A decade ago, Oasis was the biggest band in the world—and constantly reminded everyone of that. Today, singer Liam Gallagher would be laughed out of the pub for suggesting such a thing. Dig Out Your Soul, Oasis’s seventh disc, isn’t a comeback. It won’t topple Lil Wayne’s sales record, and the Jonas Brothers have supplanted the Gallagher brothers as leading cultural siblings. But it is the glorious sound of a band unburdened of hubris.
Not that they don’t also occasionally sound like old cranks shrugging off a hangover. Forget the soaring highs of “Wonderwall”; the psychedelic touches here mostly conjure bad trips. But the hard-edged beats and bristling guitar that define most of the songs, whatever their regret or spiritual malaise, make clear enough that the band means to crash on through, not wallow in their faded glory. The kiss-offs—like “(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady”—may be bitter, but they’re also spirited. Oasis are reckoning where they’re at—and realizing that they are, in fact, alive.