Picks and Pans Review: Heathen Chemistry

updated 07/29/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/29/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Oasis (Epic)
Album of the week

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Oasis' brothers Gallagher are bitter following their recent divorces, and they weren't particularly nice to begin with. Noel (lead guitarist and principal lyricist) and Liam (vocals and, for the first time, songwriter on three solid tracks that show his brother's influence) are dealing with the situation in the finest tradition of adolescence: They're making music laden with pain and noise. Tracks like "Force of Nature" evoke the rip-off-the-roof texture of Oasis' 1994 debut, Definitely Maybe. The quiet moments work too, like Liam's surprisingly gentle "Songbird" and "Little by Little," a sorry-Pm-a-jerk ballad ("You know I didn't mean/ What I just said/ But my god woke up on the wrong side of his bed") to rank with "Don't Look Back in Anger."

Bottom Line: Smashing good rock

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