Liam Gallagher's As You Were: What You Need To Know
In the years since the Gallagher brothers' habitual fall-outs graduated into the apparently never-ending feud that saw Oasis split for good, the elder Gallagher has been busy carving out a solo career while younger brother Liam has released two albums with his former band's remaining members under the name Beady Eye.
Earlier this year however Liam Gallagher announced he was working on a solo album of his own and this week the fruits of his labours are finally set to hit the shelves. His solo debut is called As You Were, and here's everything you need to know about it...
A little background...
Following the dissolution of Beady Eye after the group's second album in 2014, Gallagher had said on more than one occasion that he had no plans to make solo record at the time, including one memorable statement via his Twitter account in January last year in which he stated, in characteristically expletive-laden fashion: “Solo record are you f***ing tripping d***head im not a c**t LG X”.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that's about as definitive as it gets, but what started as “messing around with a guitar” soon began to produce more and more songs. Eventually, Gallagher amassed enough new material he was pleased with to start reconsidering the idea and, by August the same year, confirmed his intentions with another Tweet: “"It's official I'm a c**t LG x".
Who's producing it?
Eight of the album's twelve tracks are produced by Dan Grech-Marguerat, a man whose previous credits include work for Lana Del Rey, Hurts and The Vaccines, while the other four are produced by Greg Kurstin, one half of The Bird and the Bee and multiple Grammy-winning producer of such little-known songs as Adele's 'Hello', as well as a list of artists that includes Foo Fighters, Sia, Beck, The Flaming Lips and Kylie Minogue, to name just a handful.
Any special guests?
The only real guest to speak of is Liam's former Oasis bandmate Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs, who contributes guitars on 'Bold' and bass guitar in 'Paper Crown'. Other than that it's just Liam, front and centre.
What does it sound like?
It sounds like rock 'n' roll, obviously. Liam Gallagher is clearly a man who knows what he likes and knows what he's good at, and pretty much every track on As You Were plays to his strengths – particularly his inimitable voice, which sounds stronger than ever here.
That's not to say there's not a fair bit of variety on offer though; some of the more downtempo songs such as 'When I'm In Need' and 'For What It's Worth' reveal a more introspective side to the Mancunian singer, but it's on the tracks that really rock out where Liam is at his best. 'Greedy Soul' is a case in point; a no-nonsense rocker that recalls his former band's best moments, as does the stomping 'You Better Run'.
Then there are songs like the towering, Kurstin-produced single 'Wall of Glass' ,which serve as a reminder that Noel isn't the only one on the Gallagher clan with a knack for a strong melody. On this and other tracks like 'Chinatown' Kurstin really gets the best out of the singer, showcasing Gallagher's voice at its best while still pushing him into new territory.
Does it deliver?
It's hard to imagine any of Gallagher's fans not liking his solo debut; the swagger and the voice that made him such an iconic frontman are very much present and correct, and while you do sometimes feel the album could push the boundaries a little bit more here and there, it's obvious that this isn't really the intention here. Whether or not Liam decides or admits that he is now a solo artist proper, or whether this is just an exercise in releasing a few musical demons that have gathered since the break-up Beady Eye, Gallagher has still got plenty to offer and if this turns out to be the first album of many, this will be a pretty solid start.