Oasis
Be Here Now


2.0
poor

Review

by ZackSh33 USER (27 Reviews)
November 23rd, 2012 | 29 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While it has some good ideas at its core, Be Here Now is way too loud and way too long to be successful.

Fifteen years ago, if you lived in Britain and asked who the biggest band around was, the unanimous answer was Oasis. Many people hailed the band from Manchester as the second coming of the Beatles, a revival of British rock and roll, and an expression of happiness in a country that hadn't had much of a musical personality since the mid 80s. Led by Oasis and their rivals Blur, “Brit-Pop” emerged in the mid 90s, and it featured a sound based off of melody, huge choruses, and washed out electric guitars.

After some considerable hype, Oasis debuted with Definitely Maybe, an album that was a fuzzy, loud and brash statement of intent from the band, and was also an immediate success. Their follow up, What's the Story (Morning Glory) ended up selling 23 million copies because of singles “Some Might Say,” “Wonderwall,” “Morning Glory,” “Don't Look Back in Anger,” and “Champagne Supernova.” Without a doubt, in 1997, Oasis was the biggest band in the UK, and their eventual follow up was to be one of the most anticipated music releases of the decade. Be Here Now, the band's third album, was released in August 1997. While it was originally praised as being one of the best albums since Sgt. Pepper, the frenzy eventually faded, and now has the honor of marking the end of the height of Brit-Pop because of its excess and lack of marketable, radio ready singles. Coming in at a bloated 72 minutes, the album reeks of half-baked ideas, rushed recording, and heaps of cocaine. To give you an idea of how loud and long this album actually is, there's a song that has thirty guitar overdubs, there's a different song that has a running time of 9 minutes and 20 seconds...and then has a two minute reprise, and the shortest song on the album has a running time of 4 minutes and 23 seconds. Did I mention that the album artwork features a car in a swimming pool, in front of a mansion?

As soon as you start the album, you know something has changed since Morning Glory. First track “D'You Know What I Mean,” (which goes for 7 minutes 42 seconds) starts off with about a minute of static, and beeping noises. The song has a fine chorus, as well as a decent reverb soaked guitar solo, but, like most tracks on this album, it becomes stagnant and overstays its welcome by about two minutes. At its absolute core, the song is solid, but was obviously rushed and simply too busy and loud to make any lasting impressions. “My Big Mouth” follows the same vein; a good idea washed away by too much background noise and distortion. “Magic Pie” nicely slows things down for a little while, but the lack of decent lyrics (“I dig his friends/I dig his shoes” and “Cause you see me/I got my Magic Pie”), and not enough emphasis on making the song plain listenable eventually drags it down as well.

The first glimpse of anything actually great on the album is “Stand By Me,” an anthem that features a great pre-chorus lead up, some distortion-free guitars, and is probably the only song on the entire album where you can decipher each individual instrument. However, the album just drags on from there. “The Girl in the Dirty Shirt” is a six minute throw away. “Fade In-Out” starts off terribly, and then degenerates further into a mess of noises, and “Don't Go Away” is a just plain boring ballad that doesn't have the right stuff. “All Around the World” carries a great tune, and has three dramatic key changes, its only downside being that it is another track that could have easily been cut by about three minutes, at which point it may have been comparable to “Champagne Supernova.” It also has a completely unnecessary reprise that adds another two minutes at the end of the album that should have been cut without even a second thought.

Even though it did end up selling quite a few copies, upon listening to Be Here Now in full, one has to wonder how on Earth this album was released the way it was. At the end of the day, the album should have been cut down by about twenty minutes, and that's being lenient. Where Definitely Maybe was all about wanting to become a rock star, and Morning Glory was all about the excess of actually being a rock star, Be Here Now is the hangover of all that fame. If you're willing to deal with its excessive running time, sonic mud, and barely average lyrics, Be Here Now offers an interesting look at the end of the Britpop honeymoon, and, at a band, who despite being at the height of their fame, almost lost everything in one single swoop.



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user ratings (615)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
ZackSh33
November 22nd 2012


296 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This was seriously painful to listen to straight through.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yea it aint great

Digging: iamthemorning - Belighted

someguest
November 22nd 2012


20563 Comments


Some might say this album sucks.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

clever

someguest
November 22nd 2012


20563 Comments


Be here now. Don't go away. It's gettin' better (man!)

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

damn, my big mouth

someguest
November 22nd 2012


20563 Comments


cleaver

ZackSh33
November 22nd 2012


296 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The worst part is that I'm still not completely convinced that this is their worst album.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

it aint they've done much worse

ZackSh33
November 22nd 2012


296 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I want to know what was going on in the studio at this point. Probably something like "Yeaaaaaaah that 8 minute song sounds great right after that 7 minute song. Where's the coke?" Seriously, who's responsible here? The band or the management?

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

dont spose any of them really cared they were already huge by the time this came out

skoopy48
November 22nd 2012


1499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Am i the only one who doesn't mind this? Granted its not close to their first two albums but it isnt...that...bad

Digging: Let It Happen - Cause Effect

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

well, 2.5 is average so its sorta similair to 'dont mind'

ZackSh33
November 22nd 2012


296 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

@skoopy48 I really wanted to like it. I love Def Maybe and Morning Glory, and I even have a soft spot for Heathen Chemistry, and Dig, but this is just too much for me.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


31163 Comments


If only it was on this album

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

only decent one they did was the debut

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


16023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ah morning glory has a few good moments too i spose

ZackSh33
November 22nd 2012


296 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Morning Glory is one of the best albums of the 90s, hands down.

breakingthefragile
November 23rd 2012


2956 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album was pretty much the death of britpop, but that being said, at least it went out with a bombastic, over the top, egotistical explosion. To say this album is bloated would definitely be an understatement; too many songs here are far too long to be constructed like the singles that they are. All in all though, this is Oasis at their most shameless and cockiest, and I think that just being so full of itself is what made this such a unique pop rock album that defined who they were at that point in this band's career, even if them imploding wasn't a good point. For me, this album is still a big disappointment, but it's also still a lot of fun, anthematic, and reckless like rock that's polished up enough to slide into the pop radio waves should be.

Digging: Cathedrals - Cathedrals EP

ReturnToRock
November 23rd 2012


3448 Comments


Damn, has it really been 15 years already?!

I remember loving this album when I was 12, almost as much as Morning Glory and much more than Definitely Mayber. What came after it is still way, way, WAY worse (Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants, anyone?)

Anyway, good review, solid points, even if I don't agree with the rating. All Around The World is a fantastic song. Then again, I haven't listened to this in almost 15 years, so I could be wrong.

Pos'd.



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