Sound — 9
With this album, Definitely Maybe, Oasis was finding itself around the new direction that British popular music was taken. Having served as a template for many bands to come after, such as Jet, the Killers, the Arctic Monkeys, and others, Oasis' first album is the best way to become a fan of Oasis, before truly appreciating their music. Noel and Liam Gallagher may have not immediately struck it's fans as the "Beatles of the '90s", but they were officially the most influential band of the '90s Second Wave of Britpop, having bands such as Blur, Oasis, Coldplay, the Stereophonics, and others arise from the burgeoning indie rock scene. Oasis, drawing on influences of the British Invasion and First Wave of Britpop in the '80s (The Stone Roses, The Smiths, The Happy Mondays, etc.), has created their own sound that has made them the most influential band of the '90s. What may be disparraging to purists in any realm of music is their tendency to lift a few of the original bases of popular British songs, in which case "Cigarettes and Alcohol" is the prime example, in which the legendary Marc Bolan is ripped off, while his contemporary, the even more famous David Bowie, is ripped off in the mediocre "Digsy's Dinner." However, with the continual growth in their songwriting, as well as Liam's vocals, Oasis became even better with each album than the last. The vocals may not be as perfect as every musical magazine made them out to be and Oasis is actually somewhat over-publicized in British music. However, Oasis lives up to it by making good music with excellent songwriting, with songs like "Rock and Roll Star", "Bring It On Down", "Supersonic", and "Live Forever", on this record. The legacy of Oasis should be enjoyed chronologically and in order to appreciate their later albums. Their legacy is very progressive and with the turn of the New Millenium, Oasis was maladjusted for the decade to come, as their albums would take directions shifting from their original sound, which is always a welcome change. All of their albums are good, but could Oasis make a steady debut? It was a Definitely Maybe.
Lyrics — 9
The best songwriting, by far, is on "Rock And Roll Star", which explores the basic constructs of rock and roll and people who dream of that success. This is very good songwriting that hearkens the days of the punk era, specifically the Jam, their main punk influence. 01. Shakermaker - is a Beatlesque ripoff of "I'd Like to Teach the World To Sing" that completely rewrites the lyrics of the song to fit their hedonistic undertones. Byfar, one of their most notorious (yet, one of their most famous) examples of plagarism that would continually be phased out, with each new album. 02. Live Forever - is byfar the best song on the album and the perfect example that simply has the most melodic songwriting of the album. it's chord structure and the way that the melody fits into it is a fresh breath of air for a new decade. 03. Up In The Sky - is a good song that is one of Oasis' archetypes. All of Oasis' basic melodies have been written out and this is a very good example of it. In the same way that Marc Bolan's entire collection of bluesy melodies were written out and made into great, perfect songs, this one gives a good example of that. 04. Columbia - may denote the feeling of an airport location, due to the dialogue in the background. However, the name of the country isn't spoken. A perfect example of shoegazing, this has a very well-written instrumentation that calls to mind Suede and the Jesus and Mary Chain, while also giving a great example of the shoegazing genre and how it would be perpetuated in British music, most popularly by the Verve. 05. Bring It On Down - is a punk-influenced song that denotes a '70s punk rock feeling that is mostly Sex Pistols-influenced. Bands like Elastica and Lush would be shown as the Second Wave of Britpop's best examples of punk rock-styled bands that played songs like this. However, punk is not alive, anymore. The best place to look for songs that call to mind this type of punk rock influence are definitely bands that Oasis influenced, such as the Kaiser Chiefs, the Libertines, and others in the Third Wave of Britpop. 06. Cigarettes And Alcohol - we meet again. This song, while having catchy, intricate songwriting, suffers from two faults. It is not approved for non-smokers, or, children under the age of 18+, due to it's overtly hedonistic nature. While catchy, it may leave a bad taste in listeners' mouths, due to this. Refer to Sound Section for it's influences. Oasis definitely does not call to mind Marc Bolan and T-Rex. 07. Digsy's Dinner - is not the best song on the track. In fact, it is probably the most mediocre and David Bowie, who was more famous in America than Marc Bolan was, would hate this song. One of punk's most influential artists, since the Who, David Bowie's song "Rebel Rebel" is definitely ripped off in this particular song. 08. Slide Away - is another great song that is similar to "Up In the Sky", in the fact that it brings to mind the familiarity of Oasis' stylistic melodies. It is the basis for an album-oriented track. 09. Married With Children - is only seminally approachable. It does not bring to mind the Oasis style and does not reflect a particular touch and it is a pretentious track that seems to call to mind the Gallaghers' attempts to act like the Stones, with lyrics like, "Your music's sh**e/ It keeps me up all night, up all night." Truthfully, the Gallaghers are not the Rolling Stones, but are certainly rock and roll, none the less.
Overall Impression — 9
Oasis is influential and should not be recognized for mere tabloid stardom. When their music is truly examined, they are starkly original, which is a glass half full. Their other half is not truly original, but that would become phased out with the motions of time that came from later albums, especially "What's the Story (Morning Glory?)" and "Don't Believe the Truth." If Oasis released a new album in the U.K., it would still be successful, though, it would only explore the heightened levels of expectation that have been garnered by an ever-ready audience, as Liam Gallagher is a better vocalist now, than he has ever been. However, it would take a while for British 1990's kids to forget the great album that came with Definitely Maybe. This album isn't perfect, because Liam's vocals had yet to evolve. However, this is an album that marked a new direction in music. Oasis' "Morning Glory" would bring absolute glory, as they would reach the height of the Britpop era. Thus, they would be able to reach the heights of their prophesized and oft-discussed British Invasion, First Wave Britpop, and '70s punk rock influences. But until then, it was Definitely Maybe. For bands that have been influenced by Oasis, check out the following: Kasabian, The Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Jet, The Libertines. Again, Oasis served as the template for these bands and thus, I would recommend buying it again, if it were to be lost.