Beadye Eye – BE
All the talk about Beady Eye’s follow-up to the mildly disappointing Different Gear, Still Speeding has been about them recruiting lauded producer Dave Sitek. But instead of being the album that marks a welcome and interesting change of direction, BE is the album in which Liam Gallagher gets found out for exactly what he is: an entertaining and charismatic frontman with absolutely nothing to say.
Being a great rock frontman is nothing to be sniffed at of course – there’s plenty of boring, characterless pretenders out there that could do with a dose of Liam-brand attitude and showmanship – and it’s his natural talents that save BE from the abyss of mediocrity. These moments are fleeting though – the cocky strut of ‘Flick Of The Finger’, the triumphant chorus in the middle of ‘Second Bite Of The Apple’ and the well balanced ‘Soon Come Tomorrow’ all suggest Beady Eye have something to offer. For the most part, though, BE is a disappointing trudge through uninspired mid-paced rock songs.
The lyrics are the biggest culprit, with Liam seemingly limited to abstract concepts that just don’t connect. It’s forgivable for the odd song, but a whole album of it is just impossible to enjoy. Take this opening gambit from ‘I’m Just Saying’: ‘You might think the grass is greener / Here I am on the other side / Laying back on a roundabout / Building castles in the sky”. What is he on about!?
Elsewhere, we’re bored with another love-letter from Liam to one of his kids (obviously the brutal derision of ‘Little James’ didn’t bother him!) in the shape of ‘Soul Love’: “You’re the apple of my eye / Spread your wings and learn to fly / All I know is you can be / Everything you want to be / Life is short so don’t be shy”. There’s also the customary fuck-you-Noel-I-don’t-need-you-anymore track, this time it’s laughably titled ‘Don’t Brother Me’, a song with the even more laughable title of ‘Iz Rite’, a gratuitous Beatles reference (Liam actually sings the words ‘give peace a chance’ without a trace of irony!) and a host of other glaring examples of poor songwriting.
The bad far outweighs the good on BE, but there is evidence that there is a point to Beady Eye and they don’t have to just be a stop-gap before the inevitable Oasis reunion. If they are going to continue, though, they desperately need a spark of inspiration from somewhere.