Since Noel Gallagher announced he was leaving Oasis in August 2009, we’ve seen Liam Gallagher and the rest of the band (Gem Archer, Andy Bell and Chris Sharrock) reform as Beady Eye and go on to release their first album together to critical acclaim. It was only a matter of time before Noel would go on to complete his debut solo album, proving him worthy of being known as one of the greatest songwriters of his generation.
Naturally, both Gallagher brothers will never be able to escape Oasis comparisons due to the band’s iconic and era-defining status. However, while similarities to Oasis are obviously present in this album, it does not take away from the fact that it’s a brilliant album in its own right. Noel’s influences from 1960’s folk and psychedelic rock are apparent throughout the album, with tracks like ‘Dream On’ and ‘AKA…What a Life!’ making the album feel like a road trip soundtrack. In fact, most of the tracks have a similar sound to the Oasis hit ‘The Importance of Being Idle’, with the debut single ‘The Death of You and Me’ sounding almost like a follow-up to the song. Noel successfully showcases his songwriting abilities on several tracks but particularly in the standout track ‘If I Had a Gun…’, which is probably the softest and most emotional song on the album.
Despite the fact that there are moments, such as on the album opener ‘Everybody’s on the Run’, where Liam’s vocals would have fit perfectly, Noel does well to hold his own and maintain his position as the more talented of the Gallagher brothers. Having announced that he will be releasing the second of his solo albums early next year, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds sets a high standard for his future projects and proves that he is not lost without Oasis.
Overall Rating: 3/5