Noel Gallagher interrupts squabbling to release album of old-school anthems

Ex-Oasis chief Noel Gallagher returns to his musical roots with fourth High Flying Birds album Council Skies

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds: Council Skies cover art
(Image: © Sour Mash)

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

While the Gallagher brothers continue to squabble over the potential second coming of Oasis, Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds have quietly crept back with their first album in six years. Council Skies finds Gallagher senior moving away from the electro-psychedelic sonics that dominated his last album, shifting back to his more traditional, anthemic songwriting.

Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. Knocking out a tune for the masses was something the ex-Oasis mastermind was always very good at, and he doesn’t disappoint as he smatters the bulk of this new record with sweeping orchestral strings. The pick of the tracks here are the pulsating Pretty Boy, the string-laden I’m Not Giving Up Tonight and the soaring Open The Door, See What You Find. If this is likely to be Noel’s last album for a while, then it’s a pretty solid swan song. Now about that Oasis reunion.

Damian Jones

Freelance journalist for Classic Rock, NME, Sky News, Bandcamp Daily, The Sports Network (TSN), NewsBreak, Uncut Magazine, Festival Flyer, The British Music Digest.