Oasis: The Masterplan

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Oasis

Album: The Masterplan
Label: Epic

Over the past four years, Oasis has released a slew of singles, most of which include at least two or three previously unreleased songs. Fourteen of these tracks have found their way onto The Masterplan, the band's first B-sides collection. Of course, with every compilation of this nature, there are bound to be significant omissions, and The Masterplan is no exception. The most glaring absence—the band's transcendentally moronic cover of Slade's "Cum On Feel The Noize," quite possibly Oasis' sole act of self-awareness—has somehow been overlooked in favor of a competent if unexceptional cover of "I Am the Walrus." Likewise, the rollicking "Step Out Tonight," a song excised from What's The Story? (Morning Glory) at the last moment due to its striking similarity to Stevie Wonder's "Uptight," is nowhere to be found, although such disposable fodder as "The Swamp Song," a perfunctory blues instrumental featuring Paul Weller, is included. Despite a sketchy song selection, The Masterplan does a nice job showcasing the band's more eclectic side. Whereas Oasis tends to limit itself to one or two ballads per album, this collection displays a fuller range, moving from Bacharach-influenced lounge-pop with moronic lyrics ("Going Nowhere") to Beatles-esque orchestral pop with moronic lyrics ("The Masterplan"), to such future prom-night fixtures as "Talk Tonight," a ballad that, like "Wonderwall," is affecting despite its inherent dopiness. Most of these lyrics could double as yearbook inscriptions, but they serve their purpose, and on songs like the awesome first single, "Acquiesce," that purpose is generally to not get in the way of the band's soaring melodies and sneering attitude. Oasis will never be The Beatles, but it could very well be this generation's Slade, and there's nothing wrong with that.

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