Liam Gallagher’s newest effort is restrained and made for fans

Liam Gallagher
Why Me? Why Not.

Warner Records Inc · September 20, 2019

The self proclaimed “last rockstar” has returned to the charts. Liam Gallagher’s sophomore album Why Me? Why Not. displays the abrasive energy that fans have known for 25 years with a growing sense of maturity. The former Oasis frontman has long been known for being rude, drinking excessively, and punching photographers, but since the release of his debut solo album As You Were in 2017, Gallagher has demonstrated a greater appreciation for life. Now that Gallagher is no longer trying to impress the world, he has freed himself from expectations and, as a result, has delivered a confident yet comfortable record.

The album’s lead single “Shockwave” introduces the album as a guitar-heavy stomper dripping with Gallagher’s classic swagger. Although the energy of “Shockwave” could bring a venue’s ceiling to the floor, lyrics such as “You’re gonna burn until you behave, hey maybe the shame will open your eyes” demonstrate Gallagher’s growing maturity and self-realization about his behavioral flaws of the past. Rather than keep this initial energy alive after the lead track, Gallagher mellows out with heartfelt songs like “One of Us,” “Now That I’ve Found You,” and “Once,” a ballad that captures Gallagher’s regrets in life along with his newfound attitude of making the most out of his one shot at life. While it can be off-putting to hear Gallagher’s snarling voice against a background of delicate strings and pianos, this is where his heart truly reveals itself. The singer tweeted about the track, “Once is one of the best songs I’ve ever had the pleasure to be part of, and believe you me I’ve sang on many a great tune. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.”

The album includes many Beatles-esque songs, which makes sense given Gallagher’s lifelong fascination with John Lennon. Oasis were often criticized for trying to sound like the Beatles and even “borrowing” very heavily from them, and the obsession never quite died, only transformed into a more subtle and manageable force. Gallagher even named the album after two of John Lennon’s drawings that he owns, “Why Me?” and “Why Not.” This inspiration is apparent in tracks like “Now That I’ve Found You,” “Halo,” “Meadow,” and “Alright Now,” but Gallagher still explores different realms outside of his Lennon fetish. The late-album track “Gone,” for instance, exudes an Old American Western aroma akin to the early work of fellow Brits, The Last Shadow Puppets.

Although Why Me? Why Not. is a solid and fan-friendly sophomore effort, Gallagher’s obvious love for the Beatles holds him back from being truly free as a songwriter. And while the fact that he was never the primary songwriter for Oasis gives Gallagher somewhat of a “free pass” for relying so heavily on his inspirations, he must step out of his comfort zone with his next work in order to stay fresh. Although fairly new to his solo career, this leads one to wonder if it’s too late for Gallagher to find a sound that is truly his own. Regardless of what the future holds, Liam Gallagher now has two solid solo albums under his belt and is growing wiser, happier, and more confident in his own abilities each year. As you were, LG.

Listen to Why Me? Why Not.

About Jason Ebbs 8 Articles
Jason Ebbs is a second year Engineering Student who studies hard in order to disguise the closeted rock star within him. Hailing from the greater Boston area, Jason spends most of his time making music, taking photos, and drinking seltzer. He is passionate about alternative music and writes reviews of alternative artists and their work. Be on the lookout for some of his track releases online.

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