The Last Mixed Tape reviews As You Were, the long-awaited debut album from Liam Gallagher.
I rarely comment on the title of an album, but As You Were is apt. Sounding like a later period Oasis record, Liam Gallagher’s debut finds him returning to all too familiar ground with mixed results. Like the final few albums of his iconic former band, As You Were feels like the aftermath of something much more interesting.
I feel at this point, I should state that there’s a lot to like about As You Were. Gallagher’s voice has always had the character and instant likeability to carry otherwise weak songs, and on his debut, he’s given enough material to sink his teeth into. The opening pastiche indie-rock of ‘Wall Of Glass’, complete with harmonica intro, has all the confidence and swagger you’d come to expect from Liam. While ‘For What It’s Worth’ has a cathartic, self-confessional lyrical feel that alludes to the undercurrent of meaning that runs right through the record. There’s a reason why As You Were has the usual Oasis crossed with Beatles sound, that’s where Gallagher excels and the production more than meets that expectation, but it also ultimately serves as the album’s downfall.
The problems for As You Were start to arise in its over-reliance on referencing Gallagher’s past glories sonically, which leads the album to fall to the same flaws that hampered Oasis in their later years. The record adds nothing new, and with everything feeling all too familiar nothing is memorable. Songs such as ‘You Better Run’ and ‘I Get By’ are indicative of this malaise, leaving you feeling like you’ve heard better versions of this before with Gallagher singing on them. Indie has moved on, and it’s to the album’s detriment that Gallagher seems more interested in the past, rather than embracing a new sound that he in many ways laid the foundations for.
In recent years Liam Gallagher and in some respects, Noel too, has become a “good interview”, reliable for an edgy quote or shock headline, instead of the voice of a generation he had become during his Oasis heyday. And while his promo tour in the build-up to this record won’t dispell that perception completely, As You Were does remind you of his unmistakable vocal presence and re-establishes his credentials as an artist. It’s just a pity it feels a little like deja vu.
As You Were by Liam Gallagher is out now.