6/10 Rock’n’Roll Star.
Despite the cockiness you’ve got to feel sorry for Liam Gallagher. Younger sibling, massive monobrow, less talented in the songwriting stakes than Noel. Give the man a notebook and nothing much will happen, but give him an audience and… good god.
There’s a section in last years phenomenal rockumentary Supersonic, where Gallagher Jr. describes the moment he’s got a quarter of a million fans in a field at Knebworth watching every move he makes and he just freezes. Not from fear, but from pure focus – staring out into the crowd, drinking it in. A QUARTER OF A MILLION. How on earth do you follow on from that?
The answer is, you don’t. You fight with your big bro, immerse yourself in fatherhood and take up jogging, because the days of making world-changing music in the halcyon days before Zuckerberg ruined everything may very well be no more.
That was never gonna be enough for our kid though, so here we are. A couple of Beady Eye albums down (average to awful) and finally the time’s come for a grand solo effort. Very grand if the early sales numbers are anything to go by. 55,000 copies shifted in just one day according to some reports, meaning it’s his first chart topper since Oasis’ 2008 swan song Dig Out Your Soul. He had even threatened to ‘give up music’ if the sales were crap.
Even if you‘re only slightly familiar with the Gallagher’s music, then As You Were is exactly as you might have expected. The album owes much to the Oasis oeuvre, but without the magic touch of big bro. He’ll never write another “Live Forever” on his own, so he’s taken the smart step of drafting in some heavy hitting songwriting talent to help out with varying degrees of success.
The snarling voice remains his power weapon, using it to channel his heroes (Lennon on “Paper Crown” and “I Am The Walrus” rehash “Come Back to Me”) and maybe the odd old adversary – “Universal Gleam” is a real curveball in its similarity to Blur’s “Tender”.
Despite a couple of forgettable moments, when the elements all come together things do start to lift off. Best of all is barnstorming knees-up “You Better Run” – all handclaps, twangy guitars and swagger, while opener/lead single “Wall of Glass” is a proper creeper with it’s wailing harp and lighters aloft chorus. Sod it, I’ll be joining right in – welcome back Liam.
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Beady Eye BE
2013’s patchy but pleasing effort from Liam & pals.
Liam Gallagher | As You Were
6/10 Rock’n’Roll Star.