Interesting discussion about the lack of "payoff" in a lot of Liam's songs, and even some of Neil's recent output. I think I understand pretty much exactly what people mean by this, and I've been thinking about it for the past several years. My hypothesis is that what seems like a lack of musical payoff is very much a preference (not sure whether it's conscious or unconscious) by younger generations (though not exclusively), in part to differentiate themselves from earlier songwriting approaches. I've noticed that a lot of the newer music (by newer artists) I've been enjoying over the past few years seems to be strongly influenced by genres like ambient, minimalism, and post-rock, where lengthy tracks seem to be about the exploration of textures that go through very gradual transformations over the length of a track. To the extent that there is a climax in many of these tracks, it may be simply the end point of a gradual build-up of textures, rather than a tension-release structure of "verse-bridge-chorus-middle eight-solo-bigger chorus" that we often think of as "good pop songwriting." I actually suspect that to a lot of people around Liam's age and younger, the more traditional pop structure may come across as naive and/or cliched--a bit like the way elaborate rock solos might have sounded to the punk generation in 1976. The more textural approach may just feel more authentic, like it's not "trying too hard." Obviously this isn't true of all music made and enjoyed by younger people (just like the punk approach was far from universal in 1976-77), but I feel like it's been noticeable trend in the alternative rock and pop realms over the past decade or so. I have mixed feelings about it. There are times when I find it surprising that I often need to turn to older artists for more traditional rock/pop melodies with middle 8s and more obvious musical "payoffs." But I also would not want to be without a lot of this newer, more texturally-focused music either. I think part of its appeal is to encourage us to stop listening to the music as a means of getting to a "payoff," but to be more focused on the here-and-now throughout the track, in an almost meditative way. And I don't want to suggest that there is anything especially new about this approach, but more that it is becoming a bigger and more expected part of the mainstream than it had been before. In any event, I suspect we need to approach Liam's music without the expectation that verses are there to set the stage perfectly for a majestic chorus. I just don't think that's what he's intending to do.