So this is first of many music reviews I’ll be doing as part of my Music Mondays! I’ll be reviewing both new and old albums. And to start off with today I’ll be reviewing a classic album that I grew up listening to and that is the second album from Oasis: “(Whats the story) Morning Glory”. I recently bought the actual physical CD to add to my new and growing music collection. The fact that Oasis are originally from Manchester, my home city! Makes me like it even more! Although they are originally from Manchester but probably are a million miles away from living here and a million lives away from living the Mancunian lifestyle from what it seems, however they still very much hold a great place in their home city along with the many of the greats, so I thought this will be a fitting first of many great albums for me to review.
Their second album “(Whats the story) Morning Glory” was released on 2nd October 1995. Its widely recognised that this record is what made them well known on a larger scale from being an indie act to a worldwide rock phenomenon! The album was a product from the independent and now defunct record label A Creation Records, (What’s the story) Morning Glory was produced by Noel Gallagher and Owen Morris at Rockfield studios in Wales. The band at the time consisted of; Liam Gallagher: Lead Vocalist, Noal Gallagher: Lead Guitarist, Co-lead Vocalist, Mellotron, Piano, E Bow and the Principle Songwriter, Paul Arthurs: Rhythm Guitarist, Mellotron and Piano, Paul McGuigan: Bass player and Alan White: Drums and Percussion.
The sound in this album is a lot less raw than their first Album “Defiantly Maybe”. Morning Glory uses a variety of instruments and has more string arrangements especially when it comes to the chorus part of the songs. The chorus of every song on the album are very catchy and stays in your head like a permanent marker, almost like its intuitive……. you know how you hear a song for the very first time yet somehow you already know the lyrics to them? and can sing along to it like you’ve heard it a million times before? its a weird thing but an incredibly common experience in music so I have come to notice anyway, call it osmosis (of oasis) if you will? Ha. But this album defiantly has that affect. Because of the use of the varied instruments and string arrangements it made this album more balladry yet very anthemic at the same time, this combination worked very well for them since with this album they played in massive arenas, around the world, so it suited the sound and atmosphere alike. Everything in this album just seems to balance out in just the right amounts; with the combination of ballerdry and anthemic sound, and with the lyrics expressing quite sad and depressive things but in an uplifting way. Personally I love anything , that’s straight up real and although this album has a lot of embellishments in both sound and lyrical content it still to me has a grounded undertone of some realness and its the closest thing especially at the time to real as you can get and compared to what’s out today this still is very much down to earth and real which is why most likely it will live on. (But if I ever really want straight up real with no disguises I turn to rap music, especially the old school underground stuff! Its the best discovery I’ve ever made! ).
The main vocalists of the band is Liam Gallagher, his vocals stays very true to his Mancunian roots which signifies a true British sound, which is quite rare in mainstream music, equally back then and even more so nowadays, since its more common for British singers especially those who make it big, that their voices sound very Americanised, usually out of natural habit since most of the music in mainstream that we hear in the UK is American, so its only natural to pick up that sound, but I do love the very few that can stay true to their roots and natural sound that almost replicates their normal speaking voice and Liam Gallagher does this very well and is among the very few that do this with such ease.
As well as loving the sound I actually really like the lyrics to the songs, the main songwriter Noel Gallagher states in the interviews I’ve heard that most of the songs don’t really mean much or anything, which if true then fair play, but from listening to it from both a surface level and intently there is some meaning in each song that he does portray and are quite significant to an extent. I generally would like to know more about the songwriting process, as I find the whole artvery interesting and there’s very little out there about it.
Growing up listening to Oasis I was familiar with most of the songs on the album especially their biggest hit: Wonderwall. Along with that, “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, “Roll With It”, “She’s Electric” and “Supernova”, these where the songs I was most familiar with before I bought the album. And I have to say my new favourites now are “Hey Now” and “Cast no Shadow”. I love the melody of “Hey Now” and how the lead vocalist Liam Gallagher’s voice blends in and moves with the musical melody with real flow and ease , and the first line is pretty epic too“I hitched a ride with my soul by the side of the road” there’s so much that can be made of that line along with another favourite line in this song “times no chain”. I like “Cast no Shadow” because it simply reminds of some of the older homeless men I see out in the streets of Manchester……. you know ’ I always wonder to myself how did they get to that point where they have no one to really turn to? I’ve volunteered in homeless shelters and had great conversation with them and most of them are very eloquent and did have a stable life and careers before it all went…. well down hill I guess, I just found some of their stories fascinating,( well the ones that were being honest with me anyway as quite a lot of them are quite sneaky trying to make you feel sorry for them by making up elaborate yet convincing stories just to try and get some pity money out of you so they can go buy drugs and alcohol, its cheeky and funny when you think about it but also really sad and super disturbing). Anyway, the song really reminds me of them, however after I did a little research into the song, I found that the song was actually written about and dedicated to Richard Ashcroft the lead singer of another band I loved “The Verve”. Now that I know this I love it even more, it such a sweet song, especially the line “ he was bound with the weight of all the words he tried to say”, because it seems that Ashcroft was always misunderstood and to be honest a lot of great and highly intelligent people usually are misunderstood and its nice that other people like Noel can pick up on it and call out as it is!
When it comes to music its the record that lives on, and since Oasis have broken up since 2009, there music still lives on and in my estimation will for a very long time. Though most people say it sounds quite dated now, which I can understand, but it has a ground level value that makes it a timeless piece in my view. And the album wasn’t even aimed at my generation, yet I still know about it and love it and I don’t think I will ever really get tired of listing to it, and I’ve listed to it like a million times already! Its an album I truly love and recommend listening to if you haven’t already.
Sophia Alisa Ali