THE BAD REVIEW Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Sour Mash)
The most interesting song here is ‘AKA … What A Life’. Well, that’s giving a bit too much credit. Let’s say it’s the least uninteresting. It thumps instead of plods, but still proceeds at the same maddening mid-tempo. As always on NG’sHFB, any new sound, any hint of experimentation, is turned down long before it threatens to overwhelm the song – that is to say, make it sonically compelling. At one point, the song almost starts to sound urgent, but I think that’s probably just because the rest of the album feels so flaccid.
In 2012, Noel Gallagher’s music is the result of a commitment to populist songcraft that is so half-assed, so uninspired, that it makes you wonder just what Noel actually thinks of the people who listen to his music. The 19-year-old Gallagher — hell, even the 25-year-old — would have called this album a turd of self-involved, overblown mediocrity and he would have been right. This album has all the swagger of a crippled penguin. It’s almost enough to make you believe that cocaine actually has worthwhile benefits. Unless he’s still doing shitloads of it, that is.
You know you’re firmly entrenched as a rock legend when every album you put out starts getting the “This is their best album since _____” treatment. The recently departed R.E.M. spent the last 10 years of their career reading reviews that said each new album was their best since Automatic For The People or, if someone was being generous, New Adventures In Hi-Fi, which is really just a polite way of saying that every album they had made since then sucked dead dog dicks. Well sure enough, a cursory glance at NG’sHFB pulls up a lot of “best since Morning Glory” quotes. And for all I know, they’re probably right. I haven’t made it all the way through an Oasis album since Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants (and by the way, it should have read Shoulders you dumbass — nobody at the record company even had the guts to tell you?). And I haven’t listened to one for than five times since Morning Glory. So yeah, he’s done a lot worse, but Jesus has he done