Review: Liam Gallagher, John Squire, and Growing Old Disgracefully

Oasis’ controversially cool frontman, Liam Gallagher, told the NME in 2022 that his first gig was The Stone Roses at Plymouth Grove, saying it’s what “made [him] want to join a band.” Well, after a failed reunion attempt in 2016, The Roses’ John Squire thought his songwriting days were over. “The spark wasn’t there,” the legendary guitarist said, “People change, relationships change. Being in a band is like a marriage, and a lot of marriages fail.”

Liam Gallagher has been very busy recently, releasing a new record, C’Mon You Know, and once again performing at Knebworth, this time without his brother, to over 170,000 people. Just as he did in 1996, John Squire would cameo on stage with Liam and perform the iconic guitar riff to “Champagne Supernova”… and the collaboration didn’t stop there.

“I was going to take a year out after Knebworth,” Liam says, “but when rock and roll calls, you pick up the phone.”

The exclamation “We’re alive!” rings out on the opening track, “Raise Your Hands,” which is slated to be the third single. While not my favorite on the album, it’s by no means the worst. It’s perfectly serviceable, and according to multiple interviews, it is Liam’s favorite and is quickly gaining a positive reaction online.

“Mars to Liverpool” is an absolute belter, and between the two, is the better single. Its earworm chorus sounds much different from anything we’ve heard previously from either Mancunians and really stands out. Although it would have been a terrific non-single, forcing it out into the spotlight may have worked out for the best. (Don’t think we didn’t notice how quickly another single came after the panning of “Rainbow,” Liam and John…)

“One Day At A Time” gives us our first taste of acoustic guitar on the tracklist. It boasts a great riff but lacks much else. However, it does hold the distinction of featuring what could arguably be the cringiest lyric in the Oasis canon (yes, worse than reciting the colors of the rainbow on your lead single). You’ll know it when you hear it and will immediately be reminded that Liam Gallagher is 50.

“I’m A Wheel,” a track I’m guilty of poking fun at for its title prior to hearing it, is a jam. It’s bluesy and far out. Liam sounds fantastic, and surprisingly, the lyrics aren’t even too bad! This is my favorite song on the record and Star Wars fans should listen closely.

It’s been about two months since “Just Another Rainbow,” which I very publicly trashed online and on Britwaves. Has it grown on me? Absolutely not. While a few production tricks have caught my attention since then, that “red and yellow, orange and green, blue, indigo, violet….” verse still sends chills down my spine, reminiscent of the worst of Beady Eye. It is a laugh and a miserable choice for a lead single. Noel Gallagher even poked fun at it on the Matt Morgan podcast, asking if fans would prefer if he named all of the apostles on his next solo record.

“Love You Forever” draws influence from Jimi Hendrix and features the terrific line (…the first on the record) of “growing old disgracefully.”

“Make It Up As You Go Along” is a short throwaway that offers more of the same. With another forced expletive in its lyrics, this time repeated again and again, two minutes felt like too much.

© Warner Music UK Limited

I absolutely loved “You’re Not The Only One,” which has shades of Elvis and rockabilly. It introduces a thumping piano that would have been a terrific lead single or opening track.

I’m So Bored” has the Oasis charm of ripping off The Beatles, in this instance “Day Tripper”, but quickly loses that charm. Its lyrics are trying to be punk but fall short and make it sound like the “old man yells at cloud” memes. However, there is a cool line towards the end that proudly proclaims, “I’m the God, […] I’m the mod!” which I very much enjoyed.

The big ending of the record was hyped up by both Liam and Squire as being an emotional anthem. “Mother Nature’s Song” is not for me. Its instrumental does switch it up a little bit, but it’s nothing awe-inspiring. Simply not for me.

© Warner Music UK Limited

Liam Gallagher and John Squire is here, and I’m not disappointed, simply because “Rainbow” gave us exactly what to expect. There are some truly terrible decisions on this record that I’m sure will be praised by both Roses and Oasis fans. Whatever vocal processing is used on Liam, which makes him sound so polished and far away, is very annoying. Squire insisting that 50% of the record ends with guitar fade-outs is drawn out and lazy. With only three or four tracks worthy of returning to, I truly wonder who this will please.

To quote Liam himself, “Not for me mate.”

Final Review: ★★★/5

Writer’s Highlights: “I’m A Wheel”, “Mars to Liverpool”, “You’re Not The Only One”

Purchase Liam Gallagher and John Squire by Liam Gallagher and John Squire here.

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