CD Standing on the Shoulder of Giants [PA] [093624981978] (CD 4603328),
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Standing on the Shoulder of Giants [PA] [093624981978]

  • 1. Fuckin' in the Bushes
    2. Go Let It Out
    3. Who Feels Love?
    4. Put Yer Money Where Yer Mouth Is
    5. Little James
    6. Gas Panic!
    7. Where Did It All Go Wrong?
    8. Sunday Morning Call
    9. I Can See a Liar
    10. Roll It Over
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 516143

  • Credits
    ProducerMark "Spike" Stent; Noel Gallagher
    EngineerMark "Spike" Stent; Paul Stacey

    Oasis: Liam Gallagher (vocals); Noel Gallagher (guitar, background vocals); Paul Arthurs (guitar); Paul McGuigin (bass); Alan White (drums).
    Additional personnel: Paul Stacey (acoustic guitar, guitar, keyboards, bass); Mark Coyle (12-string acoustic guitar, electric sitar); Charlotte Glasson (flute); Mark Feltham (harmonica); Jan "Stan" Kybert (programming); PP Arnold, Linda Lewis (background vocals).
    Recorded at Wheeler End, Olympic Studios, Supernova Heights, England, and Chateau De La Colle Noir, France.
    Personnel: Paul Stacey (guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, bass guitar); Mark Coyle (acoustic 12-string guitar, electric sitar); Charlotte Glasson (flute); Mark Feltham (harmonica); Alan White (drums, percussion); Linda Lewis, P.P. Arnold (background vocals).
    Recording information: Chateau De La Colle Noire, France (04/1999-08/1999); Olympic Studios, England (04/1999-08/1999); Supernova Heights, England (04/1999-08/1999); Wheeler End, England (04/1999-08/1999).
    Photographers: Jill Furmanovsky; Simon Halfon.
    Unknown Contributor Role: Liam Gallagher .
    Let's pretend that 1997's Be Here Now never occurred. The British press stooped to new lows proclaiming that album a third masterpiece, in order to keep their Oasis-phenomenon-fed circulations high. Now it's all shameless backtracking, with everyone (the band included) admitting that LP was an ego-infested dud. Trying to turn each cut into a "Hey Jude" coda-style epic, the Gallagher brothers dropped a bloated bomb, suffocating under the onerous weight of its self-importance. Externally, its fallout left a bad taste that totally thwarted the band's steamrolling momentum. Internally, the group fell to bits. Two of the four remaining founders, likable guitarist Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs and bassist Paul McGuigan, quit weeks apart. Poof! Oddly, these calamities are exactly what the band needed as well as deserved. Staring at the precipice of collapse, leader Noel Gallagher has discovered a little humility, while parenthood has stuck a little sock in the mouth of his younger brother, Liam. Starting with its title (the same Sir Isaac Newton quote used by R.E.M. for their 1987 Document gem, "King of Birds"), which admits, again, that Noel pays fair homage to his heroes, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants is Oasis' first album that allows some human doubt in place of the usual unbridled hubris. This new, fallible Oasis is laid naked on the two tracks Noel sings and the one Liam writes. The former's tellingly titled "Where Did It All Go Wrong?" and "Sunday Morning Call" sound like a bratty playground kid admitting his insecurities, full of soulful melodrama that serves the rumination instead of stifling it.
    Concurrently, Liam's "Little James" avows a sweetness for his new family that at least sounds sincere (who knows?). Far from the standard sentimental mush inspired by first-borns, this weary, grateful song sounds profoundly mortal: "I'm singing this song for you and your ma, and that's all," he trills with edge, and one imagines Patsi Kensit, him, and the bambino as kin, not tabloid forage! Besides that, there's the most belligerent Oasis song ever, the standout "I Can See a Liar" (even more cantankerous than Be Here Now's highlight, "My Big Mouth," with its submerged, distorted vocal, it's like Oasis doing Guided by Voices' worship of the early Who's power chords and smacking drums!). Two others, "Put Yer Money When Yer Mouth Is" (with its lyrical reference to the Doors and searing keyboard la Spencer Davis Group's "I'm a Man") and "Gas Panic!," spin gaudy, hazy chord patterns fed by big bass grooves. Noel's writing is no longer tight like the first two LPs, but the hooks are back, and hooks are what made this band important all along, despite all the inane bluster. As the previous year's B-sides LP, The Masterplan, reminded, Noel's penchant has not deserted him after all. Maybe a few tracks, like the closing "Roll It Over" (isn't that George Harrison's guitar lead from the Beatles' "Something??") and the otherwise fine "Go Let It Out," fall prey to those too-long, too-epic "Champagne Supernova" pretensions. The whole LP is still a little top-heavy. And aside from another blast of those "I'm a Man" keyboards, the opening "Fuckin' in the Bushes" is a throwaway that poorly introduces the collection. If the band "acquiesces" to the prudish Walmart chain's demands to can the song, it would be no great loss. But otherwise, Standing feels like a sigh of relief, an enjoyable LP with a few great songs that might be a bridge to better records. The bleeding's been stopped for now. ~ Jack Rabid

  • Critic Reviews
    Rolling Stone (3/16/00, p.73) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Sonically, GIANTS is easily their boldest work, with mastermind Noel Gallagher and new co-producer Mark 'Spike' Stent...layering backward guitars and turntable scratching over huge trash-can beats that actually swing a bit..."
    Entertainment Weekly (3/3/00, pp.74-5) - "...less clotted and grating than 1997's BE HERE NOW...the sonic openness allows Gallagher's melodies and guitar and his brother Liam's pissy bray to shine brighter..." - Rating: B
    Q (1/01, p.92) - Included in Q's "50 Best Albums of 2000".
    Q (3/00, pp.96-7) - 4 stars out of 5 - " effective modern psychedelic record that has dumped the bombast of yore and replaced it...with some real emotion....Oasis are still British rock'n'roll's brightest hope..."
    Alternative Press (3/00, p.71) - 3 out of 5 - "...a good LP....containing a few new tricks....The huge-beat-meets-Led-Zeppelin-riffs instrumental [first track] and the groovy 'Go Let It Out' get the album off to a great start..."
    CMJ (3/13/00, p.3) - "...its most heartfelt record to date....unabashedly couching their influences in an anthemic, often psychedlic, pop framework....still a force to be reckoned with."
    Melody Maker (2/29/00, pp.46-7) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...a good record....confirms Oasis as the Rolling Stones of their generation rather than The Beatles....good enough to make you remember [their past greatness]..."
    Mojo (Publisher) (3/00, pp.92-5) - "...the more you hear the album, the more its melodies gnaw into the brain and the subtle complexities of its arrangements unfold....a much better album than BE HERE NOW..."
    NME (Magazine) (2/26/00, p.35) - 6 out of 10 - "...It is a transitional work, the album Oasis had to make, to prove to themselves as much as anyone else that the desire still lay within..."
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