In an era where the charts are dominated by EDM-stained pop bangers or booming, hip-hop beats, Liam Gallagher has appeared like an oasis in a musical desert.
His debut solo album As You Were sounds more Oasis then even late-era Oasis managed. And it's good. Really good.
Like Oasis, Gallagher's completely unashamed about nicking from the greats - a riff here, an outro there, a lyric everywhere - but his blatant cribbing works in his favour. It gives As You Were an unusual double whack of pleasing familiarity, hitting you with its classic 60s rock influence and the nostalgia of the 90s Brit-pop era that was so inspired by it.
Gallagher remains one of rock's great vocalists. His voice a potent combo of Johnny Rotten sneer and John Lennon's melodic character. He can get down and dirty (Greedy Soul) or send a chorus soaring into the stratosphere (the Beatles-esque, lighters-in-the-air brilliance of For What It's Worth). He deploys his rock swagger on stompers I Get By and lead single Wall Of Glass but his secret weapon has always been the vulnerability he's able to sell on the slower numbers, like album highlight Paper Crown and the Rubber Soul-ish When I'm In Need.
There's no arguing that Gallagher's recreated the hey-day of Brit-pop for his debut but he's stuck to the Oasis template a little too slavishly. For all its squawking feedback and distorted guitars, super-producer Greg Kurstin has made things a little too polished, a little safe. Every sound is in its right place, all its sharp edges blunted.
But Gallagher's not interested in reinventing the wheel here. He's simply doing what he does best. Being a true rock 'n' roll star. The difference being that for the first time in a long time he finally has the songs to back him up.
As You Were
Gallagher's debut is the best Oasis album since
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