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Liam Gallagher - As You Were (Album Review)

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 Written by Huw Baines

It’s been said before, but it’s worth reiterating: as long as he keeps chatting shit in interviews Liam Gallagher can release a solo album a month for the rest of time. The build up to his first outing shorn of a band - Beady Eye, his post-Oasis outfit, fizzled in 2014 - has been accompanied by a press blitz as deliriously entertaining as the record itself is beige.

He has always talked a good game but, now safely ensconced in his mid-40s, he has of late dispensed hangdog advice that zings with perfectly deployed swearing and the knowledge that he’s made enough mistakes to have a handle on what he’s discussing.

It’s a tremendous shame that none of that wit or bite has made its way on to ‘As You Were’, which is an overwhelmingly tasteful affair.

Written and recorded with collaborators including Andrew Wyatt, of Miike Snow, and Greg Kurstin, it’s several debilitating steps removed from Gallagher’s early assertion that the record sounds like “chin out” music.

Only the lead single, Wall of Glass, captures any of Gallagher’s swagger, with its post-chorus harmonica break providing ample time for him to step back from the microphone and eyeball the front row. The boast that lands most regularly is that he remains one of rock’s most charismatic vocalists, and the song ably demonstrates that.

In fact, Gallagher’s performance here is routinely excellent. He enlivens rote pop-rockers (Bold) and psych workouts (Come Back To Me) alike, but he can’t save them altogether. That’s because, given that ‘As You Were’ professes to be a statement of apology as much as a brisk fuck you to his detractors, it’s curiously low on details.

A sort of inscrutable wordplay has always been a feature of the Gallagher brothers’ writing, but given the weight on this record’s shoulders it’s a noticeable drawback here. “I give you universal gleam, I’ll help you fix your broken dreams,” he sings on Universal Gleam. Then we’re given a line that promises more: “But I’m older now.” And another that takes that promise away: “Gonna show you how, for real.” And repeat.

The Beatles continue to hold plenty of sway (Paper Crown, For What It’s Worth, Come Back To Me) but it’s nods to Neil Young and Joy Division on I Get By that stand out. “Only love can break my heart,” Gallagher sings. “Only love, they say, can tear us apart.” It’s the sort of line that hints at the rock ‘n’ roll status he holds down, but one built from appropriated sentiments that refuse to linger beyond cursory examination in these new surroundings. That’s ‘As You Were’ in a nutshell.

Liam Gallagher Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sun October 29 2017 - DUBLIN Weston Airport
Mon October 30 2017 - BELFAST SSE Arena Belfast
Wed November 01 2017 - NEWCASTLE Metro Radio Arena
Sun December 03 2017 - LEEDS first direct Arena
Mon December 04 2017 - GLASGOW SSE Hydro
Wed December 06 2017 - PLYMOUTH Plymouth Pavilions
Thu December 07 2017 - LONDON Alexandra Palace
Sun December 10 2017 - NOTTINGHAM Motorpoint Arena
Tue December 12 2017 - BIRMINGHAM Barclaycard Arena Birmingham
Wed December 13 2017 - CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
Fri December 15 2017 - BRIGHTON Centre
Sat December 16 2017 - MANCHESTER Arena

Click here to compare & buy Liam Gallagher Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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