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Britpop’s bad boy back with a bang

Like a Swiss-made watch, Liam can be relied on to wear his influences on his sleeve

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AUDIO JUNKIE:

Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher returns solo with the album “As You Were.”

Liam Gallagher (mb.com.ph)

Liam Gallagher

Things are different this time. Most noticeably, Liam seems to have toned down (at least that’s how it sounds on some tracks).

For example, it’s an apologetic Liam who sings on the Beatle-esque (which is to say, Oasis-sounding) “For What It’s Worth.” Intoning “I’ll build a bridge between us and swallow my pride,” there’s certainly people in Liam’s circle that could be directed to – Liam’s ex-wife for one, or maybe older brother Noel. We hope it’s the latter. We can dream, right?

But for the rest of the set, we can say Liam is doing well on his own; like on rocking album opener “Wall Of Glass” wherein the “Wonderwall” singer seems to say “Yeah, that’s right. I’m still freakin’ here” in that thick Manchester accent of his.

On “Bold,” he sings “Gonna take you off my list of to-do’s. Gonna sing my soul, shake off these blues,” with that “D’yu Know What I Mean” feel. Liam can’t help it if his new tunes sound comparably to that of his old band. He is, after all, the face and voice of that band for much of the ’90s and early part of 2K.

“Greedy Soul” has that Brit-pop oomph with lyrics that reflect some introspection. He sings “It’s a long way down, when you’re the wrong way round” with attitude.

Like a Swiss-made watch, Liam can be relied on to wear his influences on his sleeve. Obviously he looks up to John Lennon (which he cites as his spiritual guide) and drops nuggets and phrases originated by the late great Beatle. He manages to insert the phrase “happiness is still a warm gun” on “Chinatown,” one of the best tunes on the album.

'As You Were’ album cover (mb.com.ph)

‘As You Were’ album cover

And on the epic acoustic guitars of “All My People / All Mankind” Liam recall “Working Class Hero.” The latter track does offer a chance for Liam to drop some wisdom of his own.

Produced by Bird and the Bees’ Greg Kurstin (Foo Fighters, Adele, Pink) and Andrew Wyatt, Liam’s solo record alternates between grooved rockers like “You Better Run,” to acoustic driven numbers such as tuneful “Paper Crown,” to barn-storming “Come Back To Me,” to sensitive themed tunes such as “I’ve All I Need.” But then there’s the arena-sized anthem like the psychedelia-tinged “Universal Gleam,” wherein Liam seems to have re-forged John’s “Real Love” melodies onto a new beautiful shape.

We’re still hoping for an Oasis reunion somewhere on the horizon but if that doesn’t work out, Liam, on his own, fills up the void just fine.

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