Noel Gallagher’s first solo album, Noel Gallagher’s Figh Flying Birds, gives fans exactly what they expected: a 21st Century Oasis album (for better or worse). This solo project marks Noel’s first major foray into the music scene since Oasis split up, very publicly, back in 2009. After years (some might say decades) of turmoil and public bickering with his younger brother Liam (the other half of Oasis, if you didn’t know), Noel once again establishes on this album why most considered him to be the creative force behind the Oasis machine. This artful 10-song compilation of classic guitar-driven melodies and drawn-out choruses plays just like a soundtrack to an Oasis movie – if that’s the sort of thing that you’re into. You’re not going to be blown away, or surprised, but if you like the Oasis sound (which, I admittedly do), you’ll enjoy this record.
The album, released through Noel’s Sour Mash Records on October 17th in the UK, Europe and Latin America, and then finally in North America on November 8th, is the elder Gallagher’s first solo project since the highly publicized Oasis divorce. Because of that, it is only natural to compare this album to Noel’s brother Liam’s latest project, Beady Eye. Liam’s solo project might be a bit edgier, more experimental, and maybe even a little harder (although I hesitate to use that word when describing either of the Gallagher’s music), but Noel’s latest album gives Oasis fans what they want – another Oasis album. It is a beautiful compilation of middle-of-the-road melodies, soothing guitar hooks, and Noel’s tenor dragging out chorus after chorus.
Every song is good – not great, just good. In fact, I can’t say there’s really a dud on the whole album. My criticism would be that they all sound fairly similar. That said, if you’re looking for that quintessential Noel Gallagher sound, you get it with “(I Wanna Live in A Dream In My) Record Machine.” This Champagne Supernova-esque anthem showcases Noel’s melodic rock and roll mettle. Also, be sure to check out the beautifully composed ballads “If I Had a Gun…” and “Stop the Clocks.” Now, the driving, rhythmic beats on “AKA… What a Life!” stray a bit from the mold, but they also lay the foundation for probably the best track on the album. In fact, that track makes me optomistic for what Noel has in store for his next project with Amorphous Androgynous.
Listen to the single “AKA… What a Life” here:
This album doesn’t take too many chances, but maybe that was Noel’s intention. After a decade of mediocre records and public drama, Noel is in the process of firmly reestablishing himself as a major player in the industry. This was the safe, well-produced record that should do just that. Now, if you’re looking for Noel to attempt something a little more experimental, something to push the boundaries, just be patient. Noel’s next project with electronic musicians Amorphous Androgynous might be exactly what you’re looking for. Stay tuned…
If you’d like to catch the High Flying Birds live, you’re in luck. They aren’t playing too many North American dates, but they’re playing UCLA’s Royce Hall next Thursday and Friday, November 17th and 18th. If you want more tour info, check out Noel’s official site.
|1. Everybody’s on the Run
|2. Dream On
|3. If I Had a Gun…
|4. The Death of You and Me
|5. (I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine
|6. AKA… What a Life!
|7. Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks
|8. AKA… Broken Arrow
|9. (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach
|10. Stop the Clocks