I'm currently listening to this over and over. The post-Oasis group, sans Noel Gallagher moves forward under producer Dave Sitek's (TV on The Radio) instruction. It's not what anyone would expect. Rather than a sequel to the previous record, which was more live-in-the-studio rock and roll, this is a more experimental record full of acoustic ballads and high energy acid-rockers. Surprisingly, the acoustic songs stand out as the highlights of the album, as the younger Gallagher brother matures as a songwriter. He's still full of influences from Lennon to The Who to (dare I say?) The Velvet Underground. But peace and love is not all the gist of "BE". There is a modern psychedelia happening along with unpredictable song structures and a tremendous variety of sounds to bug out to. Perhaps that's Sitek's influence. Nevertheless, this is a pleasant surprise from a band stuck in a fallen genre: Brit-Pop. Another notable ingredient is the blend of odd rhythmic drum grooves not accustom to Oasis' music. The single- "Second Bite of the Apple" vibes off a Zombie's "Time of the Season" pattern, "Shine a Light" is reminiscent of those old doo wop records of the 1950's a la Buddy Holly. The striking evolution in their songwriting direction is the similarity to solo Lennon records ("Ballroom Figured"), something Liam touched upon in Oasis, but not with this kind of sincerity. He seems to have grown into an accomplished songwriter as profound as his brother Noel. The only thing missing are those big anthemic choruses Noel was so masterful at. But Beady Eye doesn't seem to want to write the next "Champagne Supernova". I think it's fresh and vibrant that they don't go for long epic numbers, keeping the songs short and personable. Even the way Liam's voice is not over-processed, in fact a lot of the songs sound like there are no added effects. His voice is natural and raw, an organic feature that hasn't been used since he emerged in the early 90's.
All in all, this is a more than competent sophomore album from the band that's become underdogs to acts like Radiohead. Where as Thom Yorke seems to appease his fans with anything he puts out, Liam sounds like he's really trying for his respect and working at carving his own niche apart from the Oasis stereotypes. Of course, people are going to compare this to their favorite Oasis records, and some might not 'get it' on first listen, but I suggest you let it grow, give it a few spins before you pass judgement. Beady Eye are just hitting on a unique sound of their own. Coming off the rocket ride of pop stardom isn't easy for anyone. Like the comedown off an ecstasy pill, 'mellow' is the way. "BE" is subtle, yet a contender for best record of the year.