Some people hate surprises. They eat the same breakfast every day and shop at the same market because they always have. Some people have been watching the same soap opera play out on the daytime television wasteland for decades.
And some people will buy and enjoy the new Beady Eye record. The band is that box of Frosted Mini-Wheats with contents the same since Clinton’s first term. Made up of former Oasis members Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer and Andy Bell, with new guitarist Jay Mehler and drummer Chris Sharrock, there is no mystery or best-case scenario when pushing play on their second album, Be; it’s just something to endure, or for the most loyal fans, it is something to keep the boys working and sharp. After all, we know that Days of Our Lives sometimes changes characters, but it never really matters. They always come back in some form or another.
And Beady Eye is the show without its best player, Noel Gallagher, the chief songwriter of Oasis. Losing the man responsible for the songs that made anyone care about Oasis spelled disaster, and after skimming by on their debut, Be sounds exactly like a band that has lost its songwriter.
On the album’s second track, “Soul Love,” Liam Gallagher sings “Get up off your knees my friend, and promise never to pretend, you’re the apple of my eye, spread your wings and learn to fly.” This continues at a dreary pace, its muffled production (from David Sitek of TV On The Radio in a worrisome career choice) not distracting from poetry at a seventh-grade reading level. “Iz Rite,” proves junior high to be overselling Beady Eye, and its chorus of “when you call my name it takes away my pain ‘til only love remains” is followed by the repeated “say it again,” an idea that could have some begging for mercy. Mostly, lyrics seem to exhaust Liam, and he is most comfortable in the “yeah yeah yeah” bridge to close “Start Anew.”
Recently Liam Gallagher was quoted as saying he could write Daft Punk’s smash hit “Get Lucky” in an hour, but nothing on Be would indicate that. The horn sections on “Second Bite of the Apple” and “I’m Just Saying’” are pleasant, though probably a Sitek decision, and “Flick of the Finger” is actually a pretty great opener, allowing the bratty Gallagher stuffy-nose aesthetic to be most pronounced and the listener to feel a little nostalgic. That familiarty brings you to the cereal, the soap and the market, and some people will be drawn to Be, okay with seeing the imitation. The rest are better holding off for Oasis’ inevitable reformation.