sat 22/06/2024

CD: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

CD: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

O brother, where art thou? Oasis refugee flies a bit too close to the sun

Birdland: Noel Gallagher goes it alone

If Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds tells us anything it is that Noel got all the songwriting genes in the Gallagher family. Compare its melodies to those by Liam and his Beady Eye chums, and you will sigh in relief at a reminder of why you were an Oasis fan in the first place. But I’m afraid that’s pretty much all it does.

It reminds us that Liam’s talent for lilting harmonies is prodigious, but seems to deviate little further from the path trodden (so brilliantly) 15 years ago by Oasis’s best albums (What’s the Story) Morning Glory and Be Here Now.

Going it alone has given Noel greater scope to be reflective and he has toned down the thumping rock‘n’roll. The tracks written for Oasis before they split, "(I Wanna Live in a Dream) In My Record" and "Stop the Clocks", are in a familiar vein. The slightly nasal vocal style is homely and familiar but there is nothing that strikes out and says, “I’m Noel Gallagher, this is my new sound.” It instead says, “Here’s what I’ve been writing in between arguments with my brother. I hope you like it, I’ve played it quite safe.”

Chart success will undoubtedly be found by the “Wonderwall”-flavoured “If I Had a Gun” and the instantly grabbing "Dream On". The album shows Noel’s standard nonchalant, adenoidal approach is as tight a formula as ever. But while containing many of the best ingredients of the Gallagher brothers' genius of yore, something about it doesn’t quite work. It is as if Noel has crumbled up the remnants of a next would-be Oasis album, filtered out the rockier elements, and redistributed them unevenly. I can't help thinking these high-flying birds are a bit close to the sun.

Noel's second solo album, apparently already being readied for release, is a collaboration with Amorphous Androgynous. Let's hope the DJ's psychedelic influences have nixed Noel's formulae and got him really extending himself as a songwriter.

Watch the video for Noel Gallagher's "The Death of You and Me"

The album shows Noel’s standard nonchalant, adenoidal approach is as tight a formula as ever


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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I think in your rush to get the review out you may have got your Gallagher brothers mixed up in the second paragraph, it is Noel not Liam has gone solo. I lost respect when you suggested WTSMG and BHN are better than their debut but I like the album.

The way I'm reading it, the review does identify Noel as going solo. Then again, I am reading it in Australia.

I confess it took me several listens to develop a liking to this song, but I can say I'm beginning to warm up to it. Was like that when I first heard Don't Look Back In Anger, I was like.. "BORING" then it became the only song I could listen to off that album.

I seem to recall critics ruminating WTSMG was a poor follow up to DM which seems incredible now. As Chas Chandler once said, it's not the critics who buy the records so they can be ignored.

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