Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher is back with, Why Me? Why Not. His 2016 debut As You Were, didn’t pull up any trees, but it was a good start. But he needed to build on that to show if he was to be taken seriously as a solo artist.
The album opens with ‘Shockwave’. A stomper of a tune, it oozes attitude, with references to his comeback into the spotlight and the first of many hit-outs at his brother Noel. Next are ‘One of Us’, a soulful plea to Noel for them put all their disagreements behind them and rekindle their relationship, and ‘Once’, a slow reflective balled looking back at his youth and days with Oasis. Both are solid tracks, with lots of honestly, great lyrics and instrumentation. The sombre feeling of ‘Once’ is then flipped on its head by the next track ‘Now That I’ve Found You’ an upbeat, pop-rock song about his reconnection with daughter Molly. It’s a very sweet song and is also one of Liam’s best vocal performances on the LP. Really, he sounds great throughout, especially compared to his Late Oasis and Beady Eye days.
There are a few songs on the album however that feel like filler. The title track ‘Why Me? Why Not.’ is quite weak, feeling lethargic until the pre-chorus kicks in and with lacklustre lyrics. It is the first skippable track. Just as with ‘Be Still’, it sounds like a worse version of ‘Doesn’t Have to Be That Way’ from his first album. After this slump, the quality lifts again with ‘Alright Now’ and ‘Meadow’, the first having some lovely melodic moments and the second being the most Beatles-like on the album. ‘Gone’ is the album closer, an almost American-Western sounding track featuring a talking section during the bridge where Liam addresses the woman in the song. A cool addition, especially with his Manchurian accent.
Overall, Why Me? Why Not. is a great album. It has its poor moments but is a definite step up from As You Were. Liam is maturing into an impressive artist in his own right.
Image: Tom Beard