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Sunday, May 8, 2011

"Different Gear, Still Speeding", Beady Eye's debut, or the (new?) life without Noel

Different Gear, Still Speeding- Beady Eye

How things change, and how fast. Now any song that has a real musical instrument played, that doesn't have a rapper, that wants to have some meaning/substance, or that is sung in English, has no chance to succeed in Spain. But not so long ago, Liam Gallagher was the voice (or at least one of the voices) of my generation (teenage years), on a time, when brit-pop was all over Spanish radio and tv. Sure, "Definitely Maybe" and "(What's the Story) Morning Glory" weren't re-inventing the wheel, but 16 years after, they still have more good tunes and more relevance as albums than 99% of  the records that reach the number 1 at the charts nowadays.

Oasis, or better said Noel Gallagher, called it a day, and the brothers, that were never near their first two albums, decided to move on. Liam (with the former members of Oasis and a new keyboardist) has been the first in having his say with Beady Eye eager to prove the world he doesn't need anyone, not even Noel, and that there's life beyond Oasis. But judging the results of the "Different Gear, Still Speeding", is he right?

The first approach to "Different Gear" is really positive. First, Liam's voice is in full mode, reinvigorated and powerful. And second, it seems the band had quite a lot of fun making the record, a joy that it is showed throughout the record, especially on the more upbeat songs. And third, the album has a flair of unpretentiousness that is somewhat gratifying coming from music biggest bigmouth of the last two decades.

Unfortunately, the virtues are not enough if we judge the record in terms of its strength, durability or interest. It's hard to keep the attention focused because the album is one-dimensional and by far (and considering the Oasis career this is not a minor statement) the most deliberated attempt to revisit the 60' British invasion style, with ripoffs from Lennon ("The Roller" is pretty blatant) Beatles, Stones or The Who. And although the classicism might be entertaining for a while (as I said, songs like "Four Letter Word", "Bring the Light" or "Standing on the Edge of the Noise" are pleasant rides) it gets really tiring after during 13 songs and shows an important lack of effort/ambition on Liam's and Co. songwriting.

Getting past the legacy and comparisons to Oasis is not an easy task. But with albums like this one, is going to be impossible. Please Liam, consider to switch off the autopilot mode. There's probably a much better album awaiting to Beady Eye if you do so.

SCORE: 5,5/10

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