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The Rambler :: blog

Friday, June 24, 2005

What do you mean? 

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You know how it is when you travel around on public transport and keep bumping into the same posters, and after a while you start to analyse them far, far beyond anything they can possibly sustain? Well, one of these that has been bugging me recently has been Oasis's poster for their new album, Don't Believe the Truth. Not for its intrinsic content as an image - actually, refreshingly for Oasis-related imagery, its not pretending to be a modern-day The Ambassodors, overloaded with allegory - but for that stupid, vapid title. In the space of four words, it sets up a grandstanding slogan, at the same time as exposing it as utterly, stupidly empty. And it struck me that this is at the core of everything that is dull and dreary and dumb about Oasis: an unerring ability to reduce powerful signifiers (the imperative 'don't', ideas of belief and 'the truth') and reduce them to farts drifting in space. This isn't just simple, populist writing for the sake of a catchy line, this is studied emptiness.

It seems I'm not alone in this horror, and the good John Harris of the Guardian has even devoted a lengthy article today about the vacuousness of the modern rock lyric. Go and have read.


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