Definitely Maybe


Epic Records, 1994

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Oasis has been the target of a lot of negative press since their debut disc Definitely Maybe hit the shelves in 1994. Some of this has been brought on by the dimbulbs, Noel and Liam Gallagher, themselves, as they make Freddy Krueger look like Mr. Rogers at times. But some of this negative press has gone as far as to call this British quintet a Beatles rip-off.

Now, I admit I've stayed away from Oasis's music (long-time readers will remember we banned Oasis from this site for shutting down fans' tribute Web sites until someone finally came to their senses), and I got turned off by the oversaturation of their music on the local alternative radio station. But curiosity finally got the better of me, and I snagged a copy of my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Definitely Maybe to hear what all the hype and fuss was about.

The funny thing is, I don't hear an obvious Beatles rip-off in this album. Instead, I hear some pretty exciting music from a group who know how to take a pop riff and work it to their greatest advantage. Simply put, this is a surprisingly good album.

By now, most everyone knows the two hits off Definitely Maybe, "Supersonic" (which is nothing like I remembered the song to be - and I had some rather nasty memories of this song) and "Live Forever". The latter suggested where the band would go with their mega-smash (What's The Story) Morning Glory just one album later; it's an energy-laden, riff-driven number which sucks the listener in from the start and refuses to let go.

That all being said, these are not the best songs on this release. I would give that honor to "Up In The Sky" (featuring one killer guitar line from guitarists Noel Gallagher and Paul Arthurs) and "Slide Away," which, admittedly, does have the musical texture which could be compared to later Beatles works. But it's hardly copying directly from the Fab Four songbook; it's simply a wonderful song which works on all levels.

Paul McGuigan's bass work, regrettably, isn't pulled into the forefront as often as I'd like to hear it, while drummer Tony McCarroll (who left after this album) provides a solid rhythmic backbone to all these songs.

The one sign that the "Tyson Twins" were probably one step away from beating the living hell out of each other comes on the album's closing track, "Married With Children". Sure, it could be a tirade against a former lover - but with a line like "Your music's shite [sic] / It keeps me up all night," I'd tend to believe this was a brother-against-brother attack. (Interestingly enough, since Noel Gallagher wrote all the songs, would this be a slam against Liam?)

Definitely Maybe is an album which is almost flawless in its design and execution, and serves as a reminder why these guys quickly developed a huge following when they first hit the scene. It's almost enough to make you ignore stories of the nitroglycerine-like relationship between the brothers Gallagher.

Rating: A-

User Rating: B



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Epic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.