Standing on the Shoulder of Giants



by Knoxvillelives USER (9 Reviews)
May 15th, 2005 | 74 replies

Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

Oasis had suffered a bit of a public backlash after their 1997 album ‘Be Here Now’, an over zealous, self indulgent guitar fest, one which received instant supernova sales and critical acclaim, which promptly died down after people really listened to the album. It wasn’t bad, not at all, but it certainly wasn’t what people were expecting from the Manchester Prodigy’s of rock who erupted with their incredible debut albums ‘Definitely Maybe’ and ‘What’s The Story Morning Glory?’.

This 2001 album is a whole different story, an epic, almost psychedelic piece of work which has been overshadowed by Oasis’ earlier, undoubtedly better, but simpler debuts. This album’s production mixes the vastness of Be Here Now with a muddy, crowded Rolling Stone’s feel. It is a great album, which needs to be looked at out of context, because it sounds very little like the Oasis of old.

A rip roaring opener for the album. A thrashing drum beat, which thunders throughout the song. The whole song has a rave feel to it, with a sort of compare screaming over the top about what I assumed to be the conservative government (with whom Noel had particular issues with back in the 80’s), with interview fragments from two old prim types, talking about ‘Children running around naked, ***ing in the bushes’, and ‘All are welcome, I love it!’ which slip perfectly into the song. There is a sinister feel to the song, with the Led Zeppelin-esque guitars penetrating a hard rhythm and haunting female vocals. Incredible

One of those forgotten greats. Another, more laid back and casual, drumbeat starts before Liam coolly counts in. The song is led by a Folky acoustic guitar strumming away at an A chord, with Liam’s delivering a typically perfect, cool vocal before shouting ‘Pick up the bass!’. From here, on the song is pure rock, which a heady winding Beatles bass line rolling around under the drum and heavy electric guitar thrashing out for the bridge. The chorus of this song is typical Stadium rock, with memorable, catchy lyrics and the simplest melodies combining to create a classic. The song also breaks down, with quiet guitars and a rising synth rhythm, before Noel’s guitar rings back out and Liam’s come back in for a fantastic chorus, reaching an almost orgasm of sound.

Odd sound loops and bongos set the psychedelic tone for this song, which fuses the simple driving bass line of Go Let It Out and a nice harmony between Liam and Noel. Although this obviously isn’t a classic, I feel it represents this album the best, mixing studio effects, beautiful production and simple and catchy choruses. The song is reminiscent of ‘Rain’ by The Beatles and has a very McArtney middle 8, with what even sounds like a sitar. An experimental but effective song, keeping within Oasis’ recognised boundaries.

This is the kind of song that wasn’t very well received at the time of the albums. Tape loops, a growling piano sound and a distant Liam vocal. Although it certainly won’t be on anyone’s favourites list, it isn’t terrible at all, and sits perfectly on this particular album, with it’s distorted guitars and typically melodramatic backing vocals (much like those lovely ladies on ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’) which reappear throughout the album. Towards the end, Noel and Liam share the vocals, in turn singing, ‘Watch out’, their voices working perfectly together despite the obvious differences.

Beginning similarly to Who Feels Love, with haunting effects with sound for the whole song. This features a simple piano riff, which is accompanied quietly by an acoustic guitar strumming on the offbeat. This song is written by Liam, and you can tell as his vocals are seemingly more careful and passionate than previously. The lyrics are in turn, beautiful and stupid, ranging from ‘Thank you for your smile, you make it all worthwhile for us’ to ‘You live for your toys, even though they make noise’. Stupidly, some horribly synthesised backing vocals appear, but very quietly. This is a nice song which could have been dealt with better with a little more time, for example, a more appropriate guitar solo and more simple and catchy ‘Na nah nah’ bit at the end, which tries to imitate ‘Hey Jude’, which this song clearly mimics.

Wonderful wonderful music. Factory style hisses create the beat for this sinister, lurking song, which very muted guitar strums. This features a classic Liam vocal, perfectly suiting the sinister lyrics, ‘You better get on your knees and pray, Panic is on the way’, which are sublime throughout. Although Noel failed to resist the guitar climax at the beginning on the second verse, he did refrain from overdoing the Wah solo, keeping it simple and effective, before rolling right back into that beautiful chorus. Although I would have liked to hear more some more effects in a similar vein to the automated hiss, which drives the beginning, this is a real highlight of the album.

The first of two back-to-back Noel ballads (which should really have been separated), this song begins grand, with guitar bends being kept carefully below volume. The vocal by Noel is typically beautiful, with true heartfelt and meaningful lyrics about when life just gets you down. I would argue that the verses are overcrowded, with acoustics, double tracked vocals and very quiet synthesiser tinkling under the vocals. This has that ‘Be Here Now’ sense of over production, where a more subtle approach may have worked more effectively. A good song, hampered by over zealous layering.

Similar to the above, but a much lower key affair, with a simple acoustic guitar sequence, light drums under Noel’s dignified vocal and a synthesiser sequence. The lyrics are in a similar vein as ‘Where Did It All Go Wrong’, but the chorus has more impact due to the suppressed nature of the verse, with more subtle backing vocals. A beautiful song, showing off Noel’s lyrical prowess and soulful vocal talent. The song breaks down into a heavy but typically slow guitar solo, which suits the songs dramatic feel well before rising into a euphoric final chorus.

An obviously heavier song, with a chugging guitar intro, heavy drum crashes and a slightly distorted vocal. The lyrics aren’t exactly inspiring, ‘I can see a Liar, sitting by the fire’, but they work well with the simple rock feel of the song, but the chorus is undoubtedly catchy. There’s not much to say about the song, except that it sounds similar to the later Oasis rock, such as ‘My Big Mouth’ and ‘Force Of Nature’, effective and enjoyable, bur ultimately forgettable.

An interesting but effective choice for an intro. A sort of laid-back apocalypse song, with long echoing clean guitar strums, with a slow and meaningful vocal by Liam, with a banjo (possibly) tinkering away at the end of each verse stanza, a sound which undoubtedly influenced later UK bands like Travis. The bridge signals a stadium chorus, raised in pitch before dropping back down to a perfect chorus vocal which perfectly compliments the simple lyrics, giving each word meaning, ‘Roll it over my son, leave me here’. The second verse introduces fading guitar finger picking which echo in between Liam’s voice. The lyrics don’t make much sense, but are given meaning by the slow, plodding rhythm and Liam’s empowered vocal. The song breaks down to a very slow jam, with occasional guitar solos and dramatic backing vocals. The whole song and feel is reminiscent to Pink Floyd’s epic close ‘Brain Damage/Eclipse’ to their masterpiece ‘Dark Side of The Moon’, an album which Noel has often stated as one of his favourites’. A wonderful close to a brilliant album, leaving you with a sense of celebration or tragedy, depending on your mood.

Although I prefer vintage Oasis over their more recent material, I think that their albums have always been consistently brilliant in their delivery of powerful, sometimes moving and always uplifting music. This album is a typical example of a great piece of work being cast aside because it wasn’t Definitely Maybe, which is a shame.

Many people often dismiss Be Here Now onwards as the worst of Oasis’ material, which in many ways is true, but people keep wanting to recreate that magic of Definitely Maybe, but the thing is, it won’t happen, the time and feel of 1994 has gone, and Oasis have moved on, leaving their often oppressive fans in the wake. If people could just move on with them and accept that Oasis are still making great albums and songs like, ‘The Hindu Times’, ‘Go Let It Out’ and ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’ they would see that Oasis are still the best British rock band around, and have been for ten years.

This album gets 4/5

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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
May 16th 2005


Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Nice review, very nice. You almost convinced me that this was a good album. Too bad I own it, and know it sucks. :p

But yeah nice work.

May 16th 2005


Good review. But, like morrissey, I'd give it at most 2/5. Personally I think that this is a really bad album, and one that shows everything that's gone wrong with Oasis since Morning Glory...

May 16th 2005


haha, I totally agree with mozza.

May 17th 2005


this album sucks balls.

good review tho.

May 20th 2005


You seriously think it's bad?
But why?
I cant see how any one could dislike a good album simply because what went before it was better.
What in particular is bad about it?

July 2nd 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

Exactly. You can't expect a band to be bringing out the same material over and over again.

September 18th 2005


Album rating edited on request to 3 stars.

September 19th 2005


thank you sir

September 19th 2005


Appalling Band, horrific album.

Sorry to offend the Oasis fans, but can I be the first to say what is so special about this band. Noel I have some (and I use the word 'some' with loose credibity) respect for. He's got the voice of a true rock band. But if Liam decides to write another song for another album, let alone sing for one, I'm going to have to scream.

September 19th 2005


is the title a reference to the r.e.m. song "king of birds" that has the line "standing on the shoulders of giants leaves me cold"? or is it just a saying i'm not familiar with?

nice review by the way

September 19th 2005


i hate this album
i hate oasis

the ironic thing is that the review was good.

September 19th 2005


Touché Grateful Dead. I just felt like getting a cheap shot in.

Being in the UK I can quite honestly say they are NOT the best thing to emerge from the 90's, and are not (as wrongly stated in the past) one of the best bands of all time. Their songwriting skills are appealing to the simple minds of mainstream.

September 19th 2005


Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

It was Pulp, wasn't it?

September 19th 2005


Opinions ARE a serious buisness. Luckily, the quote you used of mine was no opinion. Subjective as general taste may be, these top 100 album list things keep spurting out the same old ****...they don't take into account the majority. Whoever in their right minds would put any of Oasis's albums in the top 100 albums of all time needs a good talking to.

September 19th 2005


Whoa, calm down boys, we're all friends here

Thanks for the good review comment...please vote for me to go up, I'm so desperately lonely

Love writin reviews

September 20th 2005


Believe me Knoxsville, I ain't your friend. I'm your sweet, unblond enemy.


Skinhead On The MBTA
November 28th 2005


Album Rating: 3.0

If these "Top 100 Albums of all time" things are bullshit, and that no-one in their right minds would like Oasis, how come they're one of the biggest selling artists in the world, and (just using a couple of examples here) can get their new album to the top of the charts AND sell out Madison Square Garden in an hour? Personally I think that Definitely Maybe and (What's the Story) Morning Glory are excellent albums, and well deserving of their places in these polls (some of which are based on actual album sales btw).

Back to this album, I agree that it isn't their best work, but 2/5? come on, it's not that bad is it? 3 minimum, which is what it gets from me.This Message Edited On 11.28.05

November 29th 2005


Everyone please ignore Soul_kid he's just on here to insult Oasis
They're not the best band ever, I wouldn't say any of their albums are the best ever, but I would put Morning Glory and Definitely Maybe in my top five and I think that they should reasonably come into the top 15 of any album chart.

Well said Skinead

March 11th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

SotSoG is an okay album for me. F***** In The Bushes, Go Let It Out!, Gas Panic!, and Where Did It All Go Wrong are brilliant tunes. The rest is rather dull. Needless to say PYMWYMI and Little James are shitty and even the msot loyal Oasis fan can tell you that. Sunday Morning Call and Who Feels Love? are okay tunes. Those 4 songs I mentioned before save the album for me.

April 3rd 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I don't think there's a single bad song on this album. It's definetley my least favourite Oasis album, but none of the song's are bad. There all catchy and fairly well written. Who Feels Love is one of my favourite Oasis tracks althought it could be mistaken for a Beatle song if not for Liam's distinct vocals.

I think the only song's I would skip over are Little James, and Fucking In The Bushes.

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