The reputation of Liam Gallagher shall precede him for eternity. The fierce Mancunian motormouth refuses to bend to the will of the world on anything and everything – including his music. Following on from his time as frontman of the ill-fated Beady Eye, Liam’s first solo record rarely strays too far from familiarity.
There’s no denying the power behind opener Wall Of Glass, the drums pound and Liam’s trademark drawl hit all of the right spots well enough. Sonic evolution isn’t always the target for musicians, and it’s clear Gallagher is sticking to what he knows. The songs are good enough, but the tunes can’t help but scream ‘Dad’s going on a road trip and wants to remember the good old days’.
You Better Run is a jauntier affair and shows short flickers of something different being tested out. For all his public bravado, I can’t help but feel Liam’s voice is lacking conviction throughout – as though he’s finally clocked parkas and mod haircuts aren’t really trendy anymore.
On It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way, Liam assures us there is always a way to change something – but in practice he is still sticking to his beloved Beatles and (I’m going to say the O word) Oasis stylings. For someone who claims to never want to reform Oasis, Liam Gallagher sure spends a lot of time making music that would have taken the world by storm were it to include his estranged brother.
Surprise surprise, there’s a track where Liam Gallagher hates on selfies and most other things that people tend to enjoy. The only thing All My People / All Mankind really does is confirm that he’s a bit of a moody middle aged man, begrudging the youth for having access to the technology he no doubt has in his own home.
As You Were is fine, it contains enough nostalgia to keep 90s dads happy and enough Liam Gallagher to appease the hoards of Oasis loving adolescents. But overall there is too much bitterness flowing through this record for it to not come across as mostly stand-offish. As you were Liam, but you’re not for me.