Oasis, led by Liam Gallagher, whose voice gives every one of their songs a nostalgic feeling to the British listener, released their debut album, Definitely Maybe, and instantly became the faces of Britpop alongside other contemporaries such as The Verve and Blur. Whilst their debut does not contain their most successful tracks, namely ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ and ‘Wonderwall’, it nonetheless is filled with an intensely British optimism, impressive performances from Liam (and Noel as backing vocals) and an excellent yet raw production featuring shimmering guitars that became Oasis’ iconic sound.
‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ is an anthem with lyrics detailing the youth’s efforts to find anything worth doing, and resorting to substance abuse, with Gallagher complaining of how ‘there’s nothing worth working for,’ but becoming more encouraging in the chorus, telling the youth to ‘make it happen’. This song has timeless subject matter, the subject matter of all the tracks could be argued as such, and its instrumental contains vocal layering and variation that can easily be found in modern music.
‘Married with Children’ is another highlight, with Gallagher taking a far gentler tone compared to the album’s other tracks, singing a love song with minimalistic production featuring primarily a guitar. This song can be seen as the basis for songs like ‘Wonderwall’ in terms of instrumental, and ‘Songbird’ from Heathen Chemistry in terms of the vocal style.
The album’s opener ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ is similar in tone to ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’, with Gallagher singing of his hopes to become the titular rock star and lyrics referencing working a dead-end job whilst having dreams of something far greater. With the release of this timeless album, Oasis began an incredible career filled with hit after hit, with no other Britpop band ever reaching their level of success.