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Friday, November 4, 2011

"High Flying Birds", narrow victory of Noel versus Liam

High Fliying Birds

Noel or Liam? Sure, one cannot blame oneself to answer these obvious question when the Gallagher brothers have been presenting their Oasis' split and comeback albums as a childish fight on how's better. Now that we have heard "High Flying Birds" the verdict is quite clear. The firstborn wins.

Maybe is not the knock-out triumph we expected. If you allow me the football comparison, is like Barça winning Viktoria Plzën by just a 2-0. It's ok, but you were expecting for more. Because there wasn't much of a competition, as Beady Eye's debut has been, in my opinion, pretty weak. "High Flying Birds" won't shake music foundations either. If you are looking for something surprising, or a radical change of style, a more experimental, adventurous, sound, try another place. You'll find Noel Gallagher's solo record disappointing. But if you are up for an unpretentious but very enjoyable album, these 10 songs will do.

My biggest complain is the overall feeling that "High Flying Birds" definitely lacks ambition. The start is quite promising, "Everybody's On the Run", "Dream On" and the pretty loveable "If I Had a Gun" are a nice trio that sets the listener on a comfortable, familiar zone, that also sounds quite fresh and remarkable. But you won't go further than this, with the glimpse of new sounds here, like the fanfare on single "The Death of You and Me", a trademark whistling melody here on "Aka... Broken Arrow" or a pleasant piano on "Stop the Clocks".

Believe me, there's nothing wrong with the album. Not a single song to despise or be ashamed of. But the whole affair is slightly mellower than expected (and damn it if I don't miss Liam's in-your-face voice on "(I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine") and, like Beady Eye, a bit too classic (sadly not classy like the great "Mucky Fingers"). When thinking on what Noel could achieve on his solo work, I was hoping for either his more adventurous side, on the vein of "Falling Down" or "Let Forever Be", or like the underrated "Part of the Queue". Not to mention his previous humming and powerful Oasis' slow numbers-ballads. Do I have to remember this guy is responsible of "Talk Tonight", "The Masterplan", and a long etc? No, "High Flying Birds" is not a bad album, but coming from Noel Gallagher, I think its fair we must ask for a lot more.

SCORE: 6,25/10

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