Gallagher Brothers’ Brand Snake Oil
Being greater than the sum of your parts is the pinnacle of creativity in any production setting, and an inappropriate measurement for music’s most successful frauds: Oasis. For this truism to hold, they and their new album Don’t Believe the Truth would have to overpower the likes of the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, and Creedence Clearwater Revival combined. In a word, notgonnahappen.Don’t Believe the Truth, like any Oasis record, initially sounds like an episode of Name That Tune. Liam and Noel Gallagher aim to lead the ultimate tribute band, channeling bits of everything from the Yardbirds to classic-rock supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. So why do fans flock to this brand of copycatting? Its willfulness and skillfulness. This album is a reminder to the world that Oasis are no mere fakebook players.
There’s an obvious, welcome infatuation here with acoustic guitars, and the Gallagher brothers are in superbly urgent voice — especially Noel, singing from deep down in his toes. The result: a distinctly California vintage of high-quality Oasis snake oil. “Turn Up the Sun” features Turtles-era twang, “Part of the Queue” echoes the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Breaking the Girl,” and “The Importance of Being Idle” — one of their downright funniest songs — takes hints from the Beach Boys and the Mamas & the Papas.
It’s more proof that the best Oasis moments occur when what they repackage starts to feel almost as enjoyable as the original. Being truly greater than the sum of your parts requires unique parts that mesh well. Don’t Believe the Truth only piles up parts stolen from others, but at least Oasis arranged the pile nicely.