Liam Gallagher John Squire review – their best work since Oasis and the Stone Roses

Liam Gallagher John Squire review – their best work since Oasis and the Stone Roses


A couple of weeks ago, Liam Gallagher utilized social media to discuss his joint album with John Squire. He declared it to be both “spiritual” and “essential”, while also commenting on its potential appeal to listeners. “I believe those who enjoy the Stone Roses and Oasis and similar music will absolutely adore it.”

One could argue against that statement, but it is noteworthy that the album titled “Liam Gallagher John Squire” has a well-crafted marketing strategy. There is a significant group of individuals who hold Oasis and the Stone Roses in such high regard that any collaboration between their lead singer and guitarist would be highly anticipated. This devoted fan base would likely ensure the success of “Liam Gallagher John Squire” even if it simply consisted of a recording of the two musicians lighting their own flatulence for 45 minutes.

Gallagher and Squire are aware of this fact and it makes their album immune to criticism, even before it is played. An artist who is concerned about critics’ opinions would not include songs with titles like Make It Up As You Go Along or I’m So Bored (which includes the line “I’m so bored of this song”), as this would make it an easy target for negative reviews. It is especially noticeable when the song I’m So Bored is placed right next to a track called You’re Not the Only One in the album’s list of songs.

In addition, if Liam Gallagher, a musician who has faced constant criticism for supposedly copying the Beatles, was worried about providing evidence to his critics, he would not end his album with a song titled “Mother Nature’s Song,” which is essentially the same as a Beatles song with a single letter added to the end.

The music is not affected by the opinions of those who are not already fans, and is mainly influenced by the sounds of Gallagher and Squire’s previous bands. The song “I’m So Bored” has a similar style to the rebellious, fast-paced tunes of Oasis’ “Morning Glory,” while “One Day at a Time” could easily fit in with their album “Definitely Maybe,” or even on one of their B-sides from the same time period. On the other hand, “Mars to Liverpool” and “Make It Up As You Go Along” have more charming melodies that Oasis probably wouldn’t have approved of, resembling the sound of the Stone Roses’ songs “Mersey Paradise” and “Going Down.” “Love You Forever” is rooted in the heavy riffs and pounding drums of their 1994 comeback single “Love Spreads,” and “You’re Not the Only One” could also fit in on their album “Second Coming.”

All of this is exactly as you would expect. Nothing unexpected occurs during the 45 minutes of Liam Gallagher and John Squire’s collaboration, except for the song “I’m a Wheel”, which strays from their usual Led Zeppelin-inspired blues-rock sound into a more traditional late-60s blues revival style. The song features a lumbering riff reminiscent of “I’m a Man” and a glam-influenced chorus. However, one thing that you might anticipate does not happen. There is no trace of the hypnotic, breakbeat-driven, wah pedal-heavy sound of “Fool’s Gold” on this album, which is a shame because it would have been interesting to hear Liam Gallagher’s vocals over a dance beat, as he did in the surprising success “Shoot Down” with the Prodigy.

However, this album is noticeably superior to anything that Gallagher has released after Oasis, as well as any of Squire’s work since his departure from the Stone Roses in 1996. The songwriting is more melodically strong and the performances are more lively, with a clear sense of collaboration between the two artists. While there isn’t a standout track on par with the highpoints of their former bands – such as “Slide Away” or “She Bangs the Drums” – the opening track “Raise Your Hands” comes close with Squire’s skillful playing, a catchy chorus, and a piano bridge reminiscent of the Rolling Stones’ “Let’s Spend the Night Together.”

While some may see its predictability as a lack of creativity, it can also be seen as a testament to the deep understanding of the market by those involved. The group in question is not seeking surprises with their purchases, even among the significant number who may not have firsthand memories of the 1990s. One could question their willingness to embrace their fathers’ tales from the days of “mad fer it,” but for those who enjoy broad-brushstroke alt-rock, 2024 offers little and it’s understandable to look back to a time when it seemed to be leading the way. Liam Gallagher and John Squire provide a much stronger representation of that era than the few lackluster bands that have emerged since the crash and burn of Britpop 2.0 in the 2000s. The target audience is unlikely to feel dissatisfied with what they are presented.