It wasn't until I heard an advance of first single "The Shock Of The Lightning" I realized he was serious. Guitar feedback squall, '60s-sounding psychedelic keyboards, and droning fuzz create the sonic terrain that frontman Liam Gallagher was born to inhabit. Having always preferred the older Gallagher, I've often found myself making excuses for Liam's continued involvement (and with some of his bizarre and boorish behavior, sometimes for his continued existence). Every time I convinced myself the band would be better one Gallagher down, Liam would do something to give me pause. Dig Out Your Soul is the best evidence yet of why Liam is vital to what Oasis does and why Noel needs to make the solo record he's threatened to make for years.
Dig Out Your Soul is Liam's record, pure and simple. Sure Noel is the sonic architect and, as always, most of the best songs are the ones he penned, but it is Liam's vocal presence that shines brightest on a dense, loud record. When most of us think of ambient music, we think of pleasant music that occupies background space. With Dig Out Your Soul, Oasis has brought ambiance to rock. This is not a collection of great melodies and choruses, which in and of itself is a change of pace. The relative absence of hooks and choruses requires that something else emerge. That something else is Liam Gallagher.
While the intro of opening salvo "Bag It Up" doesn't quite prepare you for the sonic sorcery to come, it is a strong declaration of intent and direction. As the song concludes, the meaty riff has morphed into a mushroom cloud of sound. "The Nature of Reality" is "Helter Skelter" meets Alice in Wonderland, with Liam as a caterpillar smoking hallucinogenics on a mushroom. "To Be Where There's Life" mines similar terrain, but with less rock and more sitar. I'm sure to Oasis critics and even some fans, that sounds like the worst thing ever. I'm telling you, it's spellbinding and fantastic. Oasis have made their "White Album," but wisely kept it to a single disc.