It’s been an uncertain few years for Liam Gallagher. While older brother Noel gathered all the attention of late, Liam’s done little more than lick his wounds following the dissolution of his once promising post Oasis outfit Beady Eye and the break up of his marriage to boot. Uncertain as to his next move, he’s meandered aimlessly for the most part, going on holiday, indulging himself with a few pints, and jogging to keep himself fit. All well and good. But for a musician once considered a leading light of his generation, the busy work proved neither profitable or productive.
Consequently, Liam’s first attempt to cast himself in the solo spotlight qualifies the aptly titled As You Were as an especially auspicious effort. He has a lot to live up to, having branded himself through Oasis and then finding himself saddled with their success. The inevitable question was, is he up to the challenge of meeting his own high bar? Comparisons are bound to come quickly.
Happily then, Gallagher doesn’t seem to be too daunted by the challenge. ‘Wall of Glass’ and ‘Come Back To Me’ suggest this is a bold beginning, striking the same defiant tones that his former outfit purveyed back in the day. Likewise, ‘Bold’, ‘Paper Crown’ and ‘For What It’s Worth’ (No, not the Buffalo Springfield song of the same name) mostly share that same sound, allowing keen observers to label this Oasis incarnate. The determined acoustic strum that drives these decisive melodies suggests Liam was only too happy to return to that well-trod terrain, comfortable and content to retrace the bracing rhythms and stoic sounds that proved so successful in the arena environs.
While the material appears determined in its intent -- mostly a sharp rebuke to anyone or anything intruding on his current set of circumstances -- Gallagher’s infatuation with the sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s enters into the equation as well. The vaguely psychedelic ‘When I’m In Need’ and the unabashed urgency of ‘You Better Run’ (again, not the Rascals original) and ‘I Get By’ ensure matters congeal in ways both edgy and intense. In fact, every offering proves as consistently compelling, proving that Gallagher’s wasted no time in re-establishing his regimen. “Get high, get fame,” Gallagher wails in the aforementioned ‘Come Back To Me’, positioning himself on that hedonistic plateau. Flush with credence and confidence, As You Were finds Liam Gallagher back where he began.
Watch a video for “Greedy Soul” here: