Liam Gallagher: C'mon You Know (Warners/digital outlets)

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Liam Gallagher: C'mon You Know (Warners/digital outlets)

When Oasis split up Noel Gallagher seemed to want be taken more seriously and become credible like Paul Weller as we've previously noted.

But brother Liam had a more simple need, he just wanted to be a rock'n'roll star like, well, just like Liam Gallagher actually.

After a faltering but reasonably passable start with Beady Eye, Liam hit his straps with his first two solo albums As You Were and Why Me? Why Not, both of which rocketed up the UK charts and found him touring in front of Oasis-sized audiences.

The albums – written with a bunch of sympathetic songwriters – mostly had better lyrics than he was offered in Oasis, and a number of them were messages of apology and sometimes hinting at a rapprochement with those he'd alienated.

They were sound post-Oasis rock'n'roll albums . . . and now he comes to the third album under his own name and for which he promised to push himself into new areas.

That hasn't happened and he sounds hopelessly adrift amidst his Beatles/Lennon/classic rock fixation.

The opener More Power opens with a choir which has vague echoes of the Stones' You Can't Always Get What You Want then Liam enters with verses of apology to his father (“I can see so many things now that you're gone”) and his mother (“I'll admit that I was angry for far too long”).

This is Liam channeling the Stones and Lennon's Mother and is stupid enough to include the line, “You won't always get the girl you want, but you'll get the girl you need”.

And it ends with a cacophony of guitars, orchestration and distortion before a final long-fade chord. Spot that reference.

It is an enormously unpromising start and the next song dives even deeper with “Now I know how many holes it takes to . . .”

Always a whining singer, which was part of his annoying charm, here he just sounds like he's broadcasting on a familiar frequency.

However with few exceptions he is in optimistic mood, enjoys the uplifting music driving him and aims for a point somewhere between Lennon's droning Rain with ELO orchestration (It Was Not Meant to Be, the raga-rock strings on World's in Need).

But the fact so much of this is familiar or borrowed clothes (and lyrics) haul this one way back.

It has the stadium-pleasers (the title track, the affirmative ballad Too Good For Giving which will have the phones waving) and doubtless some of these will slip in alongside old Oasis favourites and the better songs off those two solo albums when he plays two nights at Knebworth later this week.

C'mon You Know is disappointing and frequently sounds a bit half-hearted ("you're never alone, even at home"? Oh c'mon!), not that such criticism will matter to the rock'n'roll star that is Liam Gallagher, nor those fans on the album cover.


You can hear the expanded version of this album at Spotify here.

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