Liam Gallagher ’s first solo album, three years after the fizzling out of his post- Oasis band Beady Eye , is surprisingly good. It is named after the sign-off he uses for his Twitter posts, but also suggests a backward step, a return to the raunchy rock ’n’ roll basics that the retro(grade) Gallagher brothers made their name with. But in fact As You Were feels like Liam, at the grand old age of 45, maturing musically – up to a point. On the cover, he eyeballs us as truculently as ever as if snarling, ‘Are you looking at me? And if not, why not?’ Yet the songs reveal a softer, more reflective character than you’d expect, a strange brew of vulnerability mixed with swagger. After reaching middle age, experiencing the comedown of Beady Eye following the highs of Oasis, and going through two divorces, as well as the very public breakdown of his relationship with big brother Noel, it seems he might be growing up at last. Though he’s contributed, Gallagher has not become known as a songwriter while the frontman of his two previous bands. But now, as a solo artist, apart from on a couple of […]

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