As one of the most influential musicians of the 1990’s, it is almost unfathomable that 2017 marks the first solo venture for Liam Gallagher. The former Oasis frontman helped shape the British rock music at the end of the 20th century and despite venturing out with Beady Eye’s, Gallagher has never quite been able to shake the Oasis tag and his first solo album, As You Were, won’t help him any way.
On As You Were Gallagher teams up with Grammy super producer Greg Kurstin, who has previously worked with the likes of Tegan and Sara, Adele, The Foo Fighters and a long list of massive international superstars. It is the tracks that Kurstin had a hand in producing that tend to stand out as the songs that sound the least like Oasis.
The lead single and track ‘Wall of Glass’ opens with an unexpected harmonica and pounding percussion before the familiar vocals of Liam Gallagher come in and the track quickly starts to drift into what sounds like a lost track from one of the many great Oasis albums.
This doesn’t come from a place of criticism on Liam’s writing or the flow of the album but more from a place of familiarity. Oasis are such a juggernaut of a group whose influence on British rock can still be heard to this day and Gallagher’s voice is one that will forever be associated with that sound and that group.
Now for many people (myself included), this isn’t really an issue as Gallagher is animated and emotional on tracks like ‘Bold‘ and ‘Chinatown’, clearly enjoying the music he is writing and feeling passionate about his new solo outing. In fact as far as As You Were goes as an album, it feels more complete than most Oasis albums ever have.
When the music isn’t sound like something you’ve heard from Oasis, Gallagher is pulling heavily from other massive British rock bands of the past. The intro to ‘When I’m In Need’ contains some strong Beatles ‘Across The Universe’ sounds with Liam channeling his inner John Lennon with a higher inflection on his voice and dreamy acoustic guitar backing him up. Meanwhile ‘You Better Run’ contains the hallmarks of a Rolling Stones classic.
For the most part As You Were is catchy British pop-rock album from a man who pretty much helped define the genre. Unfortunately the album tends to trail off towards the end, with especially the bonus tracks from the Deluxe Edition doing nothing more than padding the run time, leaving a bitter taste to the end of the project. However if you are searching for a throwback to some nostalgic 90’s Britpop, As You Were is the way to go.
Liam Gallagher is heading to Australia over New Year’s for Falls Festival and you can check out all the dates below.
Saturday December 30 – Falls Festival – Lorne, VIC
Sunday December 31 – Falls Festival – Marion Bay, TAS
Tuesday January 2 – Falls Festival – Byron Bay, NSW
Thursday January 4 – Enmore Theater – Sydney, NSW
Friday January 5 – Forum Theater – Melbourne, VIC