366 Songs 029: Who Feels Love?

It’s true; Oasis lost “it,” whatever “it” is, somewhere between (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? and Be Here Now, and as a result, they lost much of their fanbase as well, if you consider just how popular they really were in the aftermath of that former album (If you were living in the U.K. at the time, you’ll remember that they were almost literally everywhere, and that everyone had at least one Oasis song that they loved). But I’m one of the few people who thinks that the failure made them, if not a better band, then at least a more interesting one. Every album after Be Here Now was flawed, true, but it also had more to offer in terms of variety than their big three albums, and arguably the best of what came next was better than what made the band’s reputation.

Take, as exhibit A, “Who Feels Love,” arguably one of the three or so good songs off Standing on The Shoulder of Giants; it’s a medium tempo stab at psychedelia that, on the album, has some nice parts (Who doesn’t love a little bit of backwards guitar, after all? Not to mention the bridge at 3:20, with guitars spiralling off in all directions), but the flanging/flattening of the vocals just kills it dead for me – nonetheless, it’s something different, something that isn’t the Beatles Pub Rock that was the band’s stock in trade before, despite the complete lift from “Dear Prudence” in the chord progression. Much better, though, were the live “acoustic” versions performed by half of the band – tellingly, not vocalist Liam Gallagher – in promotional appearances for the album; it becomes a different type of song, softer and more in synch audibly with the sentiment in the lyrics. Without Liam’s sneer, it’s gentler and feels more honest:

This is, in many ways, an Oasis I would’ve wanted to have seen more of, but it wasn’t to be. The closest we got was the last album, Dig Out Your Soul, which was… quasi-psychedelic, perhaps? But even it didn’t go far enough for me, and the post-split projects have both been far less satisfying than the sum of their parts. Maybe when the inevitable reunion happens…

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