Well this is awkward. There was a time when a new album featuring Liam Gallagher was a thing to get excited about. That time was 1997 and that album was Be Here Now. Has anyone cared since?
Those early Oasis albums were the soundtrack to the mid- to late-’90s for so many of us. That’s what makes this so awful.
There we were, holding hands with someone cute, singing our hearts out to those early brilliant records. Definitely Maybe and Morning Glory in particular. There wasn’t a kid in the land who didn’t know all the words to all the songs on those first two records. Even those who claimed to prefer Blur could do the whole of “Champagne Supernova” after a bottle of 20/20 and five bottles of Two Dogs lemonade. Ah, good times.
Back then, Liam’s laddish, loutish bravado seemed cool. Funny at times. He was everyman. He was all of us. And that voice was incredible. Like the wine of a jet engine at take-off, it could strip tarmac at its most intense. Noel’s lyrics drifted between Lennon-like whimsy and deeply impressionistic. If you weren’t there, that might not seem true. But for those of us that were, those songs really spoke to us. They were deep. We dove in.
The band’s messy ending seemed inevitable and overdue. There’d been the odd good song over the years, but by and large they’d used up their last ounce of genius on Be Here Now, and that was excessive. The songs that mattered became fewer and further between. Noel is on record bemoaning the casual manner in which he chucked stuff onto B-sides during that unstoppable early period. When the well started to run dry, he’d kill for an “Acquiesce,” a “Headshrinker,” a “Talk Tonight.” And the embarrassing shit fight that seems to take place on Twitter between the two Gallaghers almost daily does nothing to restore their reputation.
Noel’s done three solo albums. They’re all shit. Liam did those two with Beady Eye, both shit, and then his solo album As You Were, which is also shit. But nothing had prepared me for this.
While those other post-Oasis albums are guilty simply of being a bit forgettable, this latest is loathsome. It’s filled with a load of committee-written songs for Liam to over-emote to. His voice is shot, no longer capable of stripping tarmac. He’d struggle now to strip wallpaper.
The songs are lumpy. For anyone of that Brit-pop generation who rushed out and bought a copy, ordered one online, picked it up in the supermarket on impulse, or simply streamed it, the disappointment is unimaginable. This is lift-muzak for the Brit-pop generation. Worse than that though, the lift has stopped between floors and the music is playing at a volume that prevents you from talking or thinking. And it’s reminding you that you’ll never be high in a field holding hands with someone cute while Oasis knock out “Slide Away” again.
All those dreams we dreamed listening to Oasis are sucked up by this album and turned to shit in front of our very eyes. The schmaltzy ballads and anodyne rockers are the musical equivalent of a chemical castration. And you sense that Liam knows what a turd he’s managed to pinch off. It explains why he’s ranting on social media and trying to convince us that he’s still relevant, still interesting, still got something to say.
The problem is that it was his brother who had the songs. He just had the voice. For the younger generation who are in thrall to “Wonderwall,” turn away. Don’t look. Uncle Liam’s at it again. Just ignore him. This vapid, overblown soft rock is everything Oasis loathed. It’s wrong. Our memories and our desires are crushed under the weight of this shit that is so dense that not even light can escape from its shit-brown surface.
Why Me? That was exactly what I was asking myself as this snot washed over me. Hopefully Noel will get an album out soon that will be merely terrible and help wash the stink off. In the meantime, I feel unclean. Don’t look at me.
Score: 💩 / 5