Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds LP Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 4 Old 10-25-12, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds LP Review

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds LP Review

When a band breaks up, there's a natural sadness that descends upon the faithful, and when the British supergroup Oasis split, there was a palpable pall that fell upon the band's cognoscenti. The brothers Gallagher were at it again, this time Liam had gone too far, assaulting Noel (over the head!) with a priceless vintage Gibson, no less. In terms of what had gone before, the two bandmate brothers had seen it all, a meteoric rise to fame and stardom, years on the road, a steady run of brilliant LP's, and no altercation save this one could threaten to permanently put the kabosh on the band from Manchester that accomplished so much in such a relatively short space of time. The final curtain on the band (and all that it had stood for for so many long years) was drawn in Paris on that fateful night...

Immediately upon the demise of Oasis (August 2009), both factions set out to get music happening again, as quickly as possible. No one knowing the love of all things rock and roll that existed within every iteration of this group could forsee anything but a perfunctory, momentary split. Liam gathered up his Oasis bandmates before Noel could sneeze, and in the wake of Beady Eye (Liam's new aggregation), the High Flying Birds rose like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes of Oasis with their own eponymous first LP. No momentum (such as had been steadily built up since the group's first LP Positively Maybe in 1994) had been wasted, none whatsoever, with these two long-playing efforts by the opposing camps being released in such timely fashion.

Noel had been rumored to be planning to release his first solo effort long before the band split, so it's certain that the machinations were already in motion long before things got completely unbearable within the confines of Oasis, and Liam's seemingly continual, consistantly asinine behaviour. Sir George Martin, no less, deemed Noel "the most significant songwiter of his generation". Wow!! Coming from the man that made the Beatles who they were, are, and will ever be, that was truly a huge endorsement. Pressure to fulfill expectations of rabid-for-product Oasis fans? I have never seen Noel do much more than flinch in the wake of major altercations throughout the most tumultuous years of the band's existance. Even the time in 1996 when Liam pulled his most famous stunt (1996 MTV Video Music Awards, where Liam feigned illness, opted out of the legendary and seminal-to-the-band's first big television acoustic performance, and heckled his brother, beer in hand, from the balcony), Noel was coaxed back into the fold after the incident that stirred the rock press, as had every ridiculous behaviour malfunction Liam ever perpetrated upon his brother and his band (yes, it was most definitely Noel's band, despite Liam's initial Oasis aggregation. The reins had been, for all intents and purposes, ostensibly turned over to Noel in the very beginning in exchange for Noel's supermagical musical talents.). Not this time.

Noel's album is nothing short of brilliant, from the pen that gave you Champagne Supernova, Some Might Say, and the smash multiplatinum Wonderwall. Liam has nothing on Noel, who when pressed into service, does excellent vocal renditions of Liam's best work. Noel, naturally, writes, sings, plays and calls the shots on his first solo LP (he IS The Chief, after all!). This album totally lived up to the lofty expectations of the fans, and immediately spurred the High Flying Birds (musicians featured on the record include former Oasis session/live keyboardist Mike Rowe, The Lemon Trees drummer Jeremy Stacey and percussionist Lenny Castro, in addition to guest appearances from the Crouch End Festival Chorus and The Wired Strings) to hit the road to promote the band's debut LP. Noel's famed original Mellotron, rumored to have once been owned by none other than John Lennon, is front and center on the opener "Everybody's On The Run", and the album on the whole is a collection of both wistful and more forceful workouts. "If I Had a Gun", the second single from the collection, falls into the second category. No need for autotune or excessive compression (Noel has the most amazing voice, one has only to witness a couple of live performances that are currently circulating on the web to realize this fact, largely unnoticed with the former presence of Liam), this album is totally modern without falling back on these trendy production artifacts (putting it nicely?). Noel shows from the get go that the split had no effect on his ability to crank out the most amazing album of 2011, in this reviewer's opinion. High Flying Birds gets a rating of 5 stars, well-warranted given the high producton values, stellar endorsement of Noel's songwriting prowess, and the cover art (shot at a Los Angeles gas station from the long-lost past, yet with such futuristic overtones!) makes this a total package. Also, check out his most recent EP (a collection of previous singles' B-Sides released for Record Store Day 2012, limited to 2000 copies), Songs From The Great White North on white vinyl if you can source it (only a couple thousand pressed), and the recent BBC Radio 2 Broadcast in compact disc form if NGHFB is your cuppa.

I'll give due time to brother Liam with a quick review of Beady Eye's debut "Different Gear Still Speeding" in another edition, and, personally speaking, I refuse to pick a winner. They both have their obvious merits, and Liam's LP has perhaps a few flaws. Nothing glaring, it's just not as tidy overall as Noel's first solo full-lengther. The former Oasis sidemen (employed by Liam on his debut release) are in good form, and make the Beady Eye package passable on that level. I'm not downing it by any stretch! Stay tuned for the review coming shortly.

Keep your tubes hot and your antenna up! See you next time!

Last edited by Mike Yaffe; 10-25-12 at 07:24 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-26-12, 10:49 PM
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Re: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds LP Review

Thanks for the review.

I am not familiar with this group, but I do have the Be Here Now CD of Oasis from a while back. I listened to If I Had Gun, What A Life, The Death Of You And Me, Dream On, Everybody's On The Run and Live @ BBC Radio 2 singing It's Good To Be Free and several others... all through my A900's. YouTube has their entire BBC concert. Not the best quality streaming via the Internet, but I like it.

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post #3 of 4 Old 10-27-12, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds LP Review

Sonnie wrote: View Post
Thanks for the review.

I am not familiar with this group, but I do have the Be Here Now CD of Oasis from a while back. I listened to If I Had Gun, What A Life, The Death Of You And Me, Dream On, Everybody's On The Run and Live @ BBC Radio 2 singing It's Good To Be Free and several others... all through my A900's. YouTube has their entire BBC concert. Not the best quality streaming via the Internet, but I like it.
You Tube can be hit and miss with regards to sound quality, that's a given. If you're a rabid fan (like me), there's plenty of product on the band, and the new longplayers from the Gallagher brothers in their own groups since the Oasis split are great examples of contemporary music that doesn't just go BOOM BOOM BOOM.Thanks for your response.
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-28-12, 01:07 PM
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Re: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds LP Review

Good reading and informative. Thanks, Mike!

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