Beady Eye - BE

Beady Eye - BE

Liam Gallagher and co. improve their formula slightly on Sitek-produced sophomore.

Rating: 2.5/5

There is no shame in not knowing who Beady Eye are. After a tumultuous relationship with brother Liam for the entirety of Oasis’ 18-year career, chief songwriter Noel Gallagher exited the notorious Britpop group once and for all in 2009. Intent on carrying on making music but not wanting to do so under the Oasis brand (an admirable move), the remaining members christened themselves Beady Eye and have been striving for fame and fortune ever since. To nobody’s surprise except perhaps their own, they’re yet to achieve it.

Most would put this down to the uninspired nature of their debut album, 2011’s competent yet hackneyed Different Gear, Still Speeding. Consisting of the same sort of brazen, middle-of-the-road Beatles homages that plagued Oasis’ catalogue, it showed a band already in need of a creative overhaul. Such an overhaul appeared to be coming courtesy of sonic extraordinaire David Sitek (The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio), who was announced as producer of the allegedly “more experimental” sophomore album BE. Things were looking hopeful.

Unfortunately, BE only improves on its predecessor by a small margin. Sonically it is a far richer record, Sitek giving the songs a flattering backdrop of horns, drones and synthesizers. However, the songs themselves aren’t much more sophisticated than those on Different Gear, Still Speeding; still loutish, still marred by vapid lyrics, still trapped in 1969. BE features a few glints of creativity (such as imperial opener “Flick of the Finger”), but for the most part it isn’t the songs you’ll find yourselves admiring, it’s the gleaming wallpaper behind them.

The conclusion should not be that the lads are incapable of writing in an experimental vein, as Oasis’ trippier tracks can contest – see “Who Feels Love?”, “Gas Panic!” or when “Fade In-Out” goes apeshit around the three-minute mark. But for some reason Beady Eye chose to write BE on autopilot, leaving the promised “excitement” and “experimentation” entirely up to their producer. While the end result sounds great, ultimately that isn’t enough. Maybe next time.
This article first appeared in Issue 14, 2013.
Posted 6:05pm Sunday 7th July 2013 by Basti Menkes.