We're moving right back up to the present day with the release of Liam Gallagher's surprise Acoustic Sessions EP.
Now, we've taken a look at the younger Gallagher's solo work before, with the releases of As You Were and the more recent Why Me? Why Not. back in September. This Acoustic Sessions EP mixes some of the newer music with some timeless Oasis classics.
1995's Cast No Shadow greets us first, having only been played a handful of times over the course of Gallagher's live performances, but it's certainly fair to say that this one has the edge in terms of studio arrangements. As fantastic as the original one is, this just feels a little bit grittier, especially given the evolution of Liam Gallagher's voice. This is beautifully counteracted by the light strings and backing vocals though, which does make this a rather strong opening. Following this comes Now That I've Found You from 2019's Why Me? Why Not. with this version staying true to the MTV Unplugged performance. Some tuneful piano work and substantial backing vocals help bring the best out of Gallagher's vocal. It's one of this EP's highlights, as well as being one of the original album's too.
Alright Now, another track from Why Me? Why Not., carries on with these fresh songs, opting for a different sound to the original altogether. The overall sound to this version is a lot lighter, as one might expect with an acoustic version, which is all the more welcome in comparison to the heavy wall of sound that the original offers. It showcases a more delicate Gallagher, portraying the fact that these different arrangements suit him perfectly. A fan favourite b-side, Sad Song, follows on from Alright Now, featuring the younger Gallagher on the vocals for a recording rarity. It's one of the more haunting and emotional songs in the Oasis back catalogue, with this acoustic arrangement capturing that emotion perfectly. Indeed, with its stripped back nature, it tugs at the heartstrings wonderfully and there's a strong argument to suggest that this is the best song on the EP by far.
Stand By Me, from 1997's Be Here Now album, keeps us in the Oasis spirit, offering a classic Oasis-like rendition of one of their bigger hits. It's a song that was performed a lot in the latter stages of the nineties and early noughties. It admittedly fits in well with the vibes of this EP, with some classic piano and guitar combinations working fantastically to bring out the best of this arrangement. Once brings out even more delicate emotions, with this song drawing parallels to the early work of John Lennon, with its rolling piano and brilliantly held vocals. As a standalone song, it's by far and away one of the best on Why Me? Why Not, and is also a brilliant inclusion here.
The Acoustic Sessions EP finishes with another two songs from Why Me? Why Not. - the first of these being the deeper cut Meadow. Here, the distortion on Gallagher's vocal is dropped compared to the album recording, making this one perhaps a bit cleaner and more accessible. It's a welcome change, allowing for a rather mellow rendition of one of Why Me? Why Not's lesser known songs and also one of its best. Rounding off this EP is a demo of Once, which is equally as brilliant as the one recorded especially for this new release, allowing for a double-tracked Gallagher vocal to harmonise perfectly, as well as showcasing the fact that after all these years, he can still hit the higher notes.
Overall, this Acoustic Sessions EP showcases a mellower and lighter set of songs that greatly play to Liam Gallagher's strengths and fit perfectly with the nature of a stripped back record. Absolutely fantastic.
If you want to pick up a copy, I’ll leave an Amazon link here: https://amzn.to/30YI26q
Or, if you’d prefer, here’s a Spotify link:
More musical magnificence to come next week!
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