Chances are you’ve heard of Oasis.
The British pop-rock band from Manchester, England, is known for their impressive catalog of hits including, “Stop Crying Your Heart Out,” “Supersonic” and the ever popular 1996 classic “Wonderwall,” the latter of which has been dubbed the go-to song for guitar-playing teenage boys trying to impress girls. And can you blame them?
Possibly less familiar to fans of their music, however, is that both brothers, Liam and Noel Gallagher, are still actively making music after Oasis’s sudden, violent implosion in 2009.
Former Oasis frontman Liam just released his first solo album since Beady Eye (the members of Oasis but without Noel) called it quits in 2014. “As You Were” is chock full of songs that feel like old friends, perhaps because many of the tracks have a Lennon-esque flair to them, or simply because Liam’s voice is unmistakeable. Regardless of the reason, Liam proves he still has a few musical itches to scratch.
“Wall of Glass” kicks the album off with funky electric harmonica and grainy, beefed up guitar. Add some acoustic strumming and Gallagher’s telltale vocals, and you’ve got a killer song. The first track is destined to become an anthem for those who see people for who they really are, with the chorus pointing out, “I don’t mean to be unkind, but I see what’s in your mind, and the stones you throw will turn back in it’s path, and you’ll shatter like a wall of glass.”
The delivery of the enlightened lyrics, paired with the sparse instrumentation during the verses, give this song a cool, confident vibe, while the chorus with the explosive guitar and upbeat, funky harmonica make it an in-your-face, singable tune.
“Bold” directly follows “Wall of Glass” on the track list and takes a softer approach to slow things down a half step from its explosive predecessor.
A sweet and simple song involving background piano and acoustic guitar strumming with electric accents, it feels relaxed and comfortable. Complete with a dreamy breakdown, “Bold” keeps with the times while still grabbing flavors of the acoustic indie pop of the ’90s.
“For What It’s Worth” has a kind of a “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” feel to it. It’s a song about admitting you’re wrong in a relationship and that you screwed up without expecting forgiveness. It’s hard to listen to this song and not picture a ’90s era Liam dejectedly walking through London singing his apology to passersby.
The instrumentation on “All My People/All Mankind” is the best on the entire album, in my opinion. Layered acoustic guitar picking, tambourine, heavy kick drum, deep low guitar and piano are all mixed expertly. Then you take into account Greg Kurstin (producer of Adele, Florence + the Machine and the new Foo Fighters album) produced the album. Kurstin is known for his inventive and masterful use of layering and command over musical dynamic.
The second to last track on “As You Were” takes an enlightened Lennon-esque stance lyrically. With verses such as “selfies, what a f***in’ disease” and “showboats not up to speed,” Liam airs some of his grievances of today’s society.
The former beloved Oasis frontman comes back to the stage and his adoring fans in a masterwork of an album, “As You Were.” A combination of familiar Oasis flavors, John Lennon influences and killer production makes this album a must listen.