Cumbria Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Graham Clark
Music Features Writer
1:00 AM 9th February 2024

Albums: Liam Gallagher And John Squire

Liam Gallagher And John Squire

Raise Your Hands; Mars To Liverpool; One Day At A Time; I’m A Wheel; Just Another Rainbow; Love You Forever; Make It Up As You Go Along; You’re Not The Only One; I’m So Bored; Mother Nature’s Song

(Warner Music) 5054197898957

Former Stone Roses guitarist John Squire has teamed up with ex-Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, with the result being this better-than-expected debut album. The album took shape in Los Angeles with producer Greg Kurstin, who has worked with Adele, Foo Fighters, and Paul McCartney, amongst others.

The pairing of Squire and Gallagher is not an unusual one; The Stone Roses were a major influence on Oasis, along with The Beatles. While the album will appeal to both sets of Roses and Oasis fans, there is no doubt that The Beatles maintain a strong presence throughout the album; there is even a track named From Mars to Liverpool. The album concludes with Mother Nature’s Song, a title of a Beatles track with one letter added to its ending.

While there is nothing here that matches the songwriting excellence of their former bands, the closest we get is the pleasing opening track Raise Your Hands, which comes hurtling along like a high-speed train on the tracks, complete with a glam rock beat, a nifty guitar riff, a rousing chorus, and a piano sequence that recalls The Rolling Stones’ Let's Spend the Night Together.

Just Another Rainbow sounds familiar not only because the track has already been released as a single but also because of the Byrds-style melody and the way Gallagher uses his trademark snarl.

I’m a Wheel comes complete with a blues-style infusion and is surprising in how contrasting the track sounds to the rest of the album. Who else but Gallagher and company could come up with song titles such as I’m So Bored and Make It Up As You Go Along? The former comes courtesy of the snotty attitude that prevailed in Oasis; the latter is wrapped around an attractive melody.

The fans who were around in the mid-nineties and those that were too young to remember the euphoria of the Britpop era will no doubt welcome this album with open arms. The template is not broken, and there is nothing new here, which is probably why, in the sterile world of pop music in 2024, this album sounds quite refreshing.