“I live my life in the city/ There’s no easy way out.” Those are the sentiments Oasis start their debut album with on “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star.” Now with the 20th anniversary edition of Definitely Maybe, we get to hear cuts that didn’t make the album. Take “Half the World Away” which begins “I would like to leave this city/This old town don’t smell too pretty.” Oof…similar sentiments as “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” but said much MUCH less eloquently. If Definitely Maybe: Chasing the Sun Edition shows us anything, its that Noel Gallagher has something to say but the success of his words are often questionable.
On b-side “Take Me Away,” Noel takes lead vocals and sings “take me away/just for today/because I’m sad here on my own/I’d like to be/under the sea/but I’d probably need a phone.” The idea of needing to escape where you’re living (in this case, a suburb of Manchester, England) is still prevalent but to say you wouldn’t like to be submerged in the ocean because you might need to use a phone is just plain stupid.
On the other hand, the b-side “D’Yer Wanna Be a Spaceman?” might be the most inane title of any song Oasis has ever written but it produces maybe the most profound lyrics of any track on the 44-track behemoth that is Definitely Maybe: Chasing the Sun Edition. The chorus ends with “Maybe we can forget about feeling down/maybe we can forget about life in this town.” Not quite poetry but then he begins the second verse with “funny how your dreams change as you’re growing old/you don’t want to be no spaceman you just want the gold.” So sticking to the rhyme scheme makes the line a bit hamhanded but the idea of dreams changing and settling with age is something that nearly all teen fans of Oasis when Definitely Maybe was first released who are now 30-somethings can relate to. It is this weird little lyric that has universal appeal.
In the end, that is what Oasis is. They are a band with clunky lyrics revolving around a common theme of hating where you live and wanting more out of life (sometimes even wanting to live forever). Every once in a while the band stumbles into profoundness and it makes listening to the otherwise seemingly banal lyrics worth it.