Liam Gallagher – As You Were Review

liam-gallagher-as-you-were

Apparently, Liam Gallagher isn’t just someone who swears a lot on Twitter, has a cult following of ‘lads’ who call him an absolute legend for his ballsy retorts, or someone who is the “voice of reason” when it comes to Brexit. No, no, no. Liam Gallagher used to be in a small band called Oasis with his brother Noel until that all dissolved away in 2009. A couple of years and a fairly mediocre attempt at a band revival in the form of Beady Eye later, and Liam is back with his very first debut album As You Were.

With the aid of Greg Kurstin – who can be accredited with songs by the likes of Sia, Adele and Pink – the standard album boasts twelve tracks with gruff vocals and no-nonsense instrumentalism in equal measure. Opening with the glorious single Wall Of Glass, we are built up for an album of some intense ferocity; it’s filled to the brim with call backs to the Britpop heyday as guitars wail from all directions, almost masking Liam’s raspy vocals when the chorus hits. If you’re a fan of this one, Come Back To Me is very similar, heaving with strong guitars and riffs galore. Kurstin’s handy work with lyrics is prevalent from the get-go. Although, Liam penned songs like Greedy Soul, Bold and You Better Run himself – and the terse Greedy Soul especially is an album highlight.

While much of the track list is teeming with a brashness and noise, some songs take a step back. For What It’s Worth tows the line in between acceptance and apology, while overflowing with Beatles-esque balladry. Opening lyrics “In my defence, all my intentions were good”, and chorus lyrics “I’ll be the first to say I made my own mistakes” seem reflective and, well, just a bit sad. Paper Crown is, too, quiet and contemplative, with mournful vocals gliding over downbeat percussion. Album closer I’ve All I Need also sticks to the slow lane, but is quite hopeful in its lyricism, and develops throughout to make it a modern interpretation of old school Oasis moodiness when it comes to its closing chords. Whereas if you have the deluxe version, you’ll find that All My People/All Mankind is just moody. And that I Never Wanna Be Like You is just plain weird.

When I heard Liam Gallagher was releasing a solo album, I didn’t really know what to think. I liked Oasis, I’ve dipped my toe into Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds albums, but after the blunt flop of Beady Eye I didn’t know how As You Were would fair. Turns out, it’s actually pretty good. Whether that’s because it recalls a lot of late Oasis tracks, or it’s kind of impossible not to be compelled by Liam Gallagher and his cultural presence right now it’s hard to say, but yeah, I like it.

Liam Gallagher – As You Were: 8/10

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/2V3WS9tlPYmscBNWHHYu9X

Ellie Chivers

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