Oasis
Be Here Now


2.0
poor

Review

by Med57 EMERITUS
January 19th, 2005 | 91 replies | 21,763 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist


The Band: Liam Gallagher (Vocals, Tambourine)
Noel Gallagher (Vocals, Lead Guitar)
Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (Guitar)
Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan (Bass Guitar)
Alan White (Drums)

Released: 1997 (Big Brother)

Looking back at the mid 1990s, the British musical scene was rather different to what it is today. This was the era of Britrock, when Blur, Pulp, and many other bands ruled the charts. However, one band stood out above all these others, and is still thought of as the leaders of the genre in spite of the fact that it is generally thought that they peaked almost a decade ago with (What's The Story) Morning Glory?. Hard as it may be to imagine now, for a period back then Oasis were not only the biggest British band, but also quite arguably the best.

When this album was released, it was one of the most ludicrously hyped albums in history already, to the extent that no matter what the band released, it was unlikely to be well received. This soon turned out to be the case, although it sold 250,000 copies in Britain alone on the first day of its release, and a total of 700,000 in less than a week. Critics, however, quickly seized on the album as overly long, and a bloated imitation of the previous Oasis. Crucially, the perception in the music world quickly became that Oasis had run out of ideas, something that they had never been accused of on their first 2 albums. Although these criticisms may have as much to do with public perception as to what the band should be doing, as to whether this album was any good, it's undeniable that this doesn't even come close to their previous work.

The songs:

1. D'You Know What I Mean immediately sets the tone for the album. Opening with the sound of a helicopter and a series of electronic noises, the song quickly becomes the type of arrogant rock song that Oasis had perfected on their first two albums. There's a problem though. With the exception of the ballad Champagne Supernova, Oasis hadn't recorded a song over 7 minutes before, as happens here, and they're not the sort of band where epic songs work, largely due to their style, where most of their songs sound fairly similar, something which is at least partially on account of Liam's trademark singing voice. As with quite a lot of songs on here, it would actually be a very good Oasis song if it were shorter. 3/5

2. My Big Mouth. This is one of the better songs on the album, with the kind of music and lyrics that could easily be imagined on Definitely Maybe. It's got some more good lyrics, with Liam snarling, "Into my big mouth, you could fly a plane", in a parody of himself and his arrogance, while at the same time refusing to apologise for this. The band also recaptures their guitar riffing ability here, making this a good Oasis song, without being a great one. 4.5/5

3. Magic Pie. This is where the problems really start. The first two tracks, although not brilliant, were quite good Oasis songs. Even this starts off well, with a softer Noel Gallagher vocal, but it quickly degenerates into a dirge of a song, which doesn't seem to be heading in any real direction. The guitars are uninspired, as are the lyrics, with Noel seeming to be actually trying to force himself to show some emotion, and failing pretty badly at this. And of course, the fact that this is the third longest song at the album somehow makes the experience even worse, as at least D'You Know What I Mean and All Around The World have their redeeming features. This is Oasis at their worst, and is one to skip, adding a completely unnecessary jazz coda at the end. 1.5/5

4. Stand By Me. Well, it's an improvement on the previous song, but this suffers from another of the album's faults, namely that of overproduction. Oasis always worked best when their music sounded faintly in danger of veering off the road it was going down. Here it seems as if they were told by the record company what the song was going to be, and how it was going to sound. It's not that bad a song though, with a good Liam vocal, and showing that the band possessed the ability to structure a song, although in this case it's hidden under the layered guitars that lower this song. And sorry to beat a dead horse again, but this is just too long. 2.5/5.

5. I Hope, I Think, I Know. This is more like the old Oasis again, although it's hard to escape the feeling that this would have been a filler track on one of their previous albums rather than one of the stronger points so far here. There's nothing especially interesting or special about it, other than the fact that it features some pretty good drum work in the background, which really drives this song forward. This still gets 3.5/5 though for being both a definite improvement on what's come before, and something that it sounds like Oasis put in more effort on.

6. The Girl In The Dirty Shirt. Although this is meant to be another Oasis ballad in the vein of Cast No Shadow, it, again, doesn't come close. There are good moments in here, such as the vocals which show that while Liam Gallagher does not have a conventionally good singing voice, he can nevertheless really sing ballads well, but the instrumental section just seems to plod along, with the possible exception of Noel Gallagher, whose guitar seems fresh and more innovative than during other points in the album on here. This suffers from many of the same faults of the rest of the album, and gets 2.5/5.

7. Fade In Out. This song is one of the better points on the album for me, with a slow intro, which leads into a strong vocal over the band providing a surprisingly understated performance. It also has some of the better backing vocals here, and the band shows that they can be more than a one-trick pony when they want, with Liam's scream leading into an instrumental break featuring some screaming guitars, again from Noel Gallagher. However, although the first section of the song is impressive and different, the hail of feedback and the repeated chorus it ends it leaves a sour taste in the mouth. 3.5/5.

