Liam Gallagher: Why Me? Why Not. (Warner) - Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, October 19th, 2019  

Liam Gallagher

Why Me? Why Not.

Warner

Sep 20, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


His second solo album in as many years, Liam Gallagher's Why Me? Why Not. follows the well-received As You Were with a sometimes straightforward rock 'n' roll record with a surprisingly inspiring and upbeat message.

Baggy, deflated lead single and opener "Shockwave" misleads us into believing that the album may be short on the gigantic choruses required to make stadium indie rock work—its failure to convert a soaring melody into a neuron-firing hook is borderline criminal when you consider the talent involved in the writing—Greg Kurstin (Katy Perry, Adele, Paul McCartney) and Andrew Wyatt (Oscar winner for his work on A Star Is Born) both worked with Gallagher to create so damp a squib.

Yet, unlike Gallagher's solo debut, the singer co-writes every song here and his progression as a songwriter is evident; the title track positively bulges with warmth and camaraderie, Gallagher amusing with lines like "I'm solo/I'm so high" but also empowering with "Fill your heart with Why me? Why not?"—it's bloody lovely, and the falsetto chorus is an absolute joy. On "Alright Now" he eschews the blandness of the title to offer an ebb and flow of melody and musical shifts and flourishes that that are atypical of Gallagher's reputation for straight up chuggers.

The best song Gallagher has performed since "Don't Go Away" back in 1997 is "Once," a gorgeous strum that acknowledges the bittersweet nature of adventure, fame, and indeed, life itself—it's a warm hug of a song, string-laden, soft and sweet, and with the lyric "When the dawn came up you felt so inspired to do it again/But it turns out, you only get to do it once" Gallagher tiptoes around profundity for perhaps the first time. It's a glorious, mountainous peak of a song and should be the first to fall in line with the kind of reception the old hits get at his live shows.

Sure, there's some Stonesy filler like "Now That I've Found You," which evades dire status by virtue of its soulful delivery, and some sub-McCartney silliness on "Halo," which has—you heard it here first, folks-a whistling solo. It's actually kinda sweet, kinda forgivable.

Closer "Gone" sees Gallagher's first steps into spoken word and...it mostly works. His harsh, nasal tones feel weighted with meaning when backed by an apocalyptic swirl of feedback. Luckily.

This is a decent album indeed, a step on from his last and a step toward positivity with even a tad of musical and melodic exploration. Despite the disappointments of teasers like the Paul Weller-lite of "The River," it's a record that has a lot more to offer than basic rock 'n' roll but is equally happy giving you just that when the mood takes it. (www.liamgallagher.com

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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