Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds review by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

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  • Released: Oct 17, 2011
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (62 votes)
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
1

Sound — 8
Noel Gallagher's eponymous debut solo album, "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds", hit shelves in the UK on October 17, and will make its way to the states on the 24th. Anyone familiar with big brother Gallagher's work should know what to expect with this album, and to Noel's credit, he more than delivers. After listening to this record, it should become abundantly clear if it isn't already exactly which Gallagher brother was responsible for the success of Oasis. Being the primary songwriter and guitarist for one of the biggest bands in the world makes it hard for his solo album not to sound similar to the famous Britpop act; however, "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds" will surprise many people with some of the diverse sounds not heard by his former band. The use of trumpets and saxophones, backing choirs, orchestral string arrangements, and even the up-tempo dance feel of "AKA... What A Life", gives Noel's Birds a fresh feel on familiar ground. Noel's debut solo album is a much more mature, and far less self-indulgent, Oasis record. If you are really yearning for a new Noel Gallagher sound, he is quickly backing up "High Flying Birds" with a second album featuring the electronic band Amorphous Androgynous, which is due out in 2012.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on "High Flying Birds" are true-blue Noel Gallagher songs. If you like the catchy rhythms and simple rhymes of Gallagher's' past library of tunes, then "High Flying Birds" will continue to delight. In quintessential Noel Gallagher fashion, you will likely be singing along with each song's chorus by the middle of your first listen. Songwriting is one aspect of Noel's work that is generally a given, but it's the sincerity to which he delivers his lines that gives it that extra kick-in-the-gut-feeling. His vocals have only seemed to improve over time, and it should leave you wondering why he hadn't been singing more Oasis songs through the years. If you thought "High Flying Birds" was going to be a tell-all-book of spiteful rants pointed at his younger sibling then you will be grossly disappointed. "Everybody's On The Run" may contain the only nod to his former lead-singer with the line, "you've been dipping and stealing, try to walk in my shoes, but they don't belong to you". However, the majority of the album covers specific themes of love, mortality, and the point of view journey of two characters. Noel said he wasn't even aware this was the direction the album was taking, as the only time he wrote down his lyrics was at the end of the recording process when the record label asked for the CD booklet.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, "High Flying Birds" is a great album with plenty of quality songs. There are only 10 tracks on the album, but I found none of them to be weak or easily passed over. If 10 aren't enough for you, check out Noel's B-sides to this record. The Amazon exclusive "Alone On A Rope" may actually be my favorite track of all his new songs. There is also, "Let The Lord Shine A Light On Me", "The Good Rebel", "I'd Pick You Every Time", and the bonus track "A Simple Game Of Genius", for those interested in finding more. As for this album, there is no questioning the greater depth and significance felt when the writer of the song is also the one who gets to sing it. After losing 160 lbs of excess tambourine playing baggage, it looks like Noel may have his voice back. Anyone who looks fondly on the glory days of Oasis should own this record immediately.

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

    TheLukeMaxfield
    from what i've heard of it, its exactly what i expected/wanted from noel, 'if i had a gun' is brilliant
    EpiExplorer
    Crackinskulls' wrote: noel gallagher is a total dick from what I've heard, dude constantly bashes people
    Thats Liam, ya fool.
    chrissme
    I know this is probably only because I've been waiting for this album for so long, but I absolutely LOVE it! I just can't stop listening to it. IMO way better than "Different gear, still speeding".
    xpt93
    THIS IS JUST SO AWESOME I CAN'T BELIEVE IT HOLY SHIT DAMMIT!!!
    luli
    I expected a little bit more of noel, but is a great disc, definitely my favourite is "if i had a gun", "aka.. what a life" is a weird song, something i didn't expected coming from noel, but the song has something that i like it.
    luli
    yonmwar wrote: It's a good album. though if I have to compare, I liked Liam's ("Beady Eye") more. Yet, both brothers need the other one. I like Noel's voice but he is too boring for 45 mins, like most of the songs which are just not light enough. The funny hting is I thought the exact opposite about Beady Eye's album, and it just makes me think that if they were still together they could have made a masterpiece, instead of just two 'good' albums. well, I'll just wait for Noel's second album...
    haha, i listened about more of six times the beady eye album and i don't like it, just two or three songs are "decent" for me, but like you said, together they make magic (except the last oasis album).
    yonmwar
    It's a good album. though if I have to compare, I liked Liam's ("Beady Eye") more. Yet, both brothers need the other one. I like Noel's voice but he is too boring for 45 mins, like most of the songs which are just not light enough. The funny hting is I thought the exact opposite about Beady Eye's album, and it just makes me think that if they were still together they could have made a masterpiece, instead of just two 'good' albums. well, I'll just wait for Noel's second album...
    ninfan200
    you know what high flyin birds do? they crank out shit so at least the name fits
    Calum353
    its a good album! could use more overdriven guitar but! kinda all sounds the same 3 or 4 acoustic chords
    rocknrollstar
    Check this out:
    I like the album, but I feel some of the demos were better (e.g. I Wanna Live In A Dream) for the songs, but the way they were produced fits this better as an album. Really looking forward to his next album with AA.
    westley23j
    TheLukeMaxfield wrote: from what i've heard of it, its exactly what i expected/wanted from noel, 'if i had a gun' is brilliant
    ok...so you didnt literally copy and paste, but i bet alot of people will come to read that and think somewhat close to the same thing. im just not used to such well spoken people on UG. hahaha
    MrKnister
    UG Team wrote: The only song on the album I really didnt enjoy was "AKA... What A Life"
    Thats totally right, i dont like the "disco song", too. The beat isnt usual for these kind of brit pop which i like
    luli wrote: together they make magic
    oh how much you are right... soo many many much
    katalyzt13
    westley23j wrote: wow.... that first review... can you say copy and paste? sheesh....
    What exactly do you think is copy and pasted? for the 'sound' section of the review, I do read interviews with the artist, I read wikipedia entries and press releases and I begin with the story of the album before I talk about the actual sound of the album, etc., but nothing is copy and pasted.