Noel Gallagher | Who Built The Moon?

7/10
The Gallagher brothers are never short of a sound bite or two, and in the weeks following Liam’s first solo release “As You Were”, pressure has been mounting for a comment or two from big bro. “I’m not going to learn anything. He doesn’t write his own songs, so it means nothing to me,” quipped Noel recently in an interview with Q Magazine. Ouch.
It’s fair enough though really, given that Liam torments him mercilessly on Twitter, referring to our kid as “having a head like a potato” and calling out his tearful benefit gig for the Manchester terror attacks “a PR stunt”. So much for brotherly love eh? “I’m trying to soar like an Eagle and I’m being asked to comment on the ramblings of a common pigeon” was Noel’s response, shortly before dropping a far more effective comeback than any biting comment: his third studio LP with the High Flying Birds, “Who Built The Moon.”
Where Liam’s “As You Were” largely mines the sound and attitude of Oasis, Noel has gone off on a proper tangent with “WBTM”. “Yeah yeah heard it all before” I can hear you muttering – rightly so too, but along with veteran Northern Irish Producer David Holmes, he’s produced something that’s about as far away from the lad rock of Oasis as you can get. Well, if your second name is Gallagher at any rate.
What has emerged from the pair’s sessions in Belfast and London is his most reinvigorating work in years – owing more to those mid 90s collaborations with the Chemical Brothers than anything recorded with his old band. It’s not always perfect; the electro sparkle of “It’s A Beautiful World” sounds like he’s singing with no teeth on the chorus, while yawn-fest “If Love is the Law” fails to bring anything new to the party at all.
BUT. When things do all click its a beautiful thing to hear, especially on rollicking lead single “Holy Mountain” – a track that is sure to divide fans right down the middle with its tin pipe whistle and big band sax parping away. “That was the intention” explains Noel. “Half [the fans] are saying ‘This is f&*king s&*t. This can’t be the guy who wrote Live Forever,’ and the other half are saying, ‘This is f&*king amazing,’ and that’s not a place I’ve ever been”. Wherever he is, there’s no question him and his birds are flying very high indeed right now.
Dan Ashcroft
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