Gallagher Jnr returns with his second solo album; a stylistic and nostalgic album backed by impressive production, to deliver an enticing, mature sounding record.
The highly anticipated sequel to Liam’s 2017 debut album As You Were is both introspective and classy, allowing audiences an insight into the now mature Gallagher, reflecting on his high paced, never say die lifestyle that he lived as a young man.
Album opener ‘Shockwave’, is similar sounding to 2017’s ‘Wall of Glass’, with the shrill of the harmonica accompanied by a bold, heavy chord progression and is an impressive opening to the album.
The album is not a platform for Gallagher’s atonement. More an insight into the psyche of a man who has lived his life in the public eye since his early 20s and has reached an age where he can finally look back on his life with a clear head.
It is clear the album’s main themes are nostalgia and reflection. Song’s such as ‘One of Us’ and ‘Once’ make obvious nods to these themes and the troubled relationship he has with his older brother and fellow former Oasis member: Noel. ‘You said we’d live forever. Who do you think you’re kiddin’?.’
But, as is the case for nearly all Gallagher material (from both Noel and Liam), the album is full of references to their own musical heroes. The energetic piano opening to ‘Halo’ and aggressive melody sounds like a track both Jagger and Richards would be proud of. Contrasted by ‘Meadow’, a slow number; ending with a psychedelic, disorientating outro, sounding resonate of The Beatles classic: ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.
Perhaps at times the album can seem slightly lack luster, especially for the more casual Gallagher fans. Lyrically, the album sometimes appears cliché and not following the album’s theme of introspection- in particular Liam labelling MP’s as ‘bloodsucking’.
Yet, the record’s high-quality production is noticeable, with the record’s producers Andrew Wyatt and Greg Kurstin taking Gallagher’s solo efforts in a different direction away from four chord classic rock anthems, to a more mature sounding solo artist.
The final song of the album ‘Gone’ is a stylistic, classy climax to the album and it displays everything that is good about the chart-topping album. With a stylistic riff that would belong in the opening credits of a classic 60s western; the song mixes a strong melody, powerful vocals, rising strings, imagery inducing production and even a spoken word bridge. All ingredients which seem to collate in a thrilling Liam Gallagher tune.
Why me? Why not. offers everything needed for an impressive record in 2019. Whilst the no.1 album may have a couple of skippable songs, it confirms to both critics and fans that Liam Gallagher is now a well-established solo artist and will forever be a necessity to the survival of rock and roll.
4 / 5 stars
Image: Warner Records