Dig Out Your Soul and the Top Albums of 2008

17 01 2009

The music mags have put out their “Best of 2008” lists. Mojo and Q listed their “top 50” albums and Spin cropped its list to the “top 40.” Considering that it was only released in October, Oasis’s Dig Out Your Soul faired respectfully. For those that care about lists and Oasis, DOYS made it onto Mojo’s list by the skin of its teeth, making no. 50. It did better with Mojo’s big Brit rock mag competitor, Q, who planted DOYS at no. 32. Spin’s list had ten fewer entries, so DOYS looks comparatively good sitting at no. 38.

I’m a big fan of Oasis and DOYS. I think those guys never get the credit they deserve for making consistently good albums with lots of big guitars and some good lyrical work (and some bad, too.) I am admittedly biased, but it seems Oasis got short-shrifted on these lists. They are better as a band, and DOYS is better as an album than bottom feeders on albums of the year lists. I can’t imagine that there are 20 albums released in 2008 that are better than DOYS. My guess is that it didn’t help that the album wasn’t released until October. Some of their competitors had a chance to mature, to breath a bit. Except for Oasis die-hards, it seems like the band has little critical cache these days.

Also, the so-called music experts have seen every Oasis album since Be Here Now have talked about each successive album as some sort of “comeback” attempt. In truth, Oasis never went anywhere. They put out an album every 2 to 3 years, which is a pretty standard cycle for today’s artists. U2 hasn’t put out an album since November 2004, but I don’t think critics will talk about their “comeback” like they do (and have done) with Oasis for the better part of a decade. When the critics see you as perpetually making a “comeback,” they never stop judging you for your last great release. If people would judge each Oasis album on its own merits, they would do better critically.

None of this matters much to Oasis. Us fans get a bit irked by this, though.

I’m not interested in most of the bands on those lists. A band that got a lot of love was Kings of Leon. Perhaps I haven’t given them a fair shake, but their stuff that I’ve heard is, quite frankly, unlistenable. I just don’t get it. Fleet Foxes was also highly lauded (no. 1 on Mojo’s list) and I’m dying to hear their entire album. The songs I have sound like a folk band channeling Smile-era Beach Boys. “White Winter Hymnal” is a pretty damned good song but if that’s all Fleet Foxes have to offer, I’ll stick with Smile, Smiley-Smile and Pet Sounds.

Noticeably absent from all three of the lists I saw was Here We Stand by the Fratellis. It’s a fantastic rock record. These guys were the darlings of British rock scene a few years back after Costello Music was released, but for some reason Here We Stand, which hit #5 on the British album sales chart, has been snubbed. I think Here We Stand has Costello Music beat. Maybe the critics don’t think much of fun rock and roll these days. Maybe to get attention your music has to be folksy and take itself seriously. Or just steal from the Beach Boys and the experts will anoint you as groundbreaking and original, the next and new best thing.

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3 responses

22 01 2009
Meaghan

i totally agree. I love how Mojo put Oasis on the cover when in the same issue they put DOYS at number 50. doesn’t make any sense to me.

22 01 2009
ourboy

Thanks, Meaghan. Glad someone else sees it my way. 🙂

22 01 2009
Meaghan

oh and, who is that person stealing my picture(s)? Please let me know! 😛 x

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