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Hopefully Liam Gallagher wasn't serious when he claimed Beady Eye would be "bigger than Oasis." He must realize he’s pissing in the wind with that one. While their debut album was a decent collection of Oasis sound-alikes, BE attempts something Oasis never tried — something different!

When it works, like lead single “Flick of the Finger,” the results are impressive. With a Stax-brass hook instead of a chorus, and spoken-word sample of an inspiring Jean-Paul Marat* text, it's the most original thing associated with the Gallagher brand. “Second Bite of the Apple” is equally creative, with its soul-swaggering brass and Liam declaring, "The word is up, if you're tough enough."

Drafting TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek to sit in the producer’s chair was a good move. The downside being that Sitek can only work with the material he's given, some of which is, frankly, lame. The band stands stubbornly in their rock-and-roll safety boots. “Don't Bother Me” (maybe directed at Noel?), with Liam crooning "Give peace a chance" (pukes), is like listening to paint dry. And “Start Anew” is the traditional, plodding, acoustic pub-closing-time anthem the Gallagher's have insisted on inflicting on listeners since they got their royalty checks from “Wonderwall.”

On the upside, “Face the Crowd” is a passable up-tempo ’60s garage-rocker; “Iz Rite” is an enjoyable sing-along; and “I'm Just Saying” and “Shine a Light” sit swaying on the same fence. Overall, BE is a noteworthy progression with some ambitious shots that sadly miss the goal.

*Eighteenth-century left-wing French radical.

  • Album: BE
  • Artist: Beady Eye
  • Label: Harvest
  • Songs: (1) Flick of the Finger (2) Soul Love (3) Face the Crowd (4) Second Bite of the Apple (5) Soon Come Tomorrow (6) Iz Rite (7) I'm Just Saying (8) Don't Bother Me (9) Shine a Light (10) Ballroom Figured (11) Start Anew
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