After hearing the opinions of the likes of Ken Livingstone and Rick Witter yesterday, today, nme.com asks Westlife and Belle & Sebastian...
More of what the stars think of ‘STANDING ON THE SHOULDER OF GIANTS’…
BRYAN (one minute in): “Sounds like PEARL JAM. So far, it’s alright, but it’s a rip-off of the BEATLES later stuff. The single’s just a rip-off of ‘Strawberry Fields’. Ah, Jaysus, when I first heard it I was nearly sick.”
SHANE: “‘Wonderwall’ beats every one of these songs so far. Totally. Like, a million times better.”
BRYAN:”It’s exactly the same as the BEATLES did, all the catchy stuff to begin with, ‘Love Me Do’ an’ all them, and then the deeper stuff and the mystical sounds an’ all that. It’s exactly the same, doesn’t impress me at all. His voice (LIAM’S) is wrecked as well.”
SHANE: “I wouldn’t slate a band for changin’ their music but it’s not as good as the earlier stuff.”
NICKY: “‘What’s The Story Morning Glory’ was unbelievable. ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, ‘Champagne Supernova’, I loved it all straight away. Went out and bought it and listened to it every day.
“But every band changes, every band goes through stages, whether you’re a rock band or a boy band.”
BRYAN (conclusively): “I’m not impressed. And I was a big OASIS fan. Loved them. Two brilliant albums and then I started to go off them round ‘Be Here Now’. This is worse. It’s takin’ the piss. I’m embarrassed by it, I have to admit.”
NME You can have this copy to keep if you like.
BRYAN: “No thanks!”
RALPH LITTLE (ROYLE FAMILY)
“I didn’t think it was bad at all. I really liked ‘Where Did It All Go Wrong?’ – that was brilliant. All the ones that NOEL sings are usually the best songs anyway.
I really like ‘Gas Panic’ and ‘Little James’too. LIAM’S obviously trying to write from the heart and, for a first attempt, I’m really impressed. If I tried to write a song, it wouldn’t sound half as good as that!
“Overall, it’s a good solid album. It’s not like they didn’t deliver or they’ve lost it, but none of them grabbed you by the balls straight away. See, even people who hated ‘Be Here Now’ could pick out two tracks and say they were fantastic. Whereas with this, none of them are crap, but none of them are absolutely brilliant. It’s a good solid OASIS album and if I bought it, I wouldn’t be disappointed.
“None of the songs here are bad at all but there’s no ‘Wonderwall’ or ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ on it. It’s a more solid performance than ‘Be Here Now’, but there’s nothing on it that sets it alight.”
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“I love the opening. It’s like a cross between CAKE’S ‘The Distance’ and ‘I’m A Man’ by SPENCER DAVIS GROUP but the rest of the album’s nothing like it.
“There’s alot of records I’m looking forward to this year, like RICHARD ASHCROFT and RADIOHEAD, but I have to say I was never that excited about this and it hasn’t done much to prove me wrong.
“It sounds very over-produced and it might be better if there was less going on. The ones NOEL sings are okay but, again, they’ll sound better when he plays them by himself live with just an acoustic guitar.
“It’s all very dreary isn’t it? (sighs) It doesn’t really do anything interesting and I can’t see any more singles on it, to be honest. However, I would be very interested in hearing what JIM KERR had to say about ‘Little James’!
STEVIE JACKSON (BELLE & SEBASTIAN)
“I liked it. I kind of wanted to like it. I loved Oasis when they came out, especially the first record. I never got the third album because I heard it was all cocaine and guitar solos so it didn’t really appeal to me. This new one was quite enjoyable. The songs are okay but I enjoyed the record for Liam’s voice mainly. Noel scuppers a few of the songs because he cannot resist throwing his references everywhere. The first tune had a bit of ‘Voodoo Chile’ in and one of them had ‘Roadhouse Blues’ by The Doors and ‘Something In The Air’ by Thunderclap Newman. The whole album seems to have an obsession with 1968 or 69 but it still sounds okay. I was led to believe that Liam’s song was really twee and horrible – like even worse than some people imagine Belle and Sebastian to be – but I thought his vocal transcended that. Obviously, it’s just another Oasis album really but I do think they’re back on the right track a wee bit and the songs are a bit better. It has all got less interesting since the second album but I liked it just because it was another Oasis album and it’s enjoyable for what it is.”