With Liam and Noel Gallagher just having released two of the strongest albums they’ve been involved with since the mid 90’s, we may all be better off with the brothers making music separately. Can we accept that?
But then there’s our attachment to Oasis. Especially, the version of the band from the ’90s. Perhaps the last defiantly British group to have success all across the world. A group is known as much for their music as for their self-confidence, or arrogance is perhaps what you would call it.
And as the years go by, the images of Gallagher brothers are invested with all the more power. Especially if British audiences. After all, it’s a rags to riches story involving rock n’ roll. Two kids from an ordinary family who made good.
Then there’s no secret that the brothers never really got along. Or, at least, that there was plenty of trouble brewing between them once Oasis became an important band. This tension at first served the music. And with responsibilities clearly drawn out between band members, Oasis made some of the greatest albums of the ’90s. The band carried on putting out music. Some of it was inspired. Some of it felt like the band was phoning in. One could even cynically assume that at times, perhaps, the Gallaghers were happy to play in front of the large audiences, get their sizeable paychecks, and get home.
Tensions finally came to a head and the group was broken up by a guitar being wielded around like an axe and some fruit being thrown about a dressing room. The brothers carried on separately. Results, once again. There were sparks of brilliance and, at times, there were some forgettable songs.
But now, in 2017, at a stage in their career when most musicians call it a day and ease back into the comfort of simply playing out their hits for ever diminishing audiences, the two Gallaghers, separately made two of the best albums of their career.
Liam Gallagher released the first solo album of his career “As you were”. Reviews have been positive, with some going so far as to claim it as the “best post-Oasis release so far by any of the former members”. Liam followed up the Oasis break-up with the formation of Beady Eye, a group that for the most part featured the Oasis members sans Noel. Whereas Beady Eye was often good, but sometimes felt misguided, Liam’s solo effort feels much more direct.
It emphasizes the singers qualities and hides away the possible weaknesses. The songs are co-written with a number of high-profile songwriters. It’s a move that Noel may have laughed at, but a necessary one for his brother. Liam is back being and his return has felt natural and needed, given the utter lack of interesting characters populating the rock world these days.
Noel has released “Who built the moon?” along with his backing back The High Flying birds. Reviews for the album have been almost universally positive. Noel finds himself bringing up the past on this record and sounds inspired doing it. His skillful songwriting is given a great psychedelic polish reminiscent of the 90’s records he was involved in.
It’s a record that Noel may have hinted at for the last releases, but it’s his most accomplished yet. Even on Oasis’ final albums there were hints of the psychedelia driven sound used on this album. It’s his best solo album. It arguably features his best collection of songs for a long time. Most importantly, it shows the songwriter passioned about the project, taking risks, stepping outside his comfort zone.
Both have spoken about their plans to quickly follow up their respective records. There’s reason to hope the newer releases will even be an improvement. It’s an unexpected, but pleasant surprise from the musicians.So, why are we so hung up on the past?
Aren’t we simply too obsessed with myths to look towards reality? Maybe too comfortable to give new music a chance? Too obsessed with youth culture to hear what good artists have to say later stages of their career.
Oasis reuniting would be an amazing event. It would please fans across the world and fulfill a fantasy of many. At the same time, it could step back. It would be celebrating nostalgia. When really, the Gallagher brothers are offering better music now, then they were in the final stages of Oasis’ existence.