Liam Gallagher is like a rebellious teenager who never grows mentally older. His erratic behavior has always been the center of attention: when he was only in his twenties, he was banned for life from Cathay Pacific Air Line for abusing other passengers and flight attendants. However, Gallagher, with his unique singing styles and powerful lyrics, has been a legendary figure among English rock bands. After beginning his career as a solo musician in 2015, Gallagher released his first album, “As You Were,” last Friday. Through the lyrics of the songs, Gallagher reflects on his past and signals his beginning as a solo musician. Still, the album is disappointing, because it fails to shed light on Gallagher’s unique musical characteristics as a solo artist.

Gallagher begins powerfully by shattering the images of his past self in the music video for the lead single “Wall of Glass.” Gallagher sings in front of the reflections of himself in mirrored walls that “you will shatter like a wall of glass.” The lyric is a warning to his past self, who experienced fame as a lead singer in one of the most successful English rock bands yet failed to create a band as successful as Oasis with the short-lived Beady Eye. By shattering a glass wall in the music video, Gallagher shows his determination to break away from a past full of conflicts and build a new image of himself. But the style of the song is not different from other typical Oasis cuts; the noisy electric guitar riff and the loud drum are reminiscent of iconic pieces in “Definitely Maybe.” With such similarity, Gallagher seems more like the lonely lead singer of Oasis, with all of other members left, than an independent musician.

Gallagher also shows resentment toward his past band members in “Bold.” By the late 1990s, Gallagher’s conflict with his brother, Noel, became so severe that they began to travel and hold concerts separately. After Gallagher allegedly destroyed Noel’s guitar, Oasis split. With the conflict still unresolved, Gallagher seems to take aim at his brother when he says, “Gonna take you off my list of to-dos,” declaring he will not care about his bitter exchanges with his brother any more. Instead, Gallagher says that he is “gonna sing [his] soul / Shake off the blues,” and expresses his resolution to continue his career as a singer despite his past mishaps. The song also has an Oasis vibe, with the rhythm of the acoustic guitar at the beginning, continuing throughout the song, just as in “Wonderwall.” Toward the middle of the song, the electric guitar riff comes up again. Sticking to his musical style and composition of the past, Gallagher does not sound “bold” in this song, but rather sounds like a pathetic singer who wants to think up something innovative, yet cannot break away from his past. 

Meanwhile, he alludes to his fear and confusion about his new career in “Chinatown,” the second single released from the album. With its overlapped shots of the streets of London and the neon signs of Chinatown, the music video is confusing yet dreamy. As Gallagher walks past the buildings, signs and people, he glances around like a tourist. Gallagher is speechless throughout the scenes of the music video, like a lost child in the middle of a foreign city. The video, along with the music, could have been differentiated with other pieces in his album, especially with Gallagher’s experiment with drowsy and echoing voice and fantastic visual effects. But Gallagher misses the opportunity by projecting his hope to “live a life of luxury” as a successful musician, again. By this time, such message seems redundant. With his craving for more fame, the part of the video in which Gallagher stands next to a graffiti commemorating the victims of the Manchester shooting earlier this year does not emotionally appeal to the viewers; it looks like he is faking his sadness to win more favor from the public. 

In “For What It’s Worth,” Gallagher apologizes for his past mistakes. Gallagher’s life has been dynamic, with numerous scandals, lawsuits and charges for violence; after his two divorces, he was accused of not supporting his children, and he once allegedly threw a man off of his bike. In the song, though, Gallagher explains that “all [his] intentions were good” and that he is “sorry for the hurt.” However, the apology sounds insincere, especially considering his continuing conflict with his brother, which was again brought to the public’s attention after Gallagher roasted Noel on Twitter a few months ago for not inviting him to his 50th birthday. The song, interpreted as Gallagher’s sarcastic apology, seems like a good reflection of his original character. But it remains doubtful that Gallagher’s scandalous life style will continue to win his fans’ approval as he tries to build up new images as a solo singer.

The lyrics of the songs in the new album reflect Gallagher’s determination to become successful in his new career, but with the repetitive theme of himself breaking away from the past and craving for success, the listeners get bored at the end. With such failure to bring up different characteristics of himself, whether Gallagher will reborn as a solo musician or continue to be a mischievous former lead singer is unclear.