Review Summary: Sail On Noel, Sail On
I don't think Noel needs an introduction. Aside from the fact you hear the name "Noel" and immediately think of him, he has written some of the best songs of the last 40 years, probably of all time. I'd say, that most of you know his new band "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds", and most of you dislike them. However, I personally feel this band is infinitely better than Oasis. For one, they change. Oasis were stale by their 4th album, but Noel has kept on evolving and discovering his own identity, and this EP is a good step in the right direction (also Noels singing doesn't annoy me as much as Liams).
This EP is essentially a dance-rock album condensed to three tracks and two remixes. I like that, if Noel had tried to write a full album like this, it would come off like he was trying too hard. With this EP, it seems easy for him. He sounds relaxed like he's having fun writing and recording these songs. I'd say the best example of this is "rattling rose" probably the worst track on the album but still great. It feels like he and his band loved recording it and everything sounds great. The only thing letting the track down is the lyrics, which are serviceable, but not his best.
Though Noel is pushing his boundaries for this EP, he does give the classic Oasis fans one song to hold on to, "sail on". I love this song, it sounds like a classic oasis B-side with more fleshed-out production and fuller instrumentation (but not "be here now" full). The song is a really good feel-good song, it just sounds uplifting. Definitely one of Noel best in my opinion. The EPs title track, on the other hand, is a full-on dance-rock track. I've heard it called "cosmic pop" which fits, but Noel sells it completely, his dampened vocals in the verses to his full-on singing in the choruses just work so well with the most basic instrumentation. Anyone who loves Oasis will hate this track, which I think is good, it shows Noel isn't scared to experiment and change his sound, unlike his brother.
My biggest upset with this EP is the remixes. Remixes in concept are fine, but they needlessly extend the EPs run time and aren't even that good. The 12" mix of "Black star dancing" only adds a couple of extra tracks of guitar and pretty much nothing else. The reflex revisions version is awful, a 10-minute long monstrosity that makes the song less danceable than it already was. There's not much else to say of them, just ignore them and take the songs from the EP without the pointless remixes.
Overall, I wish I could give this EP a higher score, but the remixes let it down. This is the first of three(?) EPs Noel plans to release this year, and I look forward to them greatly. His is undoubtedly one of my favourite artists and has one of the best minds for the songwriting of all time. I look forward to the next one Noel. Good Luck.