Liam Gal­lagher

“AS YOU WERE” (Warner Bros.)

Sun.Star Cebu Weekend - - Music - Re­view: Jill Law­less

As swag­ger­ing front­man of 1990s Bri­tish ti­tans Oa­sis, Liam Gal­lagher un­der­stood that rock star­dom is three-quar­ters attitude — and, in his case, one quar­ter love of The Bea­tles. Gal­lagher’s burn­ing bravado fu­els his solo de­but “As You Were,” an in­vig­o­rat­ing rock ‘n’ roll record that shows he re­mains cheer­fully in thrall to the Fab Four.

Oa­sis’ songs were largely writ­ten by older brother Noel Gal­lagher, and Liam’s solo ef­fort is miss­ing that in­put, as well as the volatile sib­ling ri­valry that gave Oa­sis per­for­mances a dis­tinct fris­son.

But the al­bum, writ­ten by Gal­lagher with in-de­mand song­writ­ers in­clud­ing Adele col­lab­o­ra­tor Greg Kurstin, makes sharp use of his strengths. The strut, the sneer and the soft-cen­tered love of a good tune are all on prom­i­nent dis­play.

Gal­lagher’s nasal voice is still among the most dis­tinc­tive in mu­sic, and it’s de­ployed on hooky tracks pro­duced with ro­bust siz­zle, crunch and thump. There are fuzzy gui­tars, woozy har­monies, horns, hand­claps — even a “Sgt. Pep­per”-style fan­fare on “When I’m in Need.”

Lyri­cally, Gal­lagher of­fers plenty of ag­gres­sive attitude (“You think I’m giv­ing up/I gotta rhino hide”) along­side hints of a new ma­tu­rity for the 45-year-old singer. “For what it’s worth, I’m sorry for the hurt” he sings on “For What it’s Worth.”

He also in­dulges in some cringe-in­duc­ing rhyming cou­plets, though the punchy sin­gle “Wall of Glass” pleas­ingly rhymes “one di­rec­tion” with “res­ur­rec­tion.”

“You Bet­ter Run” pairs “gimme shel­ter” and “hel­ter skel­ter,” man­ag­ing to namecheck songs by both The Bea­tles and The Rolling Stones.

That’s the thing about “As You Were.” You could see it as 1960s pas­tiche in mod­ern-day pack­ag­ing. But it’s done with such brazen verve that many lis­ten­ers won’t care.

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