Album Stream: Noel Gallagher’s Songwriting Keeps Soaring With “High Flying Birds”

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A soaring example of excellent song craftmanship, gorgeous production, and skilled musicianship, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Noel Gallagher[/lastfm]‘s long-awaited solo début High Flying Birds is a culmination of two years of flying back and forth from London to Los Angeles to record with former [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Oasis [/lastfm]producer[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] Dave Sardy[/lastfm], tiresome bouts with brother, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Liam Gallagher[/lastfm] via the media, and juggling fame and family.

If this story sounds eerily similar to that of Oasis fifteen years prior, that’s because it practically is. Accordingly, High Flying Birds isn’t an effort on Gallagher’s part to find a Britpop niche in the modern electro-buzz so popular today. His debut solo album is glorious with[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] Oasis[/lastfm]-style orchestration, mid-tempo lyrical mantras, ecstatic choruses, and quintessential ’90s Britpop grit and glamor.

noel launch Album Stream: Noel Gallaghers Songwriting Keeps Soaring With High Flying Birds
Stream The Full Album via RollingStone.com

A tight ten-track album, High Flying Birds starts with the organic sounds of people in an audience rustling, a cough in the awkward silence. The first song “Everybody’s On The Run” launches into something almost psychedelic, chord-progressions that seem like subtle nods to [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Pink Floyd[/lastfm]‘s The Wall and swooning strings.

“Dream On” is a swaggering, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Beatles-[/lastfm]esque tune that urges to “shout it out for me” on a chorus that was built for such cheering. Despite the cheeky, upbeat guitar strum and the slinky New Orleans brass band style trumpets, the context of the song is slightly grim with Gallagher singing lyrics like “One day at a time, I’m hiding from the razor blade.”

Even in the first two songs on the High Flying Birds, it’s evident that while Oasis skyrocketed partly because of Liam Gallagher’s self-assured cockiness it was Noel Gallagher’s self-assured song structures that made Oasis one of the most influential bands of the last two decades.

“If I Had A Gun” is a prime example of this with its swirl of lush guitars, the ecstatic clash of cymbals, the melodic shriek of what sounds an organ, and Gallagher’s bucolic baritone.

Considered by many to be the most progressive, stand-out track of the album, “The Death Of You And Me” is a fanciful musical-style lark with percussive rattle, a sing-song chorus, jangly piano-hall fingering, and bawdy Bayou horns.

Next: Listen to “The Death of You and Me”

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