They've still got the world in their hands...
The first four words uttered on ‘BE’ signal the direction and intent of this second album from the post-Oasis outfit.
Kayvan Novak’s spoken-word excerpt, which runs throughout ‘Flick Of The Finger’, introduces proceedings with the purposeful advice: “Say what you believe.” This is clearly guidance that Beady Eye have followed with the creation of ‘BE’, which finds them listening to instincts, indulging creative impulses, and elevating ambitions beyond the restrictions of blue-collar rock ‘n’ roll.
Serrated guitars and portentous horns punctuate the opening track, suggesting a romp of a long-player. Ultimately the ex-Oasis lads do little to exceed expectations, but there’s more to ‘BE’ than meets the (Beady) eye.
Shades of light and dark ripple throughout and keep the listener guessing. The opener’s spiritual lyrics betray their soundtrack, but things make more sense in ‘Soul Love’, which follows – Liam Gallagher’s cosmic vibe (“Come into my world,” he beckons) is matched by the first distinct stamp of producer David Sitek’s ambient adventuring, which commandeers the second-half of the song, letting it drift dreamily skywards. This is what permeates ‘BE’, making it sonically enchanting.
Together, they traverse rhythms and sounds to add depth and clarity that was previously lacking: ‘Second Bite Of The Apple’ (video below) is doomily scuzzy, ‘Iz Rite’’s Beatles-ish melodies glow, and ‘Shine A Light’ is Bo Diddley on moonshine. Each song is injected with a little bit of magic that proves an admirable progression from the band.
The absolutely bare acoustic ‘Ballroom Figured’ and tender epic ‘Start Anew’ form a seductive finale, concluding a psychedelic journey with tear-stained meditations on life, love and the future. “Got the whole world in our hands,” Liam sings on the latter, while the whole band considers its destiny, and agrees.
Words: Simon Harper