Thursday 3 November 2011

Noel Gallghers High Flying Birds

Bought Noels latest offering a couple of weeks ago, and its been on fairly regular playing ever since (it has been the soundtrack to the washing up nearly every evening).

I liked it on first hearing, which often means that by hearing number 3 I will start to find fault and want to listen to something else.  No, its still playing and getting better each time (I'm sure it will plateau in the next week, but I'm not getting fed up with it yet).

Is it possible to be objective about this album without referring to Oasis?
It's difficult, so lets get that out of the way: 
The sound and feel is similar to 'Don't Believe The Truth' and one of the songs even sounds much the same (compare 'Death Of You & Me' and 'Importance of Being Idle'). And 'If I Had A Gun' on first hearing is one chord away from being 'Wonderwall'

This album bears all the signature traits of Noel Gallagher:
1. He's not scared of a rhyme, no matter how banal it may be seem
2. He just can't help inviting us to "hold on" (which he does in the first track ("Everybodys On The Run")
3. His obvious love/respect/debt to The Beatles remains apparent (note the "Get Back"-y sound in the introduction of "(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach")

Other than the two Oasis-like song mentioned above, "(I Wanna Live A Dream in my) Record Machine"" is a fantastic title, but doesn't really hold together for an entire song, and "Stop The Clocks" strays into Coldplay territory and is therefore probably a banker for a performance from a Festival stage.

These aren't criticisms, just minor quibbles which in no way affect the enjoyment of the album.

Earlier in 2011, the Gallagher the Younger's new band released their debut album.  This too was a good album, and is still getting listened to.

Listening to them back-to-back is an interesting exercise.
There's no escaping the fact that these two albums represent both sides of Oasis.
Beady Eye give us the bombastic stadium rock, with a touch of acousticcy stuff, and a bit of psychedelia.
High Flying Birds represents the more slowed down acoustic-type thing (usually including the phrase "hold on").

An Oasis Double Album? Yes
Two seperate albums? Yes
They are both a double set and two single entities, enjoy them however you wish.

On the whole, both albums are great (HFB is, I think, the betterof the two), but you leave both with the words to 'Acquiesce' running through your head.
 Beady Eye misses Noel's guitar.
High Flying Birds misses Liams voice in places ("Everybodys On The Run" (possibly), "I Wanna Live The Dream" and "Stop The Clocks").

Maybe the do "need each other", but they've still managed to independently produce two of the best albums of 2011.

When it comes time to produce my list of "Albums of 2011" (which will happen, because I'm a bloke and I like lists) both of these will undoubtedly feature.

I wanted to put a video for "Stop The Clocks", but couldn't find it on YouTube, so this one will have to do ("AKA ... What A Life")

And to represent Beady Eye: "The Beat Goes On"

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