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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Noel better than Liam shocker.

And here it is. Having let Oasis be, all things have passed and, er, anyway, here’s Noel’s solo album (even though it’s named his “band”, it’s a solo record).

And it’s good. Your first impression is, of course, that it sounds like the Noel songs on an Oasis album; but your second impression is how much it actually doesn’t sound like Oasis. Gone is the four to the floor stodge of recent Oasis. Gone is the rock determination to sound nothing like the Beatles. And gone – yay – is any sense of democracy. These are 10 songs by the man in Oasis who wrote all the good hits.

Throughout this album, even at its descending-chordiest, Sunny Dead End Afternoon Waterloo Sunset Street clonkiest, there’s a sense of fresh air, relief and release last heard on (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? And the clonky songs are few and far between (namely The Death Of You And Me and Soldier Boys And Jesus Freaks).

Along the way there’s some bowling rockers (AKA… What A Life!, with its free-love freeway line ‘Keep on chasing that rainbow’), some brilliant anthems – (I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine – and the lovely (if familiarly named) closer Stop The Clocks.

This record is almost as good as Noel Gallagher says it is.