It feels like a very long time since the breakup of one of the world’s biggest ever rock bands. Since Oasis’ collapse back in 2009 each Gallagher brother has gone their separate way, and seen their careers go in very different directions. Older brother Noel set up a new band in the form of the High Flying Birds, and initially saw high levels of success and critical acclaim. Meanwhile, younger brother Liam was losing much of his relevance as he tried and failed to replicate his brother’s post-Oasis success with his new band Beady Eye. However, the fortunes of the two brothers have shifted quite significantly in recent years. Whilst Noel’s High Flying Birds have largely fallen out of mainstream view, Liam has come back in triumphant fashion with the launch of his solo career. After the success of his first two solo albums the former Oasis frontman is back with perhaps his most complete album yet. C’mon You Know is truly the record that finally sees Liam step out from Noel’s shadow completely.
One of the most significant factors that contributes to this record standing out compared to Liam’s previous work is the commitment shown throughout the record to getting across a more vulnerable side of Liam. Gallagher demonstrates his vulnerability in multiple ways on the album, through both his lyrics and his choice of musical style on certain tracks. His lyrics routinely pull back the curtain on his infamous ‘hard-man’ persona, with Liam exclaiming on record opener More Power: “If you want to keep the things you love you better then to kneel”, whilst on title track C’mon You Know he states: “I’m sick of acting like I’m tough”. Furthermore, Liam constructs full length heartfelt songs throughout the album, notably in the form of You’re Too Good For Giving Up, which feels like a loving thank you from Gallagher to his fans, and It Was Not Meant To Be, which seems like a love song to a partner or loved one in Gallagher’s life.
Whilst Gallagher’s musical style has undoubtedly evolved on this record, that is not to say that he has deviated in any major way from his signature Oasis-rock sound. This is most obvious on the multiple single’s released for the album, all of which do their job of being catchy, uplifting and powerful hits. There is a clear stand out here, and that is the album’s lead single Everything’s Electric. This track perfectly captures Liam’s energy and is backed up by heavy hitting instrumentation that plays right to Gallagher’s biggest strengths. It is on this track that Gallagher’s vocals shine, as he is enabled by the heavier music to tap in to his iconic loud and snarling vocal style and make this song an instant classic.
Gallagher has upped his song writing game tenfold on C’mon You Know, but whilst Liam’s writing skills are on a much higher level now, they aren’t consistently able to replicate the charm of his brother’s song writing for Oasis tracks. Don’t Go Halfway is a song that symbolises the relationship between Liam’s solo music, and Oasis’ music. The track starts with a rock fuelled riff that is extremely reminiscent of Oasis hit song F***in’ in the Bushes, but song of Gallagher’s song writing choices on this track feel out of place and combined with some strange instances of the music feeling somewhat out of time, this song shows how Liam still has that infectious Oasis attitude, but without his older brother his music may never reach the same levels of meaningfulness as Oasis hits.
C’mon You Know is without a doubt a step forward in Liam Gallagher’s solo career. It is a record whereby Gallagher shows more maturity and compassion than he ever has. It is also the record that really sees Gallagher prove to everyone that he is more than just a charismatic frontman, in that he is also a skilled and ambitious musician. Another example of this ambition is Moscow Rules, a track co-written by Liam and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig. This song has a darker, more ominous tone than any Liam Gallagher song to date, and shows Liam is now willing to get somewhat experimental in his music. It is safe to say that Liam Gallagher is still one of the most relevant names in British music, and this record serves to tell everybody exactly why.