Liam Gallagher is back. You’ve probably already noticed though as he’s been on pretty much every media outlet for the last couple of months. New record As You Were has only just been released following a promotional hurricane in the eye of which Liam played the lovable rogue to a tee. The cynics out there may suggest that the release of As You Were was delayed intentionally so as to manufacture an Oasis v Blur, or rather, Oasis v Oasis rivalry with big brother Noel.
Whatever the intentions, it has certainly worked with As You Were currently outselling the rest of the top 20 combined. A sure sign of two things. One, Gallagher Jnr still has massive clout. Two, fans of a certain age still pay for records. Maybe he won’t be making his own tea for too much longer. The record itself is the one he probably wishes he made with Beady Eye.
Liam has always pledged his allegiance to balls out rock’n’roll and songs like ‘Greedy Soul’, ‘You Better Run’ and lead single ‘Wall of Glass’ back it up. But these songs are rooted more in the garage rock of the 60’s than Liam’s ‘Britpop’ 90’s heyday. Even though there are no major surprises on this record – apart from maybe ‘Chinatown’ – it’s admirable that Liam’s has tried to branch out a little more than most would have expected.
The aforementioned ‘Chinatown’ is the song that will surprise most people. It’s a soft, off-beat, folk ballad from the backstreets of London. The fact that it’s the only song on the record solely produced by Andrew Wyatt is a shame. It really pushes Liam to a place he hasn’t been before. Perhaps it points the direction for Liam’s next record.
Gallagher isn’t re-inventing the wheel here he’s just helping to push it along a bit. During the bleak days of Beady Eye it had stalled badly. As You Were could be just the record to give it a little kick start and get it rolling again. If Gallagher pursues the more adventurous avenues of this record further it could lead to a really interesting follow up.
An Oasis reunion looks like an inevitability but the success of As You Were means that Liam won’t be just sitting on the side lines waiting for it to happen.