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OASIS & r & & r & Dig Out Your Soul & r & & r & 2-1/2 STARS & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & "U & lt;/span & nless you're eight beers deep at a rugby party, Oasis pretty much sucks," my girlfriend remarked during a recent discussion regarding the English pop-rock band.

And she's right. Oasis pretty much sucks not because their music is bad, but because they make the listener feel unworthy. The band is sort of like that know-it-all in philosophy class -- obviously gifted, but pompous and obnoxiously self-important. Your thoughts are eternally humdrum. You are a mortal in his presence. You need alcohol to tolerate him.

In Dig Out, Oasis reaches new heights of self-aggrandizement. With track names like "Waiting for the Rapture" and "The Shock of Lightning," and an album title as audacious it is, Oasis doesn't want you to just listen to their music -- they want to recalibrate your soul.

There are the usual Oasis bright spots, the poppy melodies and English croon that made "Wonderwall" and "Champagne Supernova" smashing hits. But my advice? Ready your spirits.


DOWNLOAD: "The Shock of Lightning"




& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & O & lt;/span & ne of my favorite albums from the '80s has just gotten the Rhino re-release treatment, with six bonus tracks and new liner notes. The original recording is pretty rough, so remastering isn't much help -- but relaunching the Replacements on America, now that's a great idea.

Not part of the glam excesses of that decade, the boys from Minneapolis started out a little bit punk but wound up playing it down the middle as a solid party-rock band. And for me, Tim was the best of their seven albums. It careens between screeching guitars ("Little Mascara") and tuneful little ditties ("Waitress in the Sky"). The overall effect is like a visit to a beer-soaked tavern with a house band that blows you away -- they even make you think with borderline "deep" songs like "Here Comes a Regular."

If you thought the '80s were all about Madonna and metal hair, check these guys out.


DOWNLOAD: "Here Comes a Regular"
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