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When big brother Noel Gallagher, the chief songwriter, quit Oasis, the jury was out on how little bother Liam and the remaining members would survive. Apart from the erstwhile Noel, they return as Beady Eye.

The record kicks off in style with “Four Letter Word,” a sharp cut of classic rock. A heavy riff hook and a top tune to boot, backtracking from punk to glam. Lead single “The Roller” is instant John Lennon, acoustic guitar and thumping piano and the karma is sounding good.

“Bring the Light” is an up-tempo anthem, with Jerry Lee–style tinkling of the ivories and gospel backing harmonies. As Liam sings “I'm going out, I'm taking you out drinking,” I'd raise a glass to that.

But it's not all good. “Kill for a Dream,” no doubt written as a fan-pleaser, is a rabble-rousing ballad that will have football fans in England singing long after last call. “For Anyone” is a happy handclap Beatles-y B side. Oasis were lacking in originality but wrote engaging lyrics. Not here.

It's probably as good an album as you'll hear this year, the difference is that Oasis climbed from the gutter and stole the stars, while Beady Eye sounds as if they're trying to find their feet to walk on water.

  • Album: Different Gear, Still Speeding (2011)
  • Artist: Beady Eye
  • Label: Dangerbird
  • Songs: (1) Four Letter Word (2) Millionaire (3) The Roller (4) Beatles And Stones (5) Wind Up Dream (6) Bring the Light (7) For Anyone (8) Kill for a Dream (9) Standing on the Edge of the Noise (10) Wigwam (11) Three Ring Circus (12) The Beat Goes on (13) The Morning Son
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