[sic] Magazine

Beady Eye – BE

Two years after their so-called debut, Beady Eye return : BE is a new and unusual direction, just 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, and more constrained vision, lacking the kind of ambitious dynamism, 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 rip-off 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 band’s first record that doesn’t contain off cuts from the Oasis-cutting-room-floor, this is the sound of a hollow bell ringing.

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