tue 23/07/2024

CD: Beady Eye - BE | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Beady Eye - BE

CD: Beady Eye - BE

Liam's gang return, occasionally avoiding stodgy predictability

Beady Eye take the Ohio Players/Roxy Music route to eye-catching cover art

When Liam Gallagher comes up in conversation, it’s usually as to whether he’s the last great belligerent rock star or just a boorish goon. As he leads four fifths of the final Oasis line-up into the second Beady Eye album, he appears to be neither. Upon occasion this is no bad thing, although it results in an album that’s occasionally pleasing rather than “a striking return to form” (as music journos insist on claiming when high profile names return to the fray).

For my money, Gallagher in Oasis’s prime was a great rock star, all sneer, swagger, and an infuriating insouciance about intellectual critiques of what he did. He seems, however, to have mellowed. Where Beady Eye’s debut attempted Oasis’s posturing bluster, BE, given a mild lick of sonic adventure by producer David Sitek (of TV On The Radio), is a more relaxed affair.

Of course, given its creator, there’s a host of sub-Lennon filler on board, notably acoustic strumalongs with lyrics that seem familiar, rehashed, possibly from Gallagher’s own past, possibly from the Sixties. But there are also songs that show a bit more spark. The opening “Flick of the Finger’ is a brass-bolstered epic which drops in a worthwhile spoken quotation from the French Revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat. It’s an impressive beginning and sees Gallagher reigning in his patent nasal whine.

Further along, “Second Bite of the Apple” has a percussive funk that may frighten Britpop fans, and a catchy closing chorus. “Don’t Brother Me” is a deliberate but likeable attempt to whip up interest via the ongoing sparring match with Liam’s sibling – half the reason anyone pays any attention to either of them. “Iz Rite” stomps along like Wizzard, and the closing “Start Anew”, while easy to mock for being trite, has a certain power-ballad dynamic that sets it apart.

Oasis will reform one day and Beady Eye’s albums will be a footnote. For those who enjoy the main dish, they will always be worth filleting for snacks.

Watch Beady Eye play "Flick of the finger" on Jools Holland

Where their debut attempted Oasis’s posturing bluster, this is a more relaxed affair


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters