Stop everything guys, because it’s finally here. Liam Gallagher’s album might be the most eagerly awaited solo debut of the year, but is it any good? The answer, thankfully, is a big, fat ‘hell yes’.
This is in no small part down to the fact that the brother-bothering Britpop hero and wise-cracking lad about town has done the sensible thing and roped in a hit list of Los Angeles music industry heavyweights to avoid a Beady Eye situation. Steering clear of weak Oasis imitations, producers Greg Kurstin (Adele, Lily Allen and the most recent Foo Fighters album) and Florence + The Machine collaborator Andrew Wyatt have bought pop gloss and slickness to Liam’s serious swagger, diluting his rough and ready rasp but never diminishing what makes him so great – his beautifully ballsy attitude.
‘As You Were’ is an album that has more in common with Primal Scream at their most flamboyantly fun and Spiritualized at their most dreamily epic rather than a dodgy rehash of ‘Definitely Maybe’; it’s plugging into the 1990s, for sure, but not the bits you’d expect. “I didn’t want to be reinventing anything or going off on a space-jazz odyssey,” says the man himself of the album’s influences. “It’s the Lennon “Cold Turkey” vibe, The Stones, the classics. But done my way, now.”
Certainly there’s a lot of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones here too, but the glammy, foot-stomping country bounce of tracks like ‘Greedy Soul’ make sure this isn’t a hoary dad-rock indulgence, but a totally 2017 rock record with its sights set high.
Big, beefy tunes like gospel groover ‘Wall Of Glass’ and sassy Primrose Hill hoedown ‘You Better Run’ are more than capable of blowing the roof off your local arena and slaying next summer’s festival season. The record shines a light on Liam’s softer side too, with lilting love songs ‘When I’m In Need’ and ‘I’ve All I Need’ as fragile and open as they are bold. Welcome back Liam – never leave us again.