Beady Eye: BE
Poor Liam Gallagher. It must be hard always being compared to big brother Noel, especially with a massive ego his musical abilities commonly fail to validate. It remains puzzling why the remaining members of Oasis chose to stay in Liam’s camp while alienating themselves from Noel after years of what seemed to be a mutual admiration society. With that said, Beady Eye manages to proficiently deliver a noteworthy follow-up to its 2011 debut.
Although assuredly destined to get lost in the Noel vs. Liam rhetoric, Beady Eye’s sophomore effort, BE, is a rather impressive musical statement in its own right. Surprisingly cohesive despite its lack of obvious theme or concept, the bombastic set begins with the wrathful pulsing of the horn drenched opener “Flick of the Finger,” then unpredictably switches gears into the mid-tempo trippiness of “Soul Love.”
Co-producing with Dave Sitek (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio) seemed to breathe new life and bring forth a cock-sure confidence that was sorely missing on the band’s mostly forgettable Different Gear, Still Speeding. BE at times is as melodic, if not as lyrically cerebral, as anything Oasis created during its heyday.
Although not as heady or atmospheric as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, BE greatly benefits from Dave Sitek’s production style, which suits Liam’s nasal, English yawp like a glove. But perhaps the most evident distinction between the two most recent Gallagher brothers’ releases is that BE audaciously rocks full steam ahead, whereas the former mildly meanders along like the tepid aspirations of a mellowed out, aging rock star.
At times BE can be guilty of sounding like an album of Oasis leftovers recorded by a John Lennon impersonator, but at its best (“Second Bite of the Apple,” “Iz Rite,” “Start Anew”) the album displays glimpses of unquestionable greatness. BE is not only a gigantic leap forward from Beady Eye’s first full-length release, but boldly sounds like a musical declaration of independence.