I’m pretty sure that I’ve written on here about music that is so good it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as you uncontrollably well up with tears. If I haven’t yet, then Noel Gallagher’s solo debut would be the best example of this phenomenon. From the second the first chord is struck in “Everybody’s On The Run” a mood is created. It’s a feeling of joy and wonder beyond anything that Oasis ever set out to achieve.
I owe my wife a huge apology. You see, in our household I’ve always been Team Liam and she’s always been Team Noel. I mentioned that after the second single, “AKA…What A Life!”, I was leaning towards her team but after hearing the full-length, I’m definitely switching. It’s incredible to think that with just 10 songs, Noel Gallagher has completely eradicated the existence of his brother’s band and the latter half of the Oasis catalog. This is not an understatement, folks.
Opening with the fantastically grandiose “Everybody’s On The Run”, the elder Gallagher proves the first of three very important things: he is definitely the stronger songwriter. Point two: he can still wail on the guitar. Just check out his work on the trippy “(I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine” or “(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach”. Point three: Noel Gallagher can most certainly carry an album all by his lonesome. If you’re not convinced by the time the legendary “Stop The Clocks” closes out the album, then you’d better just crawl back to your Beady Eye LP.
I think if I had heard first single “The Death Of You And Me” in the context of High Flying Birds, I would’ve liked it a lot more right off the bat. In here (Especially alongside the equally Western movie flavored “Dream On”) it works really well but as an introduction to this unequivocal masterpiece, it’s a little shaky. Speaking of singles, the piano-laden pinnacle of High Flying Birds, “AKA…What A Life!” is still such a great song even after listening to it at least twenty five times while reviewing this.
Contemporaries like Ian Brown and Richard Ashcroft are sure to be nodding their head in approval and clapping feverishly from the back of the room as Noel Gallagher takes the High Flying Birds on the road in the coming weeks.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is out now overseas, November 8th in North America. Catch him while you can on tour.