Review Summary: I know we don't need another review of this. I just love it, OK?
Let's be honest: there's no reason for me to actually review this album. Oasis
's seminal masterpiece has been acclaimed by so many different people that it's almost ineffective to say anything good about it anymore. I generally don't like to write reviews of albums that have had more than their fair share of reviews.
Yet, there's this feeling that I get every single time the beginning of "Champagne Supernova" comes on that is just an incredible sensation, almost like I'm entering another world. It's an incredible piece of music and one of the most memorable album closers of all time. It's a seven minute song that just feels so much more compact and reasonable because of Noel Gallagher's songwriting and (yes, I'm being entirely serious here) his and Liam's vocal delivery.
Granted, as I'm writing this review, I realize that I'm probably very under qualified to be writing anything about Oasis or (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
. I didn't live through Britpop in the United States, much less in the UK, and I've only critically listened to this single Oasis album. However, I feel that, for no other reason than my love for this album, it's worth trying anyway.
Let's start with Morning Glory
's flaws. "She's Electric" is a little strange lyrically and feels a tad out of place...
...and that's honestly about it. Yes, "Wonderwall" is ubiquitous and quite annoying to some people, but that doesn't make it inherently a worse song. It was actually quite a big turning point for Britpop when it was released, as was this album. The movement took a lot from shoegaze early on, and so did Oasis. Definitely Maybe
shows a lot of the effects-driven distorted guitar parts familiar to shoegaze listeners that for better or for worse partially overwhelm the rest of the album. However, most of Morning Glory
shows a strive for better songwriting and emphasizes the strength of the individual track and what it can do for the record as a whole. Look at songs like "Don't Look Back in Anger," "Cast No Shadow," and the aforementioned "Wonderwall" and "Champagne Supernova." All of these tracks focus on being lyrically and melodically sound before drenching them with Oasis's music. That, to me, is the mark of a good album: one where the individual tracks can stand on their own musically and lyrically but also equally as strong as part of a whole piece of music in the album.
Of course, Oasis's music does nothing to hurt these incredibly well-written tracks. On the contrary, it perfectly suits them. I've heard covers of all of the most famous tracks from Morning Glory
, in particular "Wonderwall" and "Don't Look Back in Anger," and I can't shake this feeling that there's something missing. Noel and Liam crafted something incredibly beautiful in the music of Morning Glory
. Their increase of the use of acoustic guitars and pianos from Definitely Maybe
changed British music forever. While us in the States were going full-grunge and reeling from the loss of Nirvana, Britain was growing softer and more sentimental with releases like Morning Glory
. This led to the immense popularity of bands like The Verve
, and Coldplay
in the late 1990s and early 2000s after Britpop's decline. It also explains why me, someone who likes the softer side of music, generally prefers Morning Glory
to Definitely Maybe
. I have not been able to make it through a full critical listen of the latter yet, while the former is one of my favorite albums of the 1990s.
Honestly, I do understand that we don't need another review of Morning Glory
, just like we don't need another cover of "Wonderwall." Yet, like I've said, there's just something about this album that makes me want to write about it. Maybe it's those opening moments of any of the songs I've mentioned above; maybe it's the Gallagher brothers' nasally yet strangely endearing vocals. I'm not really sure. I just know that I love it, and that's enough for me.
Best tracks: "Wonderwall," "Don't Look Back in Anger," "Some Might Say," "Champagne Supernova," "Cast No Shadow"