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Don't Believe The Truth
Sony Records

This album marks something of a departure for Oasis in that the greedy brothers actually allow their other band members to write some of the songs. Fortunately for you and me, it still sounds like Oasis. They've got the lyrics set out in the insert, and there is a strange mix of woefully cheesy (including excruciating use of apostrophes and lower class British spelling in "Love Like A Bomb") and occasionally thoughtful - there are actually some lyrics scattered throughout this album that resonate with me. Hard to believe these lads can relate to common human experience, but maybe they're thinking back to their pre-Notting Hill days. Even if you don't give a toss about lyrics, though (and really Oasis tends to be more about the music and the sound of Liam's voice), musically this is still one of their best offerings in recent years. There's not a major clunker in the lot. As usual, there are heavy 60's overtones, and as always for the band that claimed they were a modern day Beatles, that includes ripping off the Beatles. And the Rolling Stones. Oasis overlays it with their own swagger and attitude, Noel's rock god guitar and Liam's distinctive snarl, so you still know who you're listening to. This album is best played really loud so you can pretend you're singing along at Wembley.

The record is mostly comprised of solid, guitar-driven rockers of the type one expects from Oasis, sprinkled with a few of the slower, more melodic songs that I'm a sucker for. The opener, "Turn Up the Sun," kicks it all off in classic stand-up-and-nod-along Oasis style, and "Lyla," the first single off the album, does too, taking us all the way back to the beginning of "Turn Up The Sun" 7 minutes and 30 seconds earlier. See, they don't just copy the Beatles! Until you hear "Love Like A Bomb," which has lots of ye olde Beatles in it, "A Bell Will Ring," which starts with a slightly slower riff than the one from "Day Tripper" it could be modeled on, and my favorite song here, the album's closer, "Let There Be Love." How they resurrected John Lennon to sing on Liam's parts, I'm not sure, but the song is surely going to be an arena sing-along classic. Other fine offerings on the album include the circus-tent, vaguely burlesque style of "The Importance Of Being Idle," the quick little number, "The Meaning Of Soul" (although the lyrics are pompous twaddle, appearing to affirm Liam's continued belief that he is god), and "Guess God Thinks I'm Abel," which is a pretty little number, but a little creepy, since when you see the title you immediately think of the weirdo contentious relationship between Liam and Noel. Some of the lyrics support that, too, but then there are the lines "I could be your lover" and "Let's make it tonight." Ew, who says "make it"!?! After a few listens I even fell for the chorus of "Keep The Dream Alive," which at first sounded like a bad amalgam of Tom Petty, Counting Crows, and about thirty shitty, interchangeable bands you hear on "alt-rock" stations. "Mucky Fingers" was a little weak, but then I loathe harmonicas and would be okay with melting them all down so Sporty Spice and other cuties never have to worry about running out of metal crowns. I'll overlook the lapse.

If you like Oasis - and it seems to me people either love 'em or hate 'em - then you probably already have Don't Believe The Truth. If you like Oasis and don't have it yet, get off yer arse! You need it now.

-Heidi Lamer

Track Listing:
1. Turn Up The Sun
2. Mucky Fingers
3. Lyla
4. Love Like A Bomb
5. The Importance Of Being Idle
6. The Meaning Of Soul
7. Guess God Thinks I'm Abel
8. Part Of The Queue
9. Keep The Dream Alive
10. A Bell Will Ring
11. Let There Be Love

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