ALBUM REVIEWS : * * * 1/2; OASIS; "(What's the Story) Morning Glory?", Epic

Don't be surprised if you soon hear a song so Beatlesque on the radio that you wonder how Paul, George and Ringo could have come up with something so good again--even if they were working with an unfinished John Lennon song.

What will catch your ear will likely be one of several key moments from this deliciously appealing second album by a British band that relies heavily on the rich, melodic sounds and experimental studio attitudes of rock's all-time greatest band.

Beatles signatures--from the opening notes of "Imagine" and other Lennon-ish bites in "Don't Look Back in Anger" to the borrowed George Harrison song title "Wonderwall"--are so strong in places that Oasis has opened itself to charges of everything from pretentiousness to thievery.

Those are the same complaints leveled against U2's revisiting of rock shrines in 1988's underrated "Rattle and Hum." But guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher infuses the best tracks with such craft and uplifting spirit that "Morning Glory" offers a teasing glimpse of what the Beatles might have sounded like in today's musical environment. It's a joyful collection that honors the Beatles' legacy and stands as a welcome tonic for the despair of so much '90s rock.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (e x cellent).

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