There's something very freeing when you wake up one day and realize you're so hopelessly uncool that any effort to attain any level of cool is not only a waste of time, it's downright stupid. I write this column every day not because I think I'm cool, but because I've got spectacular taste in music. I'm not cool. The music is. That said, I take more shit for being Oasis fan than probably any band I've ever liked. Ever.
For any number of reasons, it's not cool to like Oasis anymore. It was for about five minutes in the U.S., but that didn't last long. They were the band of the moment for a moment and then it passed. I got the memo. I just didn't give a fuck.
Last year, Oasis released what is likely to be their last album. They went out on a high note and Noel Gallagher penned one of the best songs he's ever written. To some, that's not saying much because they don't "get" Oasis. For me, I've been waiting for a Noel Gallagher solo album for 15 years and while I wish Oasis didn't have to die it's a small price to pay to finally get one. If he's still writing songs like "Falling Down," we're all in for a classic even if the cognoscente choose to ignore it.
In the DVD accompanying the release of Dig Out Your Soul, Gallagher said "Falling Down" sounds like it's coming from someone in outer space. The protagonist sounds untethered and disconnected, whether they're literally isolated or sitting in a room full of people. He also said — and there's no hope of accurately transcribing the actual quote because Gallagher can be completely incomprehensible — it's about comfort zones. He said, in effect, he doesn't understand breaking out of one's comfort zone. I'm sure some of the Oasis bashers have all sorts of responses to that, but they can kiss my ass. He continued by saying that's what comfort zones are there for, and he doesn't see much use in trying to break out of them.
I find that interesting because that's not an artistic sentiment. A lot of it is about challenging something, rebelling against something, and encouraging the audience to expand. So much of art is about criticizing the present or the status quo, or reflecting it in an unfavorable light. It's about motion and being propelled forward. Ever the contrarian, Gallagher offers a different view. Life is filled with those fine lines. There is something to be said for challenging oneself and exploring. There's also validity in knowing where "home" is, whether that's a physical address or a state of mind. In "Falling Down," the protagonist feels alienated from all that he's ever known and he's calling out to it, looking for it again. Bono asked "how far you gonna go before you lose your way back home?" "Falling Down" picks up with that idea, and does so with a great vocal from Gallagher and a fantastic musical backing track.
Oasis may not epitomize cool but that's your loss, not mine. This is a comfort zone I have no intention of breaking free from, even if Noel has broken free of the band himself.