In his debut solo album, As You Were, Liam Gallagher delivers a very safe performance, sticking very close to his previously established sound.
The first time I heard Oasis was when a friend showed me “Champagne Supernova” in middle school. From then on, I was hooked on the Oasis Britpop sound. A few years later, another friend of mine showed me the second Beady Eye album, BE. Although the band’s songwriting has evolved since their time in Oasis, Liam’s vocals remains a constant. He still sang simple, Oasis-esque lyrical rhymes with his ironically nasally vocals. To noone’s surprise at this point, Liam Gallagher continues his iconic vocal style in his solo debut, As You Were.
(Important Note: This review is for the standard edition of the album, not the deluxe edition)
If you like Oasis or Beady Eye, you will enjoy this album.
The best way for me to describe this album would be as a compilation of previously unreleased Oasis and Beady Eye tracks. Instead of pursuing a completely new sound like Noel Gallagher has, Liam seems to fall back into familiar territory. Most of the songs on this album sound as if they belonged on a previous project. Songs like “For What It’s Worth”, “Come Back To Me”, “I Get By”, and “Universal Gleam” have a very distinct Oasis feel to them, through the use of similar chord progressions, guitar riffs, and vocal melodies. Songs like “Bold”, “Greedy Soul”, “You Better Run”, and “I’ve All I Need” sound as if they were written during the Beady Eye era.
Even though the influence of his previous projects are very prevalent, Liam still manages to slip so new ideas into this album. The track “Wall Of Glass” has a very pronounced dance beat, which is very different from anything he has done before. “Paper Crown” sounds more like a deep cut from a Jet album (“Look What You’ve Done” or “Sgt. Major”) more than an iconic Liam Gallagher track. In the tracks “When I’m In Need” and “Chinatown”, Liam shows off his folk influences. “When I’m In Need” has a very distinct Celtic influence, while “Chinatown” is distinguishably Americana.
Unfortunately, walking on familiar ground is also where this album falls flat.
This album is essentially a rehashing of Liam’s older sounds. If you followed Liam’s career from Oasis to Beady Eye, you already have a great idea on how this album sounds. The instrumentation is relatively the same. The lyrics are still nothing to write home about; but honestly, nobody expected the lyrics to be great (I still wonder what a wonderwall is). There just doesn’t seem to be enough new ideas for this album to be anything more than forgettable. There are only a few tracks on here that really stand out, while the rest sound a bit bland for Oasis or Beady Eye fans.
This album feels more like a nostalgic trip rather than a new entry in Liam Gallagher’s catalog.
While Noel Gallagher completely redefined his sound post-Oasis, the Oasis sound seemed to have trapped Liam. Even with Beady Eye evolving their instrumentation in their second album, Liam still managed to sound the same. Hopefully Liam Gallagher can dig himself out of the sound that has defined his entire career thus far. If not, I guess we still have Noel’s continually evolving sound.
Best Songs: “Paper Crown”, “For What Its Worth”, “I’ve All I Need”, and “Universal Gleam”
Worst Tracks: “Greedy Soul”, “Bold”, and “Chinatown”