January 10, 2012

JJ Reviews: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds debut album

The second song on Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is titled ‘Dream On’. It’s a punchy tune that suggests Oasis fans can dare to dream on that Noel can continue to produce great music without the vocal contribution of estranged brother Liam (and vice versa as Beady Eye’s debut album wasn’t too shabby).

If you’ve ever wondered what Oasis would be like without Liam, you only ever had to listen to some of that band’s classic b-sides like The Masterplan and Talk Tonight. Now, High Flying Birds however is your chance to here some A-side material in quantity. Similar in tone to Dig Out Your Soul, High Flying Birds runs along at an even pace backed by a crew of usual suspects such as Dave Sardy and Marc Rowe.

Noel appears to have progressed as a lyricist – they seem to be slighty more introspective than standard Oasis fare – where as Wonderwall and Champagne Supernova’s lyrics were meanders slowly down the ‘hall of whatever’, songs like The Death of You and Me and X strongly hint at real moments that have occurred in Noel's life.

The Death of You and Me (lyrics) is a nice wee tune, harking back to arguably Oasis’ last genuine hit, The Importance of Being Idle. Underneath the song is a nice basic guitar chord progress but it's wrapped in the usual sounds of Beatles-esque horns and trumpets. The more you listen, the more you’ll perhaps come to enjoy this as a classic Noel Gallagher song.

‘AKA What a life’ is a cracking single. Governed by a strong piano riff and drum beat, Noel is in fine form. If one had to compare it to a prior Oasis track, Falling Down jumps out, though I feel this is a better song. It has a good video too – The Death of You and Me has a matching video. Watch them together for an interesting story featuring Noel’s buddy Russell Brand.

Stop the Clocks (remember that name?) is a fine album closer - clearly written  by Noel when Oasis was still Oasis and it should have been a song sung by Liam - it's screaming out for his vocals.

Thanks to the development of the MP3, these days artistic output is often consumed song by song – fans would be doing themselves a dis-service if they only listened to the singles – this is a fine album, consistently enjoyable the whole way through – with no filler tracks as the odd recent Oasis album has been guilty of.

Noel should be proud of his debut solo effort, positive sales suggest so as well. 

I'm hanging out to see Noel's set at the Big Day out in Auckland next week!

Did you hear Noel Gallagher has a new album out? Do the Damage is a b-side to the lead single, In the Heat of the Moment.

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