Many are eager to know if Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will fly too high on his forthcoming US solo debut LP. Here’s our track by track on an album we’ve been waiting to hear for a loooonnng time:
Everybody’s on the Run. We prefer the bootleg soundcheck. That said, Noel’s treatment for the track is nothing short of an epic testament to the tune. Instrumentally the song explores some of Noel’s most lush arrangements to date, and it’s just one example on High Flying Birds that illustrates his affinity to a more broad pallet of music and instrumentation.
Dream On. A Gallagher LP standard strut worthy must. Classic brit pop nod to a T, add a fashioned touch. If you like any gems from post-Be Here Now Oasis then you’ll likely enjoy what’s to come. I think of it like the way I perceive some of the Early Wings stuff – of course not because of The Beatles cliches but because it’s a great tune that represents everything Oasis was and still can/could’ve been.If I Had A Gun. One of Noel Gallagher’s best songs to date. Like what I wanted “Little By Little” to be, an anthem of the most genuine type. It’s been a while since Noel has hit that anthemic single pocket. “If I Had A Gun” seems to pour our out of Noel Gallagher. Like he never doubted a note of it.
The Death of You and Me. Waiting until midnight PST for this track debut on Noel’s website the world got their first glimpse at the High Flying Birds concept. The video, spaghetti western-inflected, portrayed Noel Gallagher’s whimsical and more classically cinematic musical interests. Burt Bacharach, Sgt. Peppers, Going Nowhere… A refrain for the books. Class act.
I Wanna Live In A Dream (In My Record Machine). Another from the Noelchives. I laughed when I saw it was on the LP and definitely don’t blame Liam Gallagher for calling bullshit. “I Wanna Live In A Dream” could be on any Oasis album. A song no doubt plotted for years to be played on a single world tour and then likely never again. Still it’s a good track that really brings out the classic rock influence in Noel Gallagher. Bonus points for the “Stop the Clocks” coda.
AKA What A Life. Noel Gallagher dreams in a style of almost trance-like percussion. #Tailgunner. But seriously a stunning and simple tune by a seasoned writer when broken down.
Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks. Ladies and gentlemen may we introduce to you Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds? A fantastic vocal from Noel; dynamic, warm, dialed-in. “On and on we go” is the sort of refrain we could of only hoped to hear on this album. The cadences are irresistible.
AKA Broken Arrow Think about an AC version of “D’Yer Wanna Be Space Man” played in a minor key. Like what Paul Weller would sound like if he covered that tune today. “Broken Arrow” embodies the songwriter that flows through Noel Gallagher’s veins in tow with vibrant production that truly paints a picture. It’s no doubt radio friendly for today’s aging formatted audiences.
(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach. Thank you for writing this song Noel Gallagher. Another sneering highlight from the NG that brought us pissed off songs like “Headshrinker”, “I Can See A Liar”, “Force of Nature”. Ironically, either Noel’s mocking little brother Liam at times or it’s just creepy to hear how much the the two can sound like family. Whatever the case, we know you’re in your 40s Noel but never mind the bollocks.
Stop The Clocks. Waves crashing (hmm) lead us into this albums epic closer. And in particular, Liam we feel you on this one. “Stop The Clocks”, written not long after September 11 finally gets it’s record debut. The verdict, another flag waver destined for Noel’s arsenal of writing trophies. At moments I hear how Noel found it outside of the Oasis box, but “Clocks” embodies the qualities that make all Oasis album closers great. It’s like a track that re-assures you have just experienced an album. But does it feel like High Flying Birds?
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will be released Tuesday November 8, 2011. Be sure to check it out along with some of the great b-sides we’ve heard so far from Noel’s new project. #AMORPHOUSANDROGENOUS2012
Stream the entire album at Rolling Stone.
Reviewed by b3