4 Noel Gallagher - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

Let me preface this review with this: I am a big Oasis fan.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds is better than most of Oasis' catalog. Honestly, I've grown tired of Liam's voice, and much prefer Noel's songs on most of their later work. This record finds Noel in top form and is an absolute joy to listen to start to finish. It's tight and cohesive, and his vocals are better than ever.

Noel is a fantastic songwriter, that's obvious. He's said in interviews that it was easier to focus with this being a 'solo' album, and it shows. He makes every hook, tempo shift, and key change sound amazingly easy. The guitar tones in Oasis were always top notch, as they are here, but Noel uses them delicately throughout this record. There's also a lot of additional instruments filling out the sound as a whole, and lending a little unique color to each song. Particularly, on the breathtaking "The Death of You and Me," which was released a few weeks before the LP.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds isn't really a concept album, but it sort of feels like one. Noel sounds like a weary traveler in his lyrics, giving a little sympathy and attention to the characters in each tune. They're mostly in somber minor keys, which is Noel's specialty. It just sounds so urgent and full of suspense, like something is about to happen, on "Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks" especially.

In the end, if it wasn't for the flawlessness of the top three, this album would be number one, for sure.

Well done on ya, Noel.

Download: "Dream On" - "The Death of You and Me" - "Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks"