Liam Gallagher: C’mon You Know – No unexpected surprises

Another bog-standard but curiously comforting offering from Oasis man

C'mon You Know
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Artist: Liam Gallagher
Genre: Rock
Label: Warner Music

C'mon You Know is the fifth studio album Liam Gallagher has been involved with since Oasis spectacularly imploded in Paris on August 28th, 2009, after the singer allegedly attempted to assault his older brother, Noel, with a guitar. The first two post-split albums were by Beady Eye, who were essentially Oasis minus Noel, but they failed to strike a chord with the general public.

Since 2017, the younger Gallagher has been releasing solo material to far greater success. This summer, he returns to Knebworth, where Oasis famously played two historic shows in 1996. His current popularity easily eclipses Noel's. Over the intervening years, Noel Gallagher has co-written with former Smiths legend Johnny Marr. Liam has now co-authored a song with rather unlikely ally Dave Grohl. Liam has unveiled an occasional gem to date, notably his debut solo single, Wall of Glass. Grohl's contribution, Everything's Electric, and its successor, Better Days, are admittedly quite decent singles, albeit with no unexpected surprises or sharp turns left. C'mon You Know does what it says on the tin, offering a dozen songs of generic pop rock with some gentle touches of safe psychedelia.

Weak lyrics

Lyrics were never a strong suit of either Gallagher. “Had girl, she gave hell,” Liam sings on Don’t Go Halfway. “In a flat in Camberwell.” Even the album’s Jeff Stelling-inspired title is another slightly mortifying instalment of a career that has unashamedly luxuriated in a cartoonish persona and every single banal rock n’ roll cliche under the house of the rising sun. A song called Moscow Rules catches the eye, but on closer inspection doesn’t appear to offer much by way of any incisive commentary on the precarious state of global geopolitics.

Gallagher's astronomical Mancunian ego still appears to be present and correct. His singing style still rests somewhere between the two Johns – Lennon and Lydon – although it can sound a little wearing after all these years. To give him his due, nobody else has claimed his charismatic crown and many of his pronouncements and tall tales are actually comedy gold, such as: "The whole world is jealous of me. It should be." Grian Chatten of Fontaines DC also possesses a Marmite voice, but he is nowhere near the same ballpark in terms of swagger or sheer attitude. On reflection, this is definitely a good thing.

C’Mon You Know does enough to stoke expectation for Gallagher’s appearance in Kilmainham in August, where he will invariably bulk out his set list with the greatest hits of Oasis. Ultimately, this is yet another bog-standard but curiously comforting offering from William John Paul Gallagher. He is still, in his big brother’s own words, a man with a fork in a world of soup.

Éamon Sweeney

Éamon Sweeney, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about music and culture

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