Review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

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

I was extremely happy to have the chance to review Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, as I’ve been waiting a whole year to hear something created by Noel Gallagher on his own, without Oasis. It’s not a secret to anyone that Oasis’ heart and soul in composing and writing was Noel, and his new solo project, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, confirms that this Manchester boy is one of the most important artists of the last two decades.

From opener “Everybody’s on the Run” to the unreleased Oasis song that closes the album, “Stop the Clocks,” 99% of listeners will be strongly reminded of the iconic Oasis sound.  The difference is that this is the best Gallagher music we’ve gotten since (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?  It is the proof that Noel’s talent has always been hidden behind Oasis constrictions and his own self-admitted idleness.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is a more mature album: there’s a man — not an angry boy –here. The album, two years in the making, certainly fits under the heading of good ol’ BritRock, but Noel opens up to new and different sounds on some songs, as “AKA… What a Life” demonstrates with its house/acid sounds. “The Death of You and Me” was the first single launched, and it is a clear sign of swing elements making their way through the guitar riffs.  We can hear that same swing in a couple of other songs from the album, including “Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks,” a Beatles-esque number that could have time-traveled straight from the late ’60s, like Austin Powers.

The old Noel can be found on tracks such as “AKA… Broken Arrow” and  “(I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine,” but the fresh and genuine closer “Stop The Clocks” takes the cake — it was written and composed over ten years ago by Noel but was kept in a closet until this album. High Flying Birds seems to show Noel as a new man: he is strong, reinvigorated, and quite positive. Noel’s voice, whether deep, raunchy, high, or low, touches every song in the perfect way; what he delivers on the tracks makes them more precious, as the emotions behind the lyrics are felt and heard.

This is surely what every Gallagher fan was waiting for, and maybe even expected. Noel is shining, smiling, and having fun, and we can hear it, even when he’s talking about life’s sorrows.  The lazy songwriter he used to be has given way to the great songwriter shown on Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. It is a new beginning for the Brit.

Stream: “If I Had a Gun…”

Stream: “The Death of You and Me”