Friday, December 04, 2020

Liam Gallagher - Why Me? Why Not. - A year on...

It’s been just over a month since the 25-year anniversary of the era-defining ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’, and this month we saw the 22-year mark of B-side compilation ‘The Masterplan’. Whilst we’ll never get anything that comes close from either Gallagher in their solo careers, Liam is sure giving it a good shot.

 We know Liam isn’t one for half-hearted work, he’s unlikely to release and disappear. This time, a year after the release of his brazen and undeniably confident second album ‘Why Me? Why Not.’, Liam brings us another collector's edition. To mark the occasion, here’s a look back over the awaited album. 

‘Shockwave’, the first single released from the album, sets a fiery tone for the album from the get-go in true Gallagher fashion, emitting the explosive, raging attitude that we all know Liam for. ‘Maybe the shame will open your eyes’ sounds nothing less than a comeback. 

Cleverly followed is ‘One of Us’. We wonder who this is about? A more introspective song about keeping your feet on the ground which appears to be reminiscent of the Oasis days: ‘Today 16 years ago, it was you and me for the last time’ and ‘You said we’d live forever’. Heartfelt retrospection echoes into the third track, ‘Once’, where Liam refers to the times as alike a daydream and expresses the want to relive it before reality sets in and the realisation that his glory days are simply a borrowed dream and a temporary high. 

‘Now That I’ve Found You’, perhaps the most beautiful song from ‘Why Me? Why Not.’ is rumoured to be written about Gallagher’s daughter, Molly, whom he reconnected with recently. It has a euphoric feeling, complimented by the upbeat riff of acoustic guitars and has a very personal feel to it which appears different to Liam’s typical self-assured boldness reflected in the early Oasis tracks. Maybe we’re seeing a new-found sensitivity from the rock’n’roll star here. 

Yet, of course, it wouldn’t be Liam without the fierce optimism as in ‘Why Me? Why Not.’ as he sings ‘stand your ground’, similar to the more powerful and intense ‘The River’, the second single from the album, where we can almost feel the anger and fire in Gallagher’s unmistakable voice. It’s almost a subtle follow on from Liam’s solo debut ‘Wall of Glass’: offering a way of saying ‘I’m back’, a pick-yourself-up track. 

This is an album that begs to be listened to start to finish, taking you on a journey through anger and defiance, to a new profound sincerity, through to the final song ‘Glimmer’ which radiates emotions of bliss and feels like the warmth of a summertime tune. And it’s exactly that which easily sets this album levels above Liam Gallagher’s debut: the contrast in meaning, sound and depth in each track, the up and down feeling shifting between each song as the album plays out. 

Liam’s collector’s 7” box set includes 14 white vinyl records of each track on the album, with each B-side being a picture disc, as well as a numbered, limited edition print and is available through Liam Gallagher’s official online website. What could be better? 

- Eve Cherrill



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