Highlights: Flick Of The Finger, Soul Love, Ballroom Figured
If you sit down to write an album review and immediately feel you are not really up to it (after all, what is there to say about Rat Farm other than that is another perfectly serviceable Meat Puppets LP?), don’t just drop the whole thing and do something else. Sit back and review the new Liam Gallagher album. There’s a special kind of perverted joy to the task, and I still find it irresistible.
The catch here is that the new Beady Eye album was produced by Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio). The first thing you would expect is something inventive and adventurous, but while BE (that’s just a wrong title, right? I would have much preferred Bee) does sound more interesting than Different Gear, Still Speeding, the change is hardly all that dramatic. Dave Sitek is reduced to playing David Fincher in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. They both tried to change something that, quite simply, could not be changed. There’s nothing you can do about a sappy script or a bloated charisma.
But all that said, I still like this stuff. I’m 26 now, but I’m still touched by the acoustic prettiness of “Ballroom Figured” that doesn’t have an original bone in it. I’m intrigued by the lyrics of the otherwise unremarkable “Second Bite Of The Apple”. I still get a major kick out of the anthemic “Flick Of The Finger” that is Oasis all over again (but of course). I can still get in the intense and intensely generic groove of “Face The Crowd”. I’m still moved by the trite optimism of the closing “Start Anew”. I can even forgive the banal “Don’t Bother Me” with its four minutes of electronic waste. It just works; still, against all odds.
You know exactly what to expect. You know the songwriting is going to be derivative. You know a Gallagher is someone who isn't bothered with artistic growth because he just thinks he is so great. You know Liam is the sort of artist who will easily say that he won’t do it again if his new work fails (which he did). All rather pathetic, really, and all rather enjoyable. Whatever.