(What's The Story) Morning Glory?


Epic Records, 1995


REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Although Definitely Maybe was already one of Britpop's crowning achievements and a wonderful slice of rock and roll, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? builds and outstrips its predecessor. 

Where the debut was boastful, the sound of young men conquering the world, manners be damned, this one is a little more reflective and emotional. The pace has been slowed a bit, electrics have been swapped for acoustics in spots, and the songwriting already has matured in just one year. 

And Morning Glory is one of the best rock albums ever made.

The piece is constructed almost like a classic rock epic; fitting, because Oasis is a classicist band, synthesizing what they grew up with into the modern rock age. The faint strains of a piece of "Wonderwall" fade into the sizzling, brash "Hello," as great an album opener as any others from the 90s, while "Roll With It" is just solid rock, no more, no less. "Wonderwall" is familiar to millions; you know it, you like it, don't even hate.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Frankly, there is not one bad moment here. "Don't Look Back in Anger" is a mini-epic, with soaring vocals and a piano riff aped from "Imagine" building and releasing the tension. It's an astonishing offering from a bar band who was singing "Cigarettes & Alcohol" one year prior. "Some Might Say" and "Hey Now" are solid pieces as well, while "Cast No Shadow" is a cousin to "Wonderwall," adding light strings for effect. 

The two brief instrumental interludes are from "The Swamp Song," a hard-rocking instrumental B-side released around this time, and they break up the tension from the more serious pieces. "She's Electric" does the same thing, channeling Paul McCartney's whimsical side.

However, the parts all lead up to the two closers, the title track and "Champagne Supernova." The former is a balls-out overproduced rocker, featuring Liam Gallagher's voice in its highest register soaring over the roaring chorus. He can totally sell a drug line like "All your dreams are made / When you're chained to the mirror and the razorblade" without sounding hoke; the heroic guitar solos complete the picture.

But nothing prepares you for "Champagne Supernova," the band's crowning achievement, their "Hey Jude," a 7-minute epic released as a single only in America. The lyrics are nonsensical or drug-related but Gallagher's voice carries the song to the moon; his vocals soar as the music slowly builds in intensity, working from a slow acoustic jam to an all-out assault, with layers of guitars and multi-tracked voices exploding before a slow fadeout. It's one of the best songs of the decade, and Oasis never topped it again.

Nor did they top this album. Simply amazing, start to finish.

Rating: A

User Rating: A-


© 2007 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Epic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.