It was only a matter of time before Liam Gallagher returned to music, but is his long-awaited solo album all that it’s cracked up to be?
Oasis included the lyrical genius of Noel Gallagher topped with Liam’s Gallagher’s swagger and raspy vocals. Together, they created a solid dynamic. Their songs defined an era, similar to Robert Plant and Jimmy Page or Lennon and McCartney, but like any duo, they had their challenges. The Gallagher’s notorious arguments may have made for exciting content, but that eventually lead to their demise. In 2009, Noel Gallagher pulled the plug on Oasis and the remaining members formed Beady Eye. The group managed to produce two albums before the band disbanded in 2014. Now, the younger Gallagher brother has emerged with his first solo effort As You Were.
The lead single “Wall of Glass” has a certain familiarity to it. The song could easily have appeared on the last Oasis album Dig Out Your Soul. “And I don’t mean to be unkind, but I see what’s in your mind, and the stone you throw, will turn back in its path, one day you’ll shatter like a wall of glass, wall of glass, wall of glass, one day you’ll shatter like a wall of glass.”
Revealing another side to his generally tough exterior, “For What It’s Worth” seems to be an attempt to apologize for past mistakes. “For what it’s worth I’m sorry for the hurt, I’ll be the first to say, “I made my own mistakes,” for what it’s worth I know it’s just a word and words betray, sometimes we lose our way, for what it’s worth.” Written by Gallagher and Simon Jons, the song has a hint of “Where Did It All Go Wrong” from Oasis’ fourth album Standing on The Shoulder of Giants.
Gallagher pays his dues to The Beatles in “Paper Clown,” “You Better Run” and the second single “Chinatown” making reference to The Beatles song “Happiness Is A Warm Gun.” “Well the cops are taking over, while everyone’s in yoga, ’cause happiness is still a warm gun, what’s it to be free man? What’s a European? Me I just believe in the Sun.”
Stretching his songwriting abilities once again, “Greedy Soul” is arguably one of the most ambitious from the album, both lyrically and instrumentally.“I’m going toe-to-toe, with a greedy soul, he’s going down tonight, gonna be out a while, she got a six six six, I got my crucifix, she’s got a spinning head, like seeing Grateful Dead.”
The 15 track LP is comparable to an Oasis or Beady Eye album with nods to The Beatles. Although you’ll enjoy rocking out to As You Were, there is a spark that is missing. Maybe it’s Noel’s witty yet memorable lyrics? The album is nostalgic, leaving us to ask one very important question: will there be an Oasis reunion?
Warner Bros. Records
3.5 out of 5 Stars