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


4.0
excellent

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
October 18th, 2011 | 170 replies | 21,823 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A mirage or an Oasis?

For the majority of the time since Oasis’ acrimonious split, Noel Gallagher managed to keep a fairly low profile. As sibling and eternal rival Liam swaggered his way through the formation of Beady Eye, a fashion label and the usual smattering of crass comments in the press, Noel kept silent and bided his time; emerging periodically to bat away questions about or dispense cryptic comments alluding to that last night in Paris.

During that time however, there was the sense that Noel now fancied himself as the wise old owl of British rock. Able to count Paul Weller as a close friend the elder, famous Gallagher brother appeared to have elevated himself above his station. Even in an industry peppered with flashes in the pan and disposable icons, seven albums and a few collaborations does not a veteran make. With the announcement of his first official solo record this felt like the chance for Noel to prove once and for all why he has always been regarded as the driving force behind Oasis (certainly until Gem Archer was recruited at least).

Whichever way you look at it, it is impossible to escape the inevitable Oasis comparisons. As a result, you can’t help but wonder how many of the songs on offer were pilfered from sessions for any future albums Oasis had planned. One of Noel’s more reprehensible traits as a songwriter, the more desperate, anything-will-do couplets, stand out. “High time/summer in the city/the kids are looking pretty/but isn’t it a pity” he sings on “The Death Of You And Me.” This is followed by “I wanna live in a dream/in my record machine” on the song of the same name. This isn’t 60s-style psychedelia. It doesn’t even make sense in a nonsensical way; it’s a return to the kind of lazy writing that hampered Oasis’ musical progress.

…but let’s try and talk about the music, not the weight of history and reputation. The music and lyrics, bar the two above examples, display a fresh, welcome renewal of the vitality that appeared to have escaped him in the preceding years. “Dream On”, whilst not exactly the most original Gallagher composition, has a spring in its step; drums that resonate clearly and a ‘big band’ feel that sounds like it was a lot of fun to create and record. “If I Had A Gun” evokes a maudlin sense of wonder and lead single “The Death You And Me” is the sound of Noel wiping the slate clean and declaring the start of a new era, good-time trumpet solo and all. “(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach” is propelled forwards by crunchy chords and “AKA…Broken Arrow” is a blissful, ambient number with a playful side to it that exudes the notion of an artist currently in a very comfortable frame of mind. The album’s centrepiece and standout track is the wonderful “AKA…What A Life!” The piano led groove is unobtrusively repetitious, the underlying tune replete with many layers, and the lyrics appear to hark back to quiet reflection upon the road Noel travelled to get where he is today; “It might be a dream but it tastes like poison” he tells us.

Noel has crafted one of those rare gems in an LP where every track is a potential single. Moreover, there are a number of moods evident. It shows much more talent and awareness than his brother’s latest effort. Noel Gallagher and his solo recording output cannot be judged on its own merit just yet, but a couple more records of this quality and his past might just slide away.



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user ratings (196)
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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The elder Gallagher takes round one....


Comments:Add a Comment 
klap
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2011


10412 Comments


indeed

Digging: Literature - Chorus

Kris.
October 18th 2011


12345 Comments


hey hey viney's back

robin
Emeritus
October 18th 2011


4248 Comments


might just slide away.


can't tell if this was an intended oasis reference or not but awesome.

also im intruiged to hear this.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
October 18th 2011


23816 Comments


I refuse to believe that this is good. Noel Gallagher is such a douche.

this is a good review though and you certainly make the album sound interesting. I might just have to give it a try.

Capablanca
October 18th 2011


207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I rated it 4 but I'm a big Oasis fan, objectively it must be 3,5.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2011


15976 Comments


Oasis is terrible

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

DoubtGin
October 18th 2011


6752 Comments


nooo

CrisStyles
October 18th 2011


767 Comments


Oasis is terrible

Definitely Maybe and What the Story (Morning Glory) are both excellent, the rest of their albums aren't really good.

BrownPark
October 18th 2011


158 Comments


omg the summary, such latent cleverness

Ire
October 18th 2011


41764 Comments


I heard one song and it was surprisingly good. Nice review

patrickfannon
October 18th 2011


886 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good stuff.

CelestialDust
October 18th 2011


3155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

been listening to this nonstop

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2011


7266 Comments


Summary is the best thing I've seen all day.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

PorkchopExpress
October 18th 2011


387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm an Oasis fanboy, I'll admit that.

That said, I didn't care for the Beady Eye album. This is great though, and actually better than I was hoping, even though I knew it would be miles ahead of BE, as Noel is vastly more talented. Also, "If I Had A Gun..." is one of the best songs Noel's ever written.

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
October 18th 2011


9034 Comments


I heard this got featured because of the summary

JWT155
October 18th 2011


9245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Or because he's staff

Digging: Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

crazyblinddude
October 18th 2011


3389 Comments


Oh sweet. So this is good.

toxin.
October 19th 2011


12406 Comments


Good review. Summary is pretty much awesome.
I'm interested by this. Should check out soon

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2011


17213 Comments


As an American I have no idea of anything Oasis related other than "Wonderwall" and "Champagne Supernova", and I intend on keeping it that way.

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2011


31158 Comments


Album is officially awesome

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands



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