How Oasis must be wishing they'd had the sense to split up in 1996. Ever since those glory days of Britpop the Gallagher brothers' reputation has been sliding steadily downwards, to the point where only diehard fans expect them to produce anything great anymore. It would be nice to report that their fifth album is a stunning return to form - but instead it's no more than another dreary collection of plodding pub-rock, banged out with plenty of enthusiasm but precious little inspiration. Contrary to advance boasting, the presence of two new members Gem Archer and Andy Bell has made precious little difference: Oasis are just as stodgy and predictable as ever. It's Liam who provides Heathen Chemistry's few redeeming features, not so much for the three songs he contributes (no masterpieces, but better than expected) but for his sneering vocals which are still capable of transforming even Noel's most woeful lyrics into something special. Overall, however, Heathen Chemistry is a fairly depressing album: tired, dreary and woefully short of new ideas. The Oasis saga may stagger on a while yet, but at this point it's hard to say exactly what the point would be.