So, Oasis 2.0 — Beady Eye — has launched with Different Gear, Still Speeding.
Oasis, as I mentioned at the time, exploded spectacularly in the summer of 2009, with brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher going their separate ways. Liam pulled a band together — all the pieces of the final Oasis line-up, minus Noel — and hence, Beady Eye.
I wasn’t especially taken with "Bring the Light," the free single they offered a few months ago. It sounded like the massed Oasis sonic attack applied to a Jerry Lee Lewis song, and while it wasn’t uninteresting, it also wasn’t very memorable. But it did give rise to the feeling that Beady Eye was just going to be Oasis 2.0.
As it turns out, "Bring the Light" is atypical of the album.
Different Gear is a much "lighter" album than I was expecting. There are a few big production numbers, but by and large it’s straight-ahead four-piece guitar rock. It’s the lighter songs like "The Beat Goes On" or "The Roller" that stick in the mind when the album’s done. “For Anyone” is downright beautiful, and probably better than any ballad that Oasis ever recorded.
Oasis was famous for their "lifts" from other bands, and Beady Eye continues in the tradition. One song has a melody that comes straight from ELO’s "Telephone Line," and another song sounds like it was written by Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne. (Yes, there’s a song that sounds like something the Oneders would have recorded.) "Beatles and Stones" sounds, ironically, like a Who song. In places, I think I also detect a Badfinger influence. And “The Beat Goes On” covers thematic ground similar to Paul McCartney’s “The End of the End.”
If you were at all into Oasis, Different Gear, Still Speeding is not a bad album by any stretch. The album also isn’t as revolutionary as some of Oasis’ work, but it’s not a total travesty to their legacy, either. It’s an surprisingly enjoyable and easy listen, with some memorable songs and solid musicianship.