A Memorable Voice in Modern Rock
Liam Gallagher, formerly the frontman of rock supergroup Oasis, released a new album last week and it’s taking the U.K. by storm. Currently sitting atop the UK charts, As You Were is flying off the shelves with 79,000 units sold as of October 10. It’s not an Oasis record (brothers Liam and Noel are still estranged), but Gallagher does a decent job of emulating the music from his earlier days. At the very least, he reminds everyone that he still possesses one of the most memorable voices in modern rock; a little help writing the lyrics doesn’t hurt either.
The first song, “Wall Of Glass” is a typical alt-rock anthem, complete with loud, brash sounds. He addresses some of his own shortcomings, singing about how he doesn’t mean to be rude. Catchy, hypnotic and indulgent, Gallagher easily combines soaring harmonies with groovy instrumentals on this song.
“Bold” is more of a ballad, and a favorite off the album. Gallagher sings about everything being alright in a truly believable way, crooning about how he feels justified by always following his own path. The smooth chorus beautifully complements the soulful guitars in the background, showing signs that Gallagher’s voice hasn’t aged a day since Oasis’ first recording session.
“Greedy Soul” picks the pace with a western vibe. This song sounds like it’s meant to be a single (it was), and empty lyrics waste the first 30 seconds of the song. Some might raise their eyebrows when Gallagher sings “she got a 666 / I got my crucifix,” wondering what in the world the singer is trying to imply. That one line alone shows Gallagher’s true age; it’s an attempt to be hip, and it doesn’t work out well for him. The song in it’s entirety is certainly skippable, but it doesn’t ruin the rest of the album.
“Paper Crown” sounds like a mix of the Beatles and Oasis; another acoustic gem. “For What It’s Worth” opens with Gallagher singing “in my defense, all my intentions were good.” He sings about being misunderstood, while backed by suitable instrumentals that blend perfectly with the vocals. The song is four minutes of pure ballad; every word drips with emotion, and Gallagher wears his heart on his sleeve for the world to see.
“You Better Run” through”Chinatown” are upbeat with pop appeal, owing influence to the Beatles as well. While the legendary band has been heavily prone to artists covering their work, Gallagher proves that he does it the best with tracks like “Universal Gleam” and “I’ve All I Need”.
All in all, the album hinges on themes of forgiveness, recognition, and change. He truly identifies as someone who is misunderstood; spilling his emotions with a classic, raw tinge that has been absent in the mainstream for quite some time. It’s rare to sit down and listen to thoughtful acoustic or enjoy rock that isn’t so reliant on such a standard sound. The album is Gallagher showing how he’s still worth remembering as an influential piece of ’90s Brit-pop and alternative rock. Long story short, As You Were is vintage Gallagher continuing to strut his stuff.