(Planet Me)
Thursday, June 13, 2013

Two years after their so-called debut, Beady Eye return : “BE” is a new and unusual direction but not very good. Now, two decades after Oasis first rose to the light of the world – my God, that long - Liam Gallagher and the rest of latter-day Oasis issue the first record made mostly of songs not held back from the Oasis years.

The “debut” (though Liam, Gem, Andy & Chris Sharrock have all been long standing musicians with several records each under their belts before this album) was less a debut, more the first record by Oasis-without-Noel-Gallagher, including many songs written and recorded by Oasis and recycled here : in much the same way that many of the songs on Noel's debut “High Flying Birds” are actually reworked songs from the Oasis Bucket Of Unreleased Songs. With Dave Sitek on production, “BE” is a bizarre record. Aside from the fact that Beady Eye's singer used to sing in Oasis, there's no trace of the band that made “Definitely Maybe” or “Morning Glory” in any audible way. You could be forgiven for thinking that it is in every way a different band. And, not to be diplomatic, nowhere near as good as that band. Musically it's a step down from Oasis, a smaller, more constrained vision, lacking the kind of ambitious dynamisim, the widescreen vista and huge scope of the past. Beady Eye live in a smaller box.

It doesn't help that the first line is “Woke up this morning.” Liam's voice is anonymous, the last time I heard it so anodyne was on the bootleg cassette demos from 1993, where he hadn't grown into who he was. Also, and not to put too fine a point on it, the lyrics are awful. “Be anything you wanna be” he sings at one point, in a graceless A/A/B/B rhyming structure. The only thing that comes vaguely near Oasis of old is the ramshackle in a bucket stomp of “I'm Just Saying”. Which is followed by the cod-meaningful “Don't Brother Me”, and the acoustic-Stooges ripoff that is “Shine A Light”. It's 2013 OK! What is perhaps most disappointing is that in Beady Eye there is a good band somewhere within, and they are hiding in this shallow, empty material that is simply lacking in substance, in musically one-dimensional material lacking in drama and fire, and lyrically the band are somewhat empty : for the bands first record that doesn't contain offcuts from the Oasis-cutting-room-floor, this is the sound of a hollow bell ringing.

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