Liam Gal­lagher

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

As You Were (Warner) ★★★1/5 Eight years on, it feels al­most lazy to mea­sure the Gal­lagher broth­ers’ cur­rent ca­reers against what they did with Oa­sis. The prob­lem is, their mu­si­cal roles in that band pro­vide such a clear con­text for their cur­rent ef­forts. Noel had the chops; Liam had the pipes. So while his older brother still em­barks on mu­si­cal tan­gents, all Liam seems to want is a cuppa and a good tune. For his first solo ef­fort, ses­sion mu­si­cians and pro­duc­ers en­able Liam to de­liver his vi­sion largely with­out com­pro­mise (with only two of the weaker tracks on the al­bum, Pa­per Crown and Chi­na­town not hav­ing in­put from Gal­lagher). The re­sult is ex­actly what you’d ex­pect – straight-ahead Brit rock melodies, fa­mil­iar and sur­pris­ingly vul­ner­a­ble, with mas­sive cho­ruses and ter­ri­ble lyrics. Time can be un­kind to a singer’s higher register, but Liam’s best tool – a warm falsetto, not even hinted at in his grunt­ing Man­cu­nian speak­ing voice – re­mains strong, car­ry­ing many of the tunes. But, more than that is re­quired. The songs drift tan­ta­lis­ingly close to great­ness, but too of­ten get lost in dull bal­ladry. Liam misses that mod­er­at­ing in­flu­ence to chal­lenge his ma­te­rial to be more than it cur­rently is. As You Were is easy to like but hard to love. – James Cardno

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