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Our Review: Liam Gallagher - Why Me? Why Not.

Liam Gallagher - Why Me? Why Not.

Album number two doesn’t stray far from the beaten track but still ends up somewhere new and improved.

In the documentary As It Was Liam Gallagher described the loose end he was at when his passion for Beady Eye had fizzled out. It may have seemed for a while like the hill back to somewhere with any energy for music was too steep a climb for Liam. Oasis was a monster where size, scale and energy were such important factors, the face of the band was never going to be a comfortable fit for an indie aesthetic or life on the sidelines. For Liam it’s center stage or nothing. If As You Were confirmed that his presence, voice and back catalogue alone were enough to catapult him back to where he deserves to be, only new music would be enough to keep him there. Fortunately on his second album, the songs and performances continue the journey even further.

The immediacy of WM?WN.’s three opening tracks (singles Shockwave, One Of Us and Once) propel the album out of the blocks at breakneck speed. Any one of the three would have been the stand out track on his first album, but it’s from Now That I’ve Found You that the record starts to take on a life of its own. Halo (think Let’s Spend The Night Together vs Bring The Light) is the biggest noise on the record, and one that will lift the roof off live venues. If As You Were felt a bit at times like someone else’s construction of Liam Gallagher as a solo artist, WM?WN. feels like a much more refined and real version of the man himself. Somehow his voice and personality come through a lot clearer, and in the case of some of the more pedestrian tracks, his voice alone carries them somewhere further.

It wouldn’t be accurate to call the album a classic in the same breath as any of the most-loved Oasis albums, but in terms of scale, ambition and confidence, it’s up there with anything Liam has put his voice to before. Naturally, it doesn’t have the rawness you’d get with a Rock ’N’ Roll record outside of the major label universe. There are still one or two songs (see the title track) that could have been released by any guitar-friendly male artist, and it’s telling the age of the algorithm that bar one song, every track is practically dead on three and a half minutes long. However, WM?WN. will do everything it’s designed to do; propel Liam up the festival slots and it will help sell out his currently announced live dates, and possibly a few big outdoor gigs next summer. It puts Liam where he needs to be, where he inspires and gives life to music that means so much to people.

The biggest challenge after the success of his debut solo album was following it up with something stronger. In those terms he’s knocked it out of the park. There’s far more depth to songs like Now That I’ve Found You and Meadow than many of the songs he’s previously released. In terms of where he goes from here, it would be great if now, after almost 30 tracks he’s released he’s found his voice, and can get back with a guitar and write one or two classics on his own. That true human quality is the only thing missing from the record, and arguably the solo career of the only voice in Rock ’N’ Roll that still matters.

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