Liam Gallagher - C'mon You Know (2022) - Album Review
By Paul Rigg
Songs for an Endless Summer
On Saturday 4th June Liam Gallagher returned to Knebworth to present his latest number 1 solo album, C’Mon You Know (27 May 2022; Warner), and feel the love from his huge audience. A lot of water – and bad blood - has passed under the bridge since he last played here with his brother Noel, but he now seems to be one happy man:“It’s good to be back!” he bellows.
Liam’s post-Oasis band, Beady Eye, sought to “stand the test of time, like Beatles and Stones.” They evidently failed in that endeavour, but the two legendary groups continue to provide fodder for Liam’s projects. Some of course criticize the regular ‘borrowing’ of riffs and lyrics, but the ‘man with the maracas’ clearly does not give a damn about that - and why should he? He succeeds in giving his fans a good time by providing upbeat songs that they can relate to.
Opening track More Power kicks off with a heavenly children’s choir, which evokes the Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want (echoes of Gimme Shelter and Sympathy for the Devil can be heard in other moments). “I wish I had more power,” the kids’ chant, before Gallagher enters with the philosophical: “If you want to keep the things you love, then you better learn to kneel.”
Don’t Go Halfway starts with a great beat before Gallagher throws in the dry line: “Had a girl, she gave me hell, in our flat in Camberwell”, while the title track – put together with the assistance of Greg Kurstin and Andrew Watt — conjures up everthing that the faithful love about Oasis. As the song builds, Gallagher implores listeners to “start living, be thankful and giving”, in a song that is insistently uplifting. The line “I’m sick of acting like I’m tough, C’mon baby, giz a hug” perhaps shows a more reflective side of the erstwhile hellraiser, though it is apparently not what he was aiming for: “I’m quite happy with the formula…” Gallagher told NME earlier this year, “all these people that go out and do something different – good for them and all that, but if I like something, I just stick with it.”
Better Days is another cheery cut, which in this case evokes the sound of the Fab Four in their psychedelic heyday. Bonehead plays his favoured Epiphone Riviera Matsumoku on the accompanying video, which features the sun rising as the band sing on a city-centre rooftop, in Let It Be-style.
Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl adds his songwriting and drumming fairy-dust to the anthemic Everything’s Electric, while Summer Days emphasizes the album’s theme by closing with sublime orchestration. Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig fills another guest spot on the ominous Moscow Rules, but the album closes by returning to the upbeat tone that characterizes it, with Gallagher singing: “Have faith in the future […] Get together […] Every day we could make that change happen,” on Waves.
No less than 160,000 people travelled to see Liam’s two shows at Knebworth, and his tour went through New Zealand and Australia, before returning to Europe for August. After a miserable couple of years it’s been a lovely long summer - and Gallagher’s latest album might just be the perfect soundtrack for it.