Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ali CONTRIBUTOR (129 Reviews)
October 17th, 2011 | 29 replies | 3,821 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The elder Gallagher takes round one.

Noel Gallagher's come in for some harsh treatment over the past decade or so. It's no secret that his output hasn't exactly matched the standards he set himself in the mid-nineties, when he banged out classic songs almost at will, equally it's not been the creative drought many have claimed. The final two Oasis albums, Don't Believe The Truth and Dig Out Your Soul were probably their best since the height of cool Britannia, and even their lowest trough, 2003's Heathen Chemistry contained at least three brilliant reminders of the songwriter-in-chief's genius within the field. That ceaseless ability to produce classic singles meant that even the band's least inspired albums weren't without their worth, and also means that this solo debut - his first move since the band's sticky demise - is the first time in quite a while that Gallagher senior has actually had a point to prove.

A Noel solo album has been at the boil for quite a while now, something that you can tell through merely glancing at the tracklist. Many of it's songs have been in circulation on Oasis forums for years now, with 'Stop The Clocks' especially known to date back at least a decade. As you'd expect from numbers composed while part of the band, these songs do closely resemble those that Noel penned while in the Oasis, but that's no bad thing. 'If I Had A Gun...' is a prime example of this, covering familiar territory he's previously mastered with 'Half The World Away' and 'The Masterplan,' but is nevertheless so majestically written that it trumps both of them. It's a similar story with 'The Death Of You And Me,' which bears a striking resemblance to late period highlight 'The Importance Of Being Idle,' while other numbers like 'AKA...Broken Arrow' are uncannily similar to any number of the songs he wrote for Oasis.

This was nothing if not expected, yet there are also a select number of moments which represent relatively new ground for a man who is notorious for sticking to what he knows. The most obvious example is album centrepiece 'AKA...What A Life,' whose looping piano chords give it a glorious psychedelic edge the likes of which he's previously experimented with but never perfected to such a degree. The aforementioned 'Stop The Clocks' meanwhile arrives as one of the most ambitious pieces Noel has ever come up with, and while it hardly lives up to claims that it's the best song he's ever written it still acts as an excellent closer.

However, what sets Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds apart from the majority of his recent output is the level of consistency. Of the album's ten tracks, only one, 'Dream On,' feels at all uninspired, and even that is perfectly passable - it just shows nothing to lift itself beyond that level. This reliability is at odds with even the best post-millennium Oasis material, but as with any record he's involved with this solo debut holds a handful of simply outstanding songs which reaffirm his standing as arguably the most talented songwriter of his generation. What can't be disputed is that this is a towering solo debut, and one which proves a definitive point to those who doubted that he had the attributes to go it alone. At the very least, it ***s all over Beady Eye...



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user ratings (180)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
PHATJ (4.5)
"Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds" ranks very high on my best of 2011 list. I was very pleased wit...

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A mirage or an Oasis?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2011



7260 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Originally written for http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/

Also, it'd be good if a mod changed the artist name to Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2011



6251 Comments


Good review, man. Enjoy the pos : )

Eager to hear this

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 17th 2011



7013 Comments


Solid review Ali; have a deserved pos.

Digging: Pixies - Indie Cindy

Tyrael
October 17th 2011



20442 Comments


I think everyone knew that Noel was gonna come up with a better album cause he was the creative force behind Oasis anyway

balcaen
October 17th 2011



3183 Comments


it isn't really hard to make a better album than that shit eating beady eye thing

Tyrael
October 17th 2011



20442 Comments


Lol Martine that's a little harsh :]

Also, cool review Ali, have a pos.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2011



6251 Comments


Right, Beady Eye wasn't very good, but it wasn't that awful either...

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 17th 2011



30320 Comments


No, that album was shite

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

Nagrarok
October 17th 2011



7966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I expected you to review this Ali, nicely done as always. No doubt it will be better than Beady Eye.

Tyrael
October 17th 2011



20442 Comments


Matthijs, you better be working on a FF soundtrack review with an avatar like that

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 17th 2011



30320 Comments


As you'd expect from numbers composed while in the band, they do closely resemble the material that Noel's Oasis period songs, but that's no bad thing.


Maybe it's just me but this sentence doesn't make any sense

sublimefan1991
October 17th 2011



741 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so pissed this doesn't go on sale in the u.s. til nov. 8th.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2011



7260 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys

Dev, you're right, I'll fix that when I get the chance.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2011



4248 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

AKA...Sounds prettay good!

Digging: Ju Sei and Utah Kawasaki - ??????

LepreCon
October 17th 2011



3544 Comments


Pretty kewl

Satellite
October 17th 2011



19929 Comments


Round one goes to Gallagher Sr.

Should be "the elder Gallagher" because the suffix Sr. implies that Liam is his son.

The one song I heard from this was pretty good.

Digging: The Menzingers - Rented World

Mewcopa0
October 17th 2011



1793 Comments


this^

jefflebowski
October 17th 2011



6851 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

noel's latter day career plods on, acoustically

jefflebowski
October 17th 2011



6851 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is worlds better than beady eye though

AtavanHalen
October 17th 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best thing Noel has done since What's the Story

So good



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