July , 2013
Review by Ally Stewart
Over two years since their "Different Gear Still Speeding" debut in 2011, Beady Eye unveiled the follow up "BE". Having enlisted the services of producer Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio, the band took the shackles off and explored new sounds.
If you initially feel a sense of dread at the thought of a new sound, you need not worry. Although their solid debut retained a hardcore of Oasis fans that followed Liam Gallagher and Co. in their new guise, it was a record unlikely to attract many new admirers.
The band's new record is a collection that Oasis almost certainly wouldn’t have released had they survived their infamous 2009 bust-up in Paris. Seemingly at ease and aware of what each member of the band brings to the table (writing credits are shared), the result is a varied and ‘loose’ sounding record.
The sleeve itself -- an image of a semi-naked woman surrounded by glowing late summer evening color -- captures the feel of the album through its warmth, which is a significant step forward for Beady Eye in terms of writing and experimentation.
The opener "Flick of the Finger" is as bold a statement of intent as you could have wished for. Gallagher snarls, "The future gets written today" as the track ascends into a crescendo of bass and brass. It's certainly a tune that would fit seamlessly onto a Guy Ritchie film soundtrack.
In similar fashion, album closer "Start Anew" gradually builds in atmosphere and rises up into a beautifully symphonic climax. There are previously unheard aspects to Gallagher’s vocal on display throughout the album, which leads to the standout track.
Another stellar track, "Soon Come Tomorrow," has the potential to raise the band to a new level commercially. One minute in leaves the listener unsure of where the track is heading before the tempo suddenly lifts and leads into a sublime chorus where a new-found variety in Gallagher's vocals is most evident. With less effects and more range, Gallagher's tones arguably become the most influential instrument on the record.
There are still a couple of songs that are reminiscent of 1990’s Oasis. "IZ Rite", whilst not the strongest song on the album, is an easy-going accompaniment to the more psychedelic offerings elsewhere. Although still rooted in the sounds of the 90’s, the song "I'm just Saying" should receive a great reception at the band's forthcoming live gigs.
To accuse Beady Eye of sticking to the tried and tested formula of their debut would be amiss. "Don’t Brother Me" may be scrutinized by those hoping for a Gallagher reconciliation, but the strength of the song doesn't reach the general standard of the album until the 3 minute spun-out ending that doesn't fail to captivate and intrigue as the band hits another dimension.
It is uncertain what the future will hold for Beady Eye. Gallagher has claimed that this could be their last throw of the dice should they not succeed at whatever level he is judging their success against. But if one were to take away the baggage of the past and assess this record purely on its own merits, there is so much to admire.
Cliche or not: the first thing you want to do after the final note of the last track is go back to the beginning and see what you pick up on the next listen. Let’s hope that this is the start of Beady Eye writing a new future. If so, this album is the evidence of a journey just beginning.
Released June 10th