8. Don't Go Away. If track 6 was a disappointing Oasis ballad, this is far far worse. This song is absolutely cliché-ridden, with a string section grating in the background, the band staying resolutely in the background, and some dire lyrics, such as "Don't go away, say what you say, say that you'll stay, forever and a day". It's the kind of sentimentally unoriginal slush that fills the pop charts in the UK every week, and it's disappointing to see that Noel Gallagher, a man that has written some truly great rock ballads (such as Live Forever, and the ubiquitous Wonderwall) has fallen to this level on this album. 1.5/5.

9. Be Here Now. As with other songs on here, nothing special, but there's nothing specifically wrong with it either. The lyrics are total nonsense, but the overall feel of the song is OK, with an interesting keyboard riff played on a child's piano. Although it sounds slightly stale, this is a solid Oasis song, and one that the band would have cruised through on previous albums. 2.5/5.

10. All Around The World. Something that is often said about Oasis is their love and admiration for The Beatles. This has never been more evident than on this track, which is their attempt at a Hey Jude style of song. While this is one of the most polarising songs on the album, I think it is the best thing on here by a long way. For a start, although it is very long, and again could usefully be cut, this is Oasis at near their best. A relatively simple song structure, and a message being confidently delivered by Liam, immediately makes this a bonus on previous tracks, although the orchestral arrangements in the background still annoy a bit. This would get 5/5, if it were shorter, as there is quite simply no need for this to be as long as it is. As it's still the best song on here, and the one song I could recommend as a download, I'm giving this 4.7/5.

11. It's Getting Better (Man!). As I've said before, with several other songs on here, its a decent song in it's own right, without being anything special, but is too long, and doesn't have the freshness that previous songs like this did. I've already written just about everything that could be used to describe this song in talking about Be Here Now, and I Hope, I Think, I Know, which should tell you everything you need to know about this song. 2.5/5

12. All Around The World (Reprise). In a word, why? This brings nothing to the album, featuring a full orchestra marching their way through the song, which, while good the first time, works rather less well for a further 2 minutes with no singing. This is a very weak end to the album, and provides further evidence of Oasis not being clear where they were going with this record, and, to a certain extent, not really caring that much. 1/5

There are several fundamental flaws with this album. As I've already said, not only could some songs easily be scrapped, but most of the songs on here could simply have a few minutes chopped at some point, to make this a tighter, more cohesive album. The band, more importantly, could have made a greater effort to recapture the energy and aggression that made them such a formidable force earlier in the decade, rather than resting on their laurels somewhat with this album. Although disappointment was perhaps inevitable for all the people who had been waiting for this album, such was the anticipation, this is an overly long album that has since been described by Noel Gallagher as "grossly offensive", and the work of "two gobshites with a bag of charlie (cocaine)". The album is fundamentally a tiresome listen, and one that you will not wish to return to on a regular basis, whether or not you like the band. Make sure you get Definitely Maybe, and (What's The Story) Morning Glory?, but there's no real need to bother with this.

Final Rating: 2.3/5



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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
punkrockgirl
March 24th 2005



2 Comments


I really like this album,it's very good in many ways!
I liked very much the review!
That's it!Bye!

morrissey
Moderator
April 5th 2005



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ahhh I just wrote a response to this but Sputnik's login system was as reliable as usual. :angry:

Let me try again...

I do like this album, moreso than most other listeners, but I absolutely agree with you on some major points. The album is undeniably overlong, and a few minutes chopped off here and there could have saved the album. Well almost.

I do however, feel that beneath all the over the top effects and coked up nonesense, there are some good songs. Don't go Away, Dya Know What I Mean, Stand By Me... they all would have been right at home on What's the Story in stripped down versions. Noel's talent as a pop songwriter didn't just disappear overnight. They just masked it in unlistenable tripe.

Because of this, I agree that the album isn't something I wish to listen to on a regular basis, that comment was spot on. But once in a while it's good to return to, and the songs at their most basic aren't half bad.

But the over the top additions, massive cockiness bring the album down so much.

3/5 for me, and that's pushing it.

oasisfan15
May 15th 2005



1 Comments


I dont believe this was a bad album, its just that th 1st 2 album wer so great that nothing would have overcame it! if this was any other bands album it wouldnt be frowned apon in the slightest. Seriously what are the odds of topping their 1st 2 albums?


Morvit
May 25th 2005



71 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

2/5...wow that's 40%. Imagine getting 40% on a test... wouldn't be that great. I think this album's about a 3.5/5 or 3/5.

Sure, "It's Getting Better", "The Girl in the Dirty shirt" and "I hope, I think, I know" petty much suck. And "All Around the World" repeats 5 times before ever ending ( btw I would have given "All Around the World" 3/5, SO REPETITIVE, i like the demo fade out at around 4:50 way better). But, the album isn't that bad. I petty much think the rest of the CD except the above songs are good.

Also, I disagree with "D'un You Know What I mean", I love that song. And Magic Pie I think should be like 3.5. And the ballads aren't as bad as you say that are....there are bands making far worst ballads than "STand by Me" and "Don't Go Away".

3.5/5 for me. (Don't Know how SOTSOG got better than this album....but whatever)

Morvit
May 25th 2005



71 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

btw is anyone gonna make a review on "The Masterplan"? I wanna see how you guys rate it

morrissey
Moderator
May 25th 2005



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

3.5/5 for me. (Don't Know how SOTSOG got better than this album....but whatever)


They were reviewed by two different people. Not only were they probably using different rating scales, they have different opinions.


Med57
Moderator
May 25th 2005



1001 Comments


Yeah. I'd give STSOG about 1.5/5 probably. I'm not really a fan of it in the slightest.

morrissey
Moderator
May 25th 2005



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

A harsh but accurate rating.

El_Goodo
May 31st 2005



1008 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually love this album it's awesome. And for the one who said "All Around The World" is very repetitive, didnt read how you compared it to Hey Jude which also repeats alot.

D'You Know what I mean has an amazing vocal melody, and Hope, I Think, I know, It's Getting Better, THe Girl in the dirty shirt, Standy By Me, Don't Go Away, and All Around the world are awesome.

And you said there's screaming guitar from Noel on Fade in Fade Out...Noel doesent play guitar on that track. Johnny Depp filled in for him on that recording because he was to drunk to play. It even says so inside the album sleeve.

I'd give it a 4/5

Knoxvillelives
June 8th 2005



342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey Jude is the greatest UK single ever!!!
I have to disagree with all the reviews of this, I really like it. Although it's probably my least favourite Oasis album, I'd give it a solid 3.5, it's a very consistently 'good' album. I like ALL Oasis' albums tho
ALthough it's not a classic, if you dig it out occassionally, it sounds great, like Oasis on Definitely Maybe amplified to 11 :D
I think people just expected too much and this wasnt wat they wanted. Shame

Knoxvillelives
June 8th 2005



342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I do think the over blown nature of the album is what keeps me coming back to it though, it's like Oasis on steroids, it sounds very different and although the songs never reach the peak of Glory and the like, they still work.
I;'d like to hear D'yer Know What I Mean? liveThis Message Edited On 06.08.05

Knoxvillelives
June 8th 2005



342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've got an acoustic version of D'You Know What I Mean by Noel and it's really really good. Just shows that once you strip down the song, it really is a classic. Really strong lyrics and the vocal is incredible.

oasisfan2005
August 8th 2005



1 Comments


by the way I don't think you really understood the whole subject behind don't go away. You made out that it had lyrics along the lines of crap-pop tunes which go around the UK charts, but actually the song was more serious than that, it was about Noel n Liams mum being suspected to have had cancer and I think they do a very good job at expressing a need to keep her around in the lyrics. I think it should be higher than 1.5/5.

Med57
Moderator
August 8th 2005



1001 Comments


Ah, I didn't know that actually. It doesn't really make the lyrics any better in my eyes, but it's interesting that it's written about something like that.

Senor_Whippy
October 10th 2005



367 Comments


Whenever I hear this record,I wanna kill someone.

Knoxvillelives
November 8th 2005



342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yet you still gave it two stars?
Jesus what would you do to a 0/5 album?

Tsuruka
November 25th 2005



55 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't see what everyone has against this. Yes, it has some godawful tracks, but those that aren't that bad are pretty good.

The only thing I have against it, as everyone else says, is that its self indulgent to a degree.

Desensitized
November 26th 2005



136 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I hated this album so much when it came out. Mainly because 'Morning Glory' got me listening to rock music.

But after several years of ignoring it, I put it in a few months ago and realized that it's not that bad. There are a few dull tracks, and Noel actually took 'Stay Young' off the album for 'Magic Pie' which I thought (and still do) that it was a bad move, but overall once you get used to the weird production and overblown lengths, it's pretty good.

Again, not as good as their first two (or their new one, which I really love), but not that bad either.

Skinhead On The MBTA
November 28th 2005



24 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

2? seriously? Admittedly, this isn't as good as their first two, but not much in this genre is to be perfectly honest. I'd give this 3.5, All Around The World is one of my favourite songs ever, doesn't go on long enough im my opinion. I will agree that Magic Pie should have been left off in favour of Stay Young (which could have been a single, not a b-side, if Noel acctually liked the song), and that D'You Know What I Mean should have been shorter (I'm pretty sure the single version isn't 7 minutes long, why didn't they put that on?)

Knoxvillelives
November 29th 2005



342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

To be honest, I like this album a lot
I genuinely can't see anything very wrong with it
But I just love Oasis an irrational amount



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