Beady Eye ‘BE' (Columbia)
Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of “Definitely Maybe,” the first of the one-two punches Oasis threw in its 1990s battle for Brit-pop supremacy. But after “Definitely Maybe” and its great follow-up, 1995's “(What's the Story) Morning Glory,” Oasis lost creative ground to archrivals Blur as Liam and Noel Gallagher's punishing familial squabbling and recreational liquid intake took their toll.
Oasis finally split in 2009 — or, more correctly, the Gallaghers split — with Noel Gallagher going one way with his High Flying Birds project and the rest of the band renaming itself Beady Eye. Both factions released debuts in 2011, but “BE,” Beady Eye's second album, feels like a proper fresh start, even if the band's style is still entrenched in the post-“Rubber Soul” sound of its old incarnation.
“BE” starts majestically with “Flick of the Finger,” a pounder punctuated by “Savoy Truffle”-style horns in which Gallagher announces that “the future gets written today.” It's a bold statement coming from a band so inextricably rooted in the past, and it's made bolder by the prescient 18th century Jean-Paul Marat diatribe about class and mass manipulation that bookends the track.