By far his most engaging record yet
Harrison Smith
14:41 25th May 2022

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There are moments on C'mon You Know, the third album by Liam Gallagher, where everything he's been striving for in the years since the fallout of Oasis feels like it finally clicks into place. From the harmonica-driven groove on 'The World Is In Need,' a bluesy track that would fit comfortably on the Stones' Beggars Banquet, to the melancholy theatrics of 'Moscow Rules,' the record creatively eclipses anything his solo career has, so far, produced. 

Ahead of its release, Gallagher hinted that this record would be his most experimental, yet "some of it's odd. I'd say 80 per cent of the record's a bit peculiar but still good" — and he was right. Whether it be the fairground-sounding outro of 'Was Not Meant To Be' or the jazz flavour of the title track, it's a sign that the once-regimented rock'n'roll shackles inflicted upon himself as an artist have loosened, and he's relishing in such freedom. Lead single 'Everything's Electric' saw Gallagher following the same path as his previous two records: a catchy riff and an instantly memorable melody with the noteworthy addition of Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl joining his band on drumming and co-writing duties. With exceptional lyrics such as "Chain of missing links is all that's left now", 'Everything's Electric' was a barrage of Britpop and Indie swagger, incorporating elegant guitar lines, witty lyrics and a bounty of attitude — ticking all the boxes of what fans want. Signature Liam, then. 

Although the song felt familiar yet fresh, it wasn't until the release of the title track only a few weeks later that Gallagher's new bold approach was finally revealed to audiences. Lyrically flowing with gratification for life, a jaunty saxophone line in the closing minutes highlights his willingness to try new things and humorously contradicts a statement he once made on the instrument deeming it "a bit creepy". 

With a treasure trove of Oasis hits under his belt and an ever-growing number of solo songs gaining their own positive reputation, the expectation of staying authentic, exciting and replicating the surprising success of his first two records was looming. Album three is where Liam Gallagher pushes himself. Opening track 'More Power' is a homage to the Stones' 'You Can't Always Get What You Want', and sees a children's choir addressing parental figures, wishing for strength in times of hardship. It's also easy to see a growing maturity towards the fractured situation with his brother, and he even seems to apologise to his mother for the strife: ''I'll admit that I was angry for too long" he sings. The track borrows many elements from John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band and finds Gallagher at his most reflective in years.

Speaking of, The Beatles influences are — expectedly — here, but less blatant than on previous outputs. The woozy 'Don't Go Halfway', culprit of the lyric "Had a girl / she gave me hell / in her flat in Camberwell" has an abundance of the experimental characteristics the Fab Four's Revolver paraded, whilst the Lennon wail of the anthemic and saccharine 'Too Good For Giving Up' touts his strongest vocal performance yet. 

There are questionable parts. Despite the nasally delivery on the softer numbers, the vocal snarl steals away their sentimentality. While it is part of his unique aesthetic, it’d be wise to tone it down occasionally. Still, with the album being the true apotheosis of everything he has put out since the break up of Oasis (Beady Eye included), C'mon You Know is by far LG's most engaging record yet. Now five years into Liam Gallagher's glorious comeback, our kid is in magnificent form, and the eagerness to expand his sound is thoroughly welcomed. 

C'mon You Know arrives 27 May via Warner Music.

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