forgive the assault to your ears of the first half of this album and shows you why you bought the album in the first place.
Would I suggest you went out and bought this album? To be honest no. It is an album of two halves, the first half is dire, the second half shows sparks of brilliancy but it's not enough. If you were to go out and buy an Oasis album I'd suggest Heathen Chemistry or one of their first offerings Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants, unfortunately is always going to be the album best forgotton, the album that could have been something but wasn't. Rightly so it will always be in the shadows of Definetly Maybe and What's the Story.
Summary: Medicore album