Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds: A Review

Anyone that was slightly disappointed with Liam Gallagher’s attempts to prove he was the brain behind Oasis will probably be more than uplifted with Noel’s response. Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds would mostly definitely be one of Oasis’ finest releases since the release of (What’s The Story) Morning Glory were they still together today.Such highly anticipated albums by artists such as Noel Gallagher, one of Britain’s most successful singer songwriters over the past two decades, have in the past had a habit of not living up to their hype. Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds is an exception. It seems this album is where he’s been storing a back catalogue of songs for a number of years.

The long awaited release starts with “Everybodys on the Run”, an epic opening anthem with a beautiful mix of strings and female vocals accompanying an irresistibly catchy chorus, which bleeds emotion.

However, like most of Oasis’ albums since 1996, only half the tracks are of an outstanding quality, but when it shines, it shines like the sun, to use Noel’s lyrics. Three tracks in and you’ll find ‘If I Had A Gun’, one of the most beautiful songs he may have written. Its delicacy shows maturity in Gallagher’s songwriting. Whilst in the past Oasis wrote anthems, this is a ballad that has the perfect blend of sentimental emotion and raucous guitar backing his impressive vocal range, fully showcased for the first time.

Any doubters of Oasis in the past may want to reconsider their stance on Noel. One of the main criticisms of his former work was the inflexibility of his songwriting and an inability to produce anything other than generic guitar based anthems. His latest single from the album, AKA What A Life, demonstrates he’s catching up with contemporary ‘popular’ music with a track more based on the melody of the piano rather than that of his guitar. It is a track he confesses is the first song he’s ever written which “you can dance to”.

And it is AKA What A Life, along with Everybody’s on the Run and If I Had a Gun that standout on an album people can genuinely get excited about. Upon the release of the first single from the album (‘The Death of You and I’), Noel noted the fact it was the only single in the 40 by a) someone over the age of 45 and b) a guitar based track. It has already proven a hit, beating the debut album of last year’s XFactor winner Matt Cardle to the top spot in the album charts in its first week, something Noel might consider a small victory for music. It appears one of the true greats from a hazy period of great music, which formed the soundtrack to many people’s golden days, still has it.
4/5 Stars.

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