Album in review: Standing on the Shoulder of Giants

It’s been twenty years since the Oasis album “Standing on the Shoulder of Giants” was released. In that time it’s been slagged off by many people as well as Noel at times. Now I may be biased but as with anything if you give it a listen and enjoy it for what it is then it is a great album. I will try to be unbiased as I go through each song in more detail and rate each one out of 10.

Fuckin’ In The Bushes

What a title. This is what Oasis used to play when they walked onto the stage which Liam now does for his solo gigs as well. It’s just pure rock ‘n’ roll with no fuss required. And it’s a crime to play it quietly – it has to be blasted for all to hear.

Rating: 7/10.

Go Let it Out

With some of the best lyrics in the Oasis back catalogue, Go Let it Out also features some of Liam’s best vocals. The first single from the album with new guitarist Gem in the video signified a new era for Oasis – goodbye britpop, hello to the future. It also came with two b-sides – “Let’s All Make Believe” and “(As Long as They’ve got) Cigarettes in Hell” – both of which are firm fan favourites.

Rating: 9/10.

Who Feels Love?

The second single from the album helps give SOTSOG a more psychedelic feel than the usual rock ‘n’ roll that the fans were used to at this point. Again, the song features some great Liam vocals which shows he was still up and ready to be a rock ‘n’ roll star. The b-sides were “Helter Skelter” (a Beatles cover) and “One Way Road”. The second of these two was covered by Paul Weller and became a firm fans favourite.

Rating: 8/10

Put Yer Money Where Yer Mouth Is

Back to rock ‘n’ roll with this one. Both Liam and Noel sing on this tune which is a rarity – the only other time this has happened is on the b-side Acquiesce. The lyrics are a bit basic but the tune is very much in your face bursting with attitude.

Rating: 5/10

Little James

The first attempt at songwriting put out into the world by Liam Gallagher (unless maybe you count his work with John Squire for the Seahorses song “Love Me and Leave Me”). This song is very much a controversial point among Oasis fans. Some might say (that sunshine follows thunder?) that it’s the worst Oasis song whereas some fans will say it’s amazing. Personally I fall into the latter. While the lyrics are lacking, the guitars and Liam’s “na-naaaa’s” make the song what it is.

Rating: 7/10

Gas Panic!

The lyrics refer to how Noel was feeling after giving up taking drugs. Hence the lyrics are quite dark and make for a massive song which is perhaps the best on the album. The guitars mixed with Liam’s vocals make the song stand out above most of the other songs on the album. Liam has started doing this song at his recent solo gigs which is a very welcome addition.

Rating: 9/10

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

One of two Noel sung tracks on the album, WDIAGW was the fourth single on the album. It wasn’t a proper single – instead it was released as a radio single in the US. You would think that the song maybe refers to what happened to Oasis after the release of Be Here Now – such as Bonehead and Guigsy leaving, the departure of Britpop and excess. Instead, Noel has called it a “semi-autobiographical song about a circle of friends that he was involved with at one point”. The song itself is a bit boring in my opinion but as a filler track it is better than a lot of other songs I’ve heard.

Rating: 5/10

Sunday Morning Call

At the time Noel was loving this track. Nowadays he says he hates it! Perhaps this is the reason why it is only a hidden track on the “Time Flies” compilation. Personally I like it but I can see why Noel might find it annoying these days. The song does go on a minute longer than it perhaps should and the lyrics are a bit boring. The b-sides to the single were “Carry Us All” and “Full On” which are both good songs, but I think Noel made the right decision this time to keep them as b-sides.

Rating: 6/10

I Can See a Liar

Straightforward rock ‘n’ roll. Liam’s vocals empower this song with the raw energy that it deserves. It is quite a simple song really and isn’t one that makes you sit back and think “wow!”, but it does what it says on the label. Personally I’ve always really liked this song, maybe because of it’s simple in-your-face attitude.

Rating: 7/10

Roll It Over

Another contender for best song on the album and a great way to finish off an album. The guitars, Liam’s vocals and the backing singers make it for me. This one is often noted as one of the “better tracks” by critics of the album. It’s pure Oasis and a sign that Noel hadn’t totally lost his head at the time.

Rating: 8/10

So, in conclusion…

Overall score: 71/100

SOTSOG is an easy target for critics after the period of mega success for Oasis in the 90s. It’s not the same sound as previous albums which perhaps was not what many people at the time expected from Oasis. The inclusion of “Little James” is always a talking point among fans and critics alike.

I would say that it is a good album and if you haven’t heard it yet, you should go into it with a clear mind. Listen to it for what it is and don’t expect a star studded britpop album.

I will be doing more of these reviews in the future. So if you have any suggestions, improvements, insults or moans, send me a tweet.


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