Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credits: Far Out / Liam Gallagher / Greg Williams)

Music

Album of the Week: Liam Gallagher proves he's more than nostalgia on 'C'mon You Know'

@josephtaysom
Liam Gallagher - 'C'mon You Know'
7.8

Liam Gallagher’s revival has been miraculous over the last five years. Next week, the former Oasis frontman be celebrating his renaissance in style with two shows at Knebworth and a homecoming at the Etihad Stadium, the home of his beloved football team, Manchester City.

While the pair of shows at Knebworth play into his previous glories with Oasis, Gallagher is much more than a nostalgia act. Not only is he currently sounding better than he has done for 20 years, but C’mon You Know is also his best release since his old band’s demise.

Truthfully, there are elements of his first two solo albums, 2017’s As You Were and the follow-up, Why Me? Why Not, which can easily be considered Oasis-by-numbers, but on C’mon You Know, Gallagher has got experimental, and with the tremendous risk of alienating his fanbase comes the great reward of creative evolution.

Liam Gallagher can’t speak any language in this supercut

Read More

Gallagher also worked with some unexpected names for C’mon You Know, such as Dave Grohl, who co-wrote the ferocious lead single, ‘Everything’s Electric’, Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, and also Nick Zinner from Yeah Yeah Yeahs. There was also plenty of assistance from his right-hand man, Andrew Wyatt, who has become a crucial part of LG’s operations.

The album gets off to a surprising start with the help of a children’s choir on ‘More Power’, which is Gallagher at his most tender and vulnerable. For an artist that acts invincible, it’s compelling to hear him on his knees pleading to have “more power” and showing his fragilities for all to see.

‘More Power’ doesn’t have the typical Gallagher swagger, but there’s plenty of that on the record too. ‘Diamond In The Dark’ is a top-down, driving anthem while basking in the summer sun with a slice of psychedelia thrown in for good measure. The record is experimental by Gallagher’s standards, and while it’s not reinventing the wheel or completely mind-altering, it’s a much more fulfilling listen than his previous two attempts.

C’mon You Know is an album made for the summer, and you can taste the sun-kissed sound throughout the LP. Tracks like ‘Don’t Go Halfway,’ the titular ‘C’mon You Know’, and the 1960s throwback ‘World’s In Need’ particularly fall into this category.

The orchestral ‘Moscow Rules’ is the album’s most interesting moment, and it feels almost theatrical. Gallagher surprisingly turns his hand adeptly to the track’s dramatic Eastern sound and heartbreakingly sings, “The empty seat on the table is staring back.” It’s a world away from Oasis, and Liam Gallagher sounds all the better for it.

Although sonically it’s different from his former outfit, Gallagher is still emitting that same infectious breed of optimism that made Oasis the defining act of their era. ‘Better Days’ is guaranteed to put a spring in your step, and the vague nature of the lyrics doesn’t matter at all when Gallagher delivers them the only way he knows how. Meanwhile, ‘I’m Free’ is full of his trademark attitude, brimming with energy, and the most aggressive track on C’mon You Know.

Finally, Gallagher’s sermon comes to an emotional close with The Beatles-esque ‘Oh Sweet Children’, a euphoric way for the former Oasis frontman to end his finest solo jaunt yet. Earlier this year, Liam said: “Some of it’s odd, man. I’d say 80 per cent of the record’s a bit peculiar, but still good. And 20 per cent of it’s kind of classic,” and his analysis was on the money.

Admittedly, I found his previous two albums largely stale, playing to the masses and uninspiring. Thankfully, C’mon You Know isn’t trying to be Oasis 2.0, and by moving with the times and embracing a pinch of weirdness, Gallagher has shown why the musical landscape is much richer with his presence.