Different Gear, Still Speeding
"Different Gear, Still Speeding" is the title of the "debut" album featuring key members of Oasis not named "Noel". I'm not sure that it really is a different gear unless by "gear" they mean "off by one". The lineup may have changed, but the show continues to go on. Liam wasn't going to change his singing style and he wasn't about to put out an electronic album or anything like that. So if you liked Oasis, you're going to like this. It really is that simple.
I thought about writing this entire review as if this album was an Oasis album. I was going to mark it as such in the overview. I was going to be super snarky about how nothing had changed. Had I done so, I feel like I would have let myself down. Oasis is one of my all-time favorite bands. Yeah, I know that there are a ton of other great bands that probably deserve that distinction but that don't get it. You know how way back when you were either a Beatles person or an Elvis person? Well, I think for the folks in my "demo" and "psycho" it's more, are you a U2 fan or an Oasis fan...and let's face it those U2 fanatics are pretentious as FUCK. Us Oasis fans are a bit more onry. You think Liam is trying to save the world? Fuck no, that fool is off making Rock and Roll and generally being extremely self-destructive. At least, that's our perception of the guy and yet here he is with a brand new album while Noel is where, exactly? I'm saying this as the guy who likes Noel more out of the pair of brothers.
I don't condone the Rockstar antics at all. But when you are a ROCK STAR you do ROCK STAR SHIT. I can be a fan of U2's politics and HATE their music (Joshua Tree, respect. Everything else? As my peeps Five Deez would say, "FUCK THAT") in the same way that I can love Oasis and, well, what do they stand for exactly? Who knows, who cares. Their music is about ROCK AND ROLL. It's about love and loss, about being a Rockstar and about the trials and tribulations of life. In other words, universal themes that even if we can't relate to them directly (I don't know many Rock stars, do you?) they are themes as old as the genre of music itself. As they say, it's better to be generous and have nobody know than to give alms so that you can brag, brag, brag....but I digress. What about this album?
Well, I mean, it's Oasis without Noel! What'd you expect?
I think that Oasis became progressively more country/folky as they continued to make music. "Beady Eye" starts off around "Be Here Now".
I am never a fan of a band repeating the same formula over and over again. I think it's great when the band expands their sound and gives the listener something a bit different. Oasis started out by copying the Beatles and giving the music a harder edge. Then they become The Beatles in places until eventually, they went the folk/country way. The "new" coke Oasis continue this on the opener "Four Letter Word", "Millionaire", and "For Anyone"...and hey, the criticism that Oasis stole licks from here and there is still valid...hell, "Bring The Light" IS "Great Balls Of Fire"!
In the "best of" category for the Oasis sound, look no further than "The Roller" which is the sort of really good song that Oasis might have made had the brothers continued their detente (especially towards the end of the song where it finally hits it's stride...I sang along to "The Roller/The Roller/The Roller/The Roller". "Kill For A Dream" is another really great song with surprisingly strong lyrics:
Life's too short not to forgive
You can cover regrets but they won't let you live
I'm here if you want to call
Staring at the spot on the wall
It's a beautiful world when you know who you are
You're moving too fast in the back of a car
You're giving it another try
Staring at the deep blue sky
And you're saying to the driver just drive because you've never felt more alive
...this is up there with "Little By Little" (which is REALLY HIGH PRAISE from me. "Little By Little" is my all-time favorite Oasis song).
At WORST, there are some "bad Oasis" moments (remember "Little James"? Yeah...like that) and some "just OK Oasis", but if ever there was going to be a big FUCK YOU (Cee-Lo style) to the uneasy alliance of the brothers Gallagher from Liam to Noel, this album is it. Because look, the band may be called "Beady Eye", but this is the continuation of Oasis. Take from that what you will. As a fan of Oasis, I enjoyed it very much. As a fan Noel (I've always thought of Liam as a whiny, unmotivated...um, person) I look at this as a good challenge. I hope that he responds as strong musically but only time will tell.
3.692 out of 5
|1. Four Letter Word (04:16)||3|
|2. Millionaire (03:20)||4|
|3. The Roller (03:35)||5|
|4. Beatles and Stones (02:57)||4|
|5. Wind Up Dream (03:27)||5|
|6. Bring the Light (03:39)||3|
|7. For Anyone (02:16)||3|
|8. Kill for a Dream (04:43)||5|
|9. Standing on the Edge of the Noise (02:53)||3|
|10. Wigwam (06:39)||3|
|11. Three Ring Circus (03:09)||4|
|12. The Beat Goes On (04:44)||2|
|13. The Morning Son (06:06)||4|