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Friday, Dec. 15, 2006

LISTENING POST: CD REVIEWS

Oasis "Stop The Clocks"


Oasis do not abound in originality, as this "best-of" compilation released in time for Christmas proves. Songs from each of their six albums and B-sides rub shoulders happily, sounding as fresh (or as stale, depending on your viewpoint) as the next. But somehow, 12 years down the line, the brothers Gallagher and their occasionally shifting backing band find themselves revered as much as ever; the illiterate spokesmen for flag-waving, everyman Britain. If it wasn't for their hilarious in-band altercations and their amusing soundbites -- Liam labeling Coldplay's Chris Martin a "plant pot," for example -- people might have grown tired of Oasis by now. But their sink is still full of fishes; they still know a girl called Elsa who's into Alka-Seltzer; and they're still gonna live forever.

Times may have changed since Britpop's mid-1990s heyday, but you'd never guess it from an Oasis song. This is an album of jangly guitars, throaty vocals, rousing choruses, pedestrian lyrics, shiny-but-not-too-shiny production and impeccable swagger. The band's unwavering refusal ever to do anything new is admirably bold, even if it is artistically bereft; as a result, at least "Stop The Clocks" sounds consistent from start to finish.



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