Ocean Colour Scene

Album Reviews:

1996: Moseley Shoals

Moseley Shoals

Rating: 6.8/10
Rated as
: Album
Album Status
: Genre Recommendation
Released: 1996
Specific Genre: Britpop
Main Genre: Rock, Pop Rock, Alternative Rock
: Power Pop, Roots Rock, Psychedelia
Label: MCA

1. The Riverboat Song 2. The Day We Caught the Train 3. The Circle 4. Lining Your Pockets 5. Fleeting Mind 6. 40 Past Midnight 7. One for the Road 8. It’s My Shadow 9. Policemen and Pirates 10. The Downstream 11. You’ve Got It Bad 12. Get Away

You and I should ride the tracks, and find ourselves just wading through tomorrow

Not ambitious like Blur, not as eclectically hard-rocking as Oasis – and mind you, this is 1996. Between their Paul-Weller-curated debut from 1992 and this belated successor, the entirety of britpop had taken its aesthetic run. But as typical as this album is for britpop – almost a textbook of its sound, but with a healthy dose of americana lore – it’s to its detriment to measure Moseley Shoals on this scale, which is loaded, to say the least.

With melodic songwriting and a quite muscular sound, everything here sounds so good compared to its respective immediate inspiration, it almost becomes a problem: Oh, like the Beatles – and good! Oh, like the Cure – and good! Oh, Tom Petty? Paul Weller himself? And very good indeed! It’s hard to to speak about the quality of the music here without speaking about its degree of derivation – and vice versa. Anyhow, for a mid-1990s record, this is as straight and as well-executed as hard-edged power pop rock with some slight psychedelia gets without generating that certain spark we all like to call personality. Be sure to check this record out – it’s somehow better than it should sound. Or vice-versa?