Liam Gallagher: C’mon You Know review – star cast, earthbound results

Gallagher Jr enlists the likes of Dave Grohl, Ezra Koenig and Nick Zinner for an album that has pleasing touches but can’t rise above solid

Given that he was written off as the Gallagher Brother Least Likely To when Oasis imploded in 2009, a feeling compounded by the underwhelming career of Beady Eye, it’s perhaps a surprise that it’s Liam, not Noel, who has sold out two nights at Knebworth next month. That he has achieved such enormous popularity when his solo albums have been consistently solid rather than exciting makes it an even more remarkable feat.

C’mon You Know hardly sets the pulse racing any more than its two predecessors, despite Gallagher’s clear attempt to broaden his palate. An all-star cast of writers, producers and special guests, including Dave Grohl, Ezra Koenig and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, provide plenty of polish and ideas, prompting an unexpected sortie into dub (I’m Free) and nice flourishes throughout (such as the euphoric female backing vocals on the standout title track).

Elsewhere, there’s a subplot involving the Stones circa Let It Bleed: recent single Everything’s Electric, a Grohl co-write, has a guitar coda that echoes Gimme Shelter (with added Sympathy for the Devil woo-woos, for good measure). Opener More Power (key lyric: “Mother, I’ll admit that I was angry for too long”), meanwhile, has a choirboy intro that’s perhaps a little too much in the style of You Can’t Always Get What You Want to not sound like pastiche.

Gallagher still has a voice that can imbue even the most meaningless lyric with more feeling than it deserves. But the old adage about cooks and broth holds true, because for all the efforts of the crack team surrounding him, the results are largely unremarkable and at times, as in the case of Oh Sweet Children, downright cloying.

Watch the video for Better Days by Liam Gallager.


Phil Mongredien

The GuardianTramp

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