ello, my name is Evan, and I’ve been Oasis-free for five years now. I would like to share my testimony here today, and tell you how I recovered from my terrible addiction.
I was only 14 years old -- so young and impressionable -- when I first gave in to the temptation that is Oasis. What’s The Story Morning Glory was storming the charts, and everyone – yes everyone, but I shouldn’t place the blame on someone else – was listening to it. I tried to avoid it, but I finally gave in – what harm could one little CD do? Well, friends, quite a lot, as it turned out.
Soon after I bought the record I found myself addicted. I’d rush home from school each day, pop it in the stereo, and “rock out” to the sweet strings of “Wonderwall” or the Beatles-groove of “Some Might Say,” and sometimes even “Don’t Look Back In Anger.” I’m not proud, but there was just something about these tunes that kept me coming back for more.
Before long, my family couldn’t stand to be around me – I was always listening.
I must have subconsciously known that this “innocent” habit would slowly kill me if I didn’t keep it in check. My friends knew I was suffering – they could see I had a serious problem, and they helped me through the battle. One of my best friends took the disc from me, and I quit cold turkey, and I didn’t hear Oasis for a few years. Withdrawal was hard, but I made it through somehow. Little did I know, temptation would rear its head once more – I had not beaten the demon yet.
Having ignored the band for years, I was surprised to hear of a new album, touted as their best since Morning Glory. Though I thought I had overcome my problems, I had a strange urge to hear this new Oasis album – just once. Against my own better judgment, and the warnings of my friends, I got a copy of Heathen Chemistry. Hands shaking in half fear and half anticipation, I put it on the stereo. At once I hoped they had lost whatever appeal they once had, so I could continue my life clean and sober, but there was something inside me that hoped they would deliver another disc of what made Morning Glory great, part of me wanted to surrender myself to Oasis once more.
Luckily, Oasis has lost it. Heathen Chemistry has all the sweet riffs and pop sensibilities of their previous work, but none of the heart. The album is the best they’ve done in years, but that’s not saying much. The spiritual follow-up to Morning Glory, it seems that the tumultuous years and mediocre albums between that one and this have taken their toll, and Heathen Chemistry plays like a hollow shell of their best work. The guitars crunch, the harmonies are there, the Beatles influence (plagiarism?) is as present as ever. In fact, this may be the technically-best Oasis album yet – hardly a note out of place, and some genuinely decent production. However, there’s not a single memorable song, each one leaving your mind no worse for the wear, gone as soon as it ends. I don’t find myself humming “The Hindu Times,” and as I write this I can’t even remember the melody of “Stop Crying Your Heart Out,” the soon-to-be hit.
So that’s my story. Oasis has nothing more to offer me, and I think my life is better because of that. But I have one request – if you or anyone you know is suffering, addicted, please – PLEASE – get them a copy of Heathen Chemistry. Its lackluster songwriting and half-assed emotion will help anyone overcome with their addiction. It will show them the severity of their problem, and help them take the first step towards a clean, Oasis-free life.
Reviewed by: Evan Chakroff
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01