It’s strange to think that it’s been 14 years since the ’90s British pop-rock duo Oasis debuted its classic, highly praised Definitely Maybe, and it’s clear from the band’s subsequent output that the brothers Gallagher will probably never achieve the same level of creative success or inspiration that they once wowed fans with. Thus, the band’s most recent album, Dig Out Your Soul, benefits from the bar being set very low.
Given the passionless, uninspired albums it follows, Dig Out Your Soul sounds hopeful in comparison, but as usual, there isn’t much to work with and they run out of momentum fairly quickly, delivering only a faint glimmer of innovation.
It’s listenable at times with tracks like “Falling Down,” which is a dreamy and drone-y ballad but kind of one-note, “The Shock of Lightning,” the forceful, hard-hitting rocker that’s pretty derivative of their older, mid-90s sound, and sometimes confusing, like with “Bag It Up” and “(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady,” but for the most part, Dig Out Your Soul is stagnant and anti-climactic, as experienced with the mostly forgettable and uninteresting “I’m Outta Time” and the awkward “Nature of Reality.”
It feels like an attempt to relive their former glory, and though they might be aiming to modernize their sound, which they sometimes achieve with a swirling, hypno psych-pop aesthetic, it’s obvious that they are past their prime and keep regressing back to the same old concepts.
Listening to Dig Out Your Soul is repetitive in itself, because by now we already know that they’ve been influenced by the Beatles, particularly John Lennon, and the ’60s in general, but it’s no longer creative, inspiring or re-contextualized wih a fresh perspective.
At this point, it has come to be expected, along with the feeling that maybe at this point this is as good as it is going to get for Oasis… at least until they get hit with clear, resurgent inspiration.