Words by Russell Carstens
As You Were is Liam Gallagher’s first solo release under his own name, despite being one of rock’s most recognizable singers for over twenty years. After roughly five years together, his post-Oasis band Beady Eye disbanded in 2014. Ever confident, Gallagher is now ready to present songs as himself on As You Were, where his melodies are simple, but strong.
The album is classic Britpop, aside from a few weak points. The album’s lead single, “For What It’s Worth” gets a little too close to “I Am The Walrus,” a little too close to Oasis…a little too recycled. And the driving pulse on “Greedy Soul” calls for a chorus much more grand than what its preceding moments promise, unfortunately.
However, on the defiant “Wall of Glass,” you’ll wonder who Gallagher is picking a fight with now. There’s a slight dance feel during the hooks. On “Bold,” he declares, “Yes I know that I’ve been bold,” so at least he’s self-aware. The thoughtfully-produced “Paper Crown” makes great use of slightly distorted guitars to bring out the dynamics and emphasize this Beatles-esque ballad’s key points.
“When I’m In Need” has an am radio intro harkens back to self-reflective 60s psychedelia/sunshine pop. It’s the kind of tune that Craig Nicholls from The Vines used to strive to write (and sometimes did). “I Get By” and “Come Back To Me” are surprisingly aggressive and hard-hitting, to great effect. Psychedelic blues licks are painted over strobe light drumming—think The Black Keys meets Primal Scream. “Chinatown” sounds like one of Robert Pollard’s more experimental songs, with airy reverbs everywhere and lo-fi acoustic guitars sound like running water from Eastern fountains.
Although As You Were is a bit one dimensional, Gallagher was never much for straying outside of guitar rock. But Gallagher sure does songs with an English rock-star attitude well.
‘As You Were’
© October 6, 2017
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