Alec Reviews Music: Liam Gallagher releases eccentric solo record ‘As You Were’

Alec Erickson

From feuding with his brother to storming off stages, there once was a point when Liam Gallagher said he would never be a solo artist.

Album cover for Liam Gallagher's debut solo record As You Were
Photo Courtesy: iTunes

Here we are on the back end of 2017, and Liam Gallagher is now putting out his very own record. No more Oasis. No more Beady Eye. And in a lot of ways, no more Noel Gallagher. Liam Gallagher has always had an abrasive and forward personality, and he has never had much trouble being in front of the spotlight. In recent years, it seemed like music was behind him, but “As You Were” is here, and it seems to be as much for himself as anyone. 

Ad

The 45-year-old Manchester, England-born artist first rose to fame with the band Oasis. Along with his older brother Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher served as a vocalist for the band. Oasis’ debut record “Definitely Maybe” was released in 1994 and was one of the fastest selling debut records in the UK. After that, the band would reach mainstream levels of recognition and released an additional six records. Liam Gallagher during that time always found it easy to make it in to tabloids and other forms of news for his behavior both on and off the stage. Tensions between Liam and Noel Gallagher rose to a boiling point in 2009, and not long after Oasis split up, and the two brothers would end up in several legal battles over songwriting credits. Noel Gallagher would go on and form Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, and Liam Gallagher formed Beady Eye. Liam Gallagher’s group disbanded in 2014, and it seemed his music career was all but over. That was until we got “As You Were.”

“As You Were” is a 12 track record that clocks in at around 44 minutes in length. What fans will notice almost immediately is the retro sound and style, yet at the same time it is something completely new. Liam Gallagher takes elements 0f classic rock and roll stand and brings them in to the 21st century. Melodies are crisp and clean, and rhythms and solos will make you long for the ‘60s. Overall, “As You Were” is a love letter to what made rock and roll great.

Musically, there is a lot of influences and styles going on all at once. For a debut solo record, this is something to be expected. Liam Gallagher is still working on not having a group supporting him, and it shows in lead track “Wall of Glass” where everything comes all at once from sweeping guitar riffs to a deep driving bass line and some blaring percussion. On the opposite spectrum of things, we see that Liam Gallagher can slow things down on tracks like “Chinatown.” Liam Gallagher’s ability to make even a small-layered acoustic guitar sound grand is nothing short of his usual style from Oasis. Tracks like “Greedy Soul” and “I Get By” have as much personality and flare as Liam Gallagher himself. From some great chord progression to solid breakdowns, there is a lot on a technical standpoint to appreciate with “As You Were.”

Lyrically, this is where things really start to get personal on this record. Liam Gallagher isn’t trying to make things up with his brother, but he is trying with his fans, and you can hear that on tracks like “For What It’s Worth.” For a middle-aged artist, there is a lot more nuance and maturity on this record than expected. Tracks like “I’ve All I Need” is obvious in its material but still deals with this notion that Liam Gallagher is honestly not looking back and is trying to look forward in his life now. Other tracks like “Bold” and “Paper Crown” deal with more issues of Liam being in the spotlight and calling out others who try to do the same thing. There is a lot of finger pointing when it comes down to it. Liam Gallagher is calling out anyone who thinks that they are doing this rock and roll thing, and he is doing it better than they ever could.

Should you listen to it? Absolutely

“As You Were” is one of the strongest records released this year. It’s honest and new and doesn’t try to be anything that it is not. Usually, debut records have a lot of confusion in style and sound, but Liam Gallagher has been in this business for decades and knows exactly what he is doing. “As You Were” is a rock album that is going to be looked back on for a while to come. As for Liam Gallagher, he is taking this brother rivalry to the next level.

More about the Oasis feud:

  • Formed Oasis in 1991 and disbanded the group in 2009
  • Noel and Liam Gallagher have been outspoken about relationship together and still don’t talk much.
  • Liam Gallagher worked with Damon Albran on latest Gorillaz album who is the longtime rival of his brother Noel.

Collegian reporter Alec Erickson can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @CTVAce.