Here's a dirty little critical secret: Many times when reviewers describe an album as being a veteran band's best since fill-in-the-blank, they remember zilch about the discs that appeared in between.

That's certainly the case for me when it comes to Oasis, which has been stylistically consistent to the point of self-plagiarism (and the other kind, too). I loved 1994's Definitely Maybe and liked 1995's (What's the Story) Morning Glory? pretty well. But do I recall anything substantial about, say, 2002's Heathen Chemistry? Hell, no. And a year from now, I won't be able to tell you squat about Dig, either. New tracks like "The Turning" sound fine while they're spinning, yet they can't surpass the earlier, more vital stuff they bring to mind.

In fact, I'm already prepared to forget them.

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Michael Roberts
Contact: Michael Roberts