Liam Gallagher's Why Me? Why Not: What You Need To Know
Back in January 2016, former Oasis frontman Liam dismissed rumours that had begun circulating about his plans for a solo career in characteristic fashion with a brief, sweary tweet.
Even when, six months later, Gallagher pulled a handbrake turn and confirmed rumours of his solo debut album in another, equally sweary tweet, he insisted in an interview with GQ that the album was just a collection of songs he had written over the previous couple of years, and didn't consider it a solo career.
Since its release, Gallagher has been doing quite a lot of touring, writing, recording and other things you might expect somebody pursuing a solo career to be doing. But remember: he isn't.
This week, the thing that definitely isn't a solo career continues as Gallagher unleashes his second solo album Why Me? Why Not. Here's everything you need to know...
A little background...
Gallagher's debut LP saw him forging some new creative alliances, most notably with producer, multi-instrumentalist and all-round musical polymath Greg Kurstin, who was responsible for the album's most impressive moment, 'Wall of Glass' – he returns and increases his contributions on the new album
Gallagher himself, meanwhile, has recently been the subject of Gavin Fitzgerald and Charlie Lightening's new documentary Liam: As It Was, charting the singer's voyage of self-discovery in the wake of his former band's dissolution. The fact that the new film premiered in cinemas on the same day as brother Noel's homecoming gig at Manchester's Heaton Park was, we are assured, a complete coincidence.
Who's producing it?
Alongside Kurstin, Andrew Wyatt and Cherry Ghost's Simon Aldred also contribute their production talents to Gallagher's new album.
Any special guests?
Nope. 100% Gallagher all the way.
What does it sound like?
As you would hope and fully expect from anything Liam Gallagher is involved in, there's a good helping of the raucous rock 'n' roll that he's famous for, with the swampy groove of 'The River' and the faux-glam stomp of 'Shockwave' fitting that particular bill nicely.
There are some downtempo, acoustic guitar-led ballads here too, as there were on his debut, but 'Once' is strides ahead of similar offerings on his last solo effort - be it age, wisdom or both, there's evidence of real growth in the songwriting department here.
Where it gets really interesting though is one tracks like 'One of Us', which pushes into new territory while still making the best of that iconic voice.
Does it deliver?
Gallagher knows his fanbase well and there's plenty here that will hit the bullseye for them, but the new album also hits a sweet spot between catering to a loyal fanbase and satisfying his own curiosity. His songwriting continues to improve and Greg Kurstin appears to be a positive influence on the album, just as he has been on so many others.
There's nothing overtly boundary-pushing as to indicate he's following a similar exploratory path to his elder brother, but the lack of anyone playing a pair of scissors is unlikely to bother his fans and Liam is playing to his strengths on his latest LP.
Why Me? Why Not is available in hmv stores now