Liam Gallagher John Squire

Liam Gallagher & John Squire –  Liam Gallagher John Squire (Album Review)

Liam Gallagher John Squire

The arrival of the studio album Liam Gallagher John Squire on March 1, 2024 through Warner Bros Records, gives such an exceptional combination of flavor and texture you are compelled to recall from the deep wells of memory the moment chunky peanut butter was introduced to their PB&J sandwiches. This sort of musical convention from two of the finer talents to make a name the last forty-five years – collaborators Liam Gallagher and John Squire – is the only manner in which such auditory joy can be birthed.

A record bursting with the herbs and spices of Rock heroes of years past, Liam Gallagher (Oasis, Beady Eye) and John Squire (Stone Roses, The Seahorses) deliver a track listing that begs for the top to come down on a sun-filled trip down the coast. All this in mind, their collaborative full-length release was preceded by the issuing of two singles from the record – “Just Another Rainbow” and “Mars to Liverpool” – both of which peaked at number 16 on the UK charts.

Lyrically, each of the tracks present on the record come from the pen of Squire and do, at times, verge on banality, but are bolstered by the resurgent vocals of Gallagher and the inspiring six-string virtuosity of Squire. There are moments, as you travel along this melodious river of Pop, Rock, and Psychedelia, where glimpses are caught of the duo’s influences.  At times, you may think they are not too far from Abbey Road with the Fab Four too; as heard on the track “Raise Your Hands.”

There is also the fact that the auditory pleasure being garnered from Squire’s superb picking feels like it is coming directly from the fingertips of Jimi Hendrix or a late 1960’s Eric Clapton rearranging our understanding of Rock music with Cream. Joining the party, Greg Kurstin (Beck, Foo Fighters) is on bass/percussion while Joey Waronker (R.E.M, Roger Waters) handles the drum kit with rhythm and roll that would make Bonham, Moon, and Baker nod along with satisfaction. In fact, the rhythmic teaming heard on this album create pockets so tight they would frustrate the Black Widow, Jeanette Lee.

Coming with ten songs in total, as the record rockets opens with “Raise Your Hands” you are welcomed by the bright, airy vocals of Gallagher, but also the ever-talented Squire weaves in and out. And while Gallagher shines each time the needle switches grooves, the chemistry between Waronker and Squire steals the spotlight time after time on tracks like “One Day At a Time” and “I’m a Wheel”; both of which are so deeply-rooted in the Blues.

Several of the songs – such as “Just Another Rainbow” and “Mars to Liverpool” – also have great potential for blossoming into Pop-radio staples. This is while there is also “Love You Forever” where the guitar solos contain pyrotechnic feelings so strong it would not be surprising to see the instrument spontaneously combust by their conclusion.

As expected with such talent headline the effort, the latter half of the record remains strong as well. In fact, it feels as if Gallagher and Squire only get closer, propelling one another through the dazzling “You’re Not the Only One.” Looking at this a moment longer, it is a song that draws from Squire’s time in the Stone Roses, but immediately brings you back to a time when Chuck Leavell was pounding the ivory keys for the Rolling Stones.

All this said, the most complete song on the record has to be “You’re Not the Only One,” which is a tour de force that may not be matched. However, it certainly has stiff competition with the rip-roaring excursion of “I’m So Bored” that sets up the smooth finale, “Mother Nature’s Song.” Filled with subtle J.J. Cale-type riffs, the final track gracefully weaves along, lifting your spirits enough to believe that there might be another song on the record… one that was thankfully overlooked and simply not listed.

Unfortunately, you have arrived at the conclusion of this splendid creation from Liam Gallagher and John Squire. While you may feel bitter that it has ended, find comfort in that you can always listen again! For these reasons Cryptic Rock gives Liam Gallagher John Squire 4 out of 5 stars.

Liam Gallagher John Squire
Liam Gallagher John Squire / Warner Bros (2024)

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