Review by Elle Wrightson
Liam Gallagher’s debut solo album, ‘As You Were’, has been one of the most popular releases of 2017. This album is the beginning of Liam’s solo career, following on from being the former front man of Oasis and Beady Eye. ‘As You Were’ is bold, cocky and it undeniably captures Liam Gallagher’s character. The lyrics are fragile and honest, making a captivating listen.
The album draws on Liam’s classical 60s and 70s influences and twists them into modern pop. The essence of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones are prominent throughout. Liam stated that he “didn’t want to be reinventing anything or going off on a space jazz odyssey. It’s the Lennon “Cold Turkey” vibe, The Stones, the classics. But done my way, now.”
The opening track, ‘Wall of Glass’, embraces this, beginning with a harmonica introduction prior to plunging into an addictive, punchy song. The album lives up to its high expectations. With layers of witty lyrics, punchy drums and guitar riffs, ‘Wall of Glass’ is a up tempo song that rolls between verses and chorus. It is packed with confidence and attitude.
But the album mellows into sensitive and sorrowful songs, such as ‘Bold’, and ‘For What it’s Worth’. The lyrics are raw, emotional and self-confessional, purging a lifetime of chaos into sharp lines that many can relate to. For example, ‘I’ve been crucified for being alive’/ ‘I’ll be the first to say I made my own mistakes’/’Sometimes we lose our way’. These lyrics are relatable and honest, making the album appropriate and appealing to most ages. This skill with lyrics is something that makes you feel a little bit nostalgic for Oasis throughout the album.
It is ‘Paper Crown’, the most stripped back song on the album that conveys Liam Gallagher’s lyrical inspiration perfectly. The rolling drumbeat, raw vocals and smooth guitar lulls you into the sound of the sixties. It is the kind of song that would slow a gig down and cause everyone to sway, united in an emotive sing-along. For me it is these mellow, meaningful songs that evoke the deeper message of the album that Liam Gallagher was striving for. It shows the necessity of reflection on yourself, your past and the people around you. It emphasises how necessary it is to not let your past define you and instead find self-worth in order to progress forward.
Regardless of this, the album is adventurous in terms of sounds, drawing into upbeat and almost psychedelic sounds. ‘When I’m in Need’ expresses this through reaching a higher pitch and using extended instrumentals accompanied by repetitive ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. This track rolls off into the upbeat, drumming ‘You Better Run’. This song is a slow grower but one that will have your toes tapping. The lyrics are deceitfully bold, feeling almost like a warning.
‘As You Were’ is a captivating album that shows Liam Gallagher branch into new directions in terms of alternative indie and rock music. It’s an album that strives for strength and empowerment. It tells you to apologise and move on from the past in order to build an uplifting future. The lyrics are powerful and the rhythms are catchy. It is everything that Liam Gallagher promised it would be.