All the boy Liam has got to do to stay in the game is turn out stuff that’s not actually bad. He’s got the name and everyone likes him; the career is his to lose. But his post-Oasis output has been patchy. Even mad-for-it Oasis fans who’d buy any old rubbish Oasis released (and did) balked at Liam’s more-average-than-Oasis Beady Eye output.
With Noel holding out against a reunion, Liam has realised he’s got to buckle down; swagger’s going to get him only so far. He’s done the sensible thing with this solo album: got in better songwriters and it’s about as good as you’d expect.
Liam’s got a good voice; parts of the album are Beatles influenced, others not and it’s not bad all. Better than his old band’s latter output for sure. The songwriters (who include Greg Kurstin, who co-wrote and played most of the instruments on Adele’s Hello, and Iain Archer, who wrote Snow Patrol’s Run, and won an Ivor Novello for Final Straw), have turned out sparkly and solid pop/rock anthems that Liam’s voice can only improve. They’ve avoided it sounding like Oasis, too.
The only real excitement is opener Wall Of Glass, a bluesy rock stomper with harmonica and pulsing kick drum that settles into a crisp Beatles clone with catchy, sampled guitar.
There are some decent ballads, For What It’s Worth and Paper Crown, which, along with some of the poppier numbers, put you more in mind of Robbie Williams than Oasis.
The lyrics are tosh, and presumably written by Liam: “You would keep the secrets in ya / You’ve been keeping paraphernalia” are both gibberish and grammatically dubious. “Look for the girl / Who’s world is surreal” is grammatically poor and possibly inspired by the famous girl with kaleidoscope eyes (and then there’s “Happiness is still a warm gun”). Some lines are better: “She got a six six six / I got a crucifix” is Liam’s laddish best.
Basically, he’s a boy band, paying people to write him good songs, but it’s not bad at all.