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Review: Noel Gallagher's band stalls on takeoff

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds" (Sour Mash/Mercury)
/ Source: The Associated Press

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds" (Sour Mash/Mercury)

Noel Gallagher has finally spread his post-Oasis wings and delivered a debut album with a band of his building, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. Gallagher gives us a comfortably acceptable sound, but something perhaps a little too close to his higher flying days with the hit-making Oasis.

The thread of sonic continuity is undeniable and it appears there's nothing new under the Gallagher family umbrella of creativity here.

Things start off nice enough with "Everybody's on the Run" and "Dream On," the latter built around a sturdy, marching cadence of drum and guitar strums. Gallagher's voice is spot on here as he sings, "One day at a time I'm hiding from the razor blade/ Hanging in the kitchen."

However, songs like "Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks" are simply a chore to listen to. Moreover, the intro on "(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach" borrows too heavily on the Oasis hit "Wonderwall" and we're left wondering if Gallagher is pining for his chart-topping music of yesteryear with his brooding brother Liam Gallagher.

A supremely talented artist has played it relatively safe here and it remains to be proven whether he has something truly new to offer. He hasn't done so here.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: "If I Had a Gun" is the standout track, with Jon Graboff providing some cool work on the pedal steel guitar and Beccy Byrne adding some perfectly haunting back-up vocals. The best lyrics and melody on the album are found right here.


Ron Harris can be reached at