Monday, November 14, 2011

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

Sour Mash/Mercury

Going Big requires a bit more than simply turning up the volume. This is something Noel Gallagher has long understood.  Sure, with Oasis he had no problem churning out dozens of loud, raucous crowd-pleasing anthems, but during the majority of their live performances he was also just as likely to sway thousands armed with only a acoustic guitar and the strength of his songwriting.  Few things rival the pleasure of singing along to a song penned by Noel Gallagher, and with his High Flying Birds, the joys continue.  While “maturity” can be a slippery slope for many musicians,  Noel seems to dodge a bullet stepping away from traditional rock band arrangements.  Dabbling in an array of sounds not featured as heavily in his previous work: pedal steel guitar, choir, strings, horns, the album has a more atmospheric/psychedelic  feel to it while still showcasing his knack for grand, sweeping tunes.   It’s not a rock album by any stretch, more suitable for a “get-together” than a party, but if you’ve been following him since his band’s reigning days as the Kings of Britpop (yes, they were), chances are you’re older too and have the perspective to appreciate it. Having said that, with songs like “Everybody‘s On the Run,” “Stop the Clocks,”  and most particularly “If I Had a Gun,” Oasis fans won’t have any need to retire their lighters just yet. 

Tommy Salmon

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