WE REVIEW THE NEW ALBUM FROM LIAM GALLAGHER – “C’MON YOU KNOW”
Latest solo album, characteristically titled “C’mon You Know”, from Brit-pop king Liam Gallagher has the festival ready belters needed to please the crowd at Knebworth. But with little exploration outside of the well-marketed Liam Gallagher identity, it’s hard to see what about “C’mon You Know” could evoke new-found enthusiasm from those not already a member of his loyal fanbase.
Kicking off with the most unexpected part of the album, “C’mon You Know” introduces itself with the sound of the children’s choir. “More Power” is a reflective, gently paced ballad that diverges from the usual egoistic Liam Gallagher album opening track. Whilst this song still tactfully sticks to the traditional Brit-rock formula and makes sure not to stray outside of its comfort zone, it’s still more unanticipated than anything heard on a Liam Gallagher solo album before. Whilst in the context of his discography this isn’t saying much, “More Power” is a track that both knows its audience and seeks to exceed their expectations in some way. For this credit is due, however, from here onwards the surprises mainly stop.
For those who came to this album for the classic Brit-rock anthems Liam Gallagher has consistently delivered throughout his career they are certain to not be disappointed. Tracks like “C’mon You Know” and “Better Days” are the stadium-ready, 90s rock nostalgia belters that are sure to have hands up in the air and crowds screaming along at Knebworth next week. With their soaring choruses showing off Liam’s infamous and instantly recognisable sneering vocals, these songs are Liam doing what he’s known for and what has rewarded him over his many years in the industry. One track that undeniably stands out from “C’mon You Know” is “Everything’s Electric”, a track noticeably co-written by Dave Grohl. With its forceful presence, psychedelically hazy bass guitar, and catapulting structure this track is a huge highlight on the album and already deservingly popular.
On other strong tracks on “C’mon You Know” Liam Gallagher does stray away slightly from the long-established 90s Brit-rock mould, instead taking advantage of genres he’s benefitted from dabbling in before. A prime example of this is the second track off the album “Diamond In The Dark” in which with its suspenseful drum beat and darkly groovy guitar passages evokes a more modern influenced 2000s Arctic Monkeys vibe.
On other tracks such as “It Was Not Meant To Be” and even “Everything’s Electric” there’s a psychedelic and almost hypnotic touch that gives the track list more variety of genre influence. Notably, these are some of the most impressive tracks off the album and ones which have so far gained the most popularity. Whilst they still sound like Liam Gallagher through and through and don’t take any risks, they make for a more eclectic listening experience.
Although at times on “C’mon You Know” Liam Gallagher emphasises his stereotyped image to his advantage, there are points on this album in which he falls too deep into the hole of cliches that surround both himself and the Brit-rock genre. A strong example of this is the track “Too Good For Giving Up”, a song that betrays its emotional strength by stretching on for far too long with what becomes overly repetitive lyricism. As the track progresses, it becomes more and more overly familiar sounding more like a sappy motivational song from a bad film than a dramatic rock ballad. A second track that is rather more cringe inducing than it is inspiring is “I’m Free”, a banal “protest” song that isn’t nearly as badass as Liam thinks it is. With vague and non-descript lines talking of “info-wars” it’s unclear exactly who and what Liam is attacking or defending in this track, thus making it feel much more rebel-without-a-cause than political rage anthem.
One core issue with “C’mon You Know” for me is whilst it has some undeniable explosive moments as an album in its entirety it feels as if it runs on for a bit too long with not enough diversity of sound or energy to keep it engaging. Tracks particularly towards the end of the album are entirely forgettable and feel more like space-fillers than the bangers you would expect from such as seasoned and critically acclaimed musician. Whilst on an individual basis many of the songs off “C’mon You Know” stand up strongly, when listening to the album from start to finish you begin to get the feeling its overstaying its welcome.
Overall, Liam Gallagher and his unwaveringly steadfast fans will have got what they wanted out of this record with his tried-and-true 90s Brit-rock formula once again proving to bring him success. Whilst for a Liam Gallagher album there are moments of slight and very pleasant surprise there’s no wild risks taken on an album that ironically Liam himself described as “80 percent madness and 20 percent classic”. In reality, those numbers could do with being swapped around. “C’mon You Know” is an album that seamlessly fits into the identity Liam Gallagher has marketed himself on. Whilst for those who already revere him this is far from a bad thing, I fail to see how it could encapsulate those who are not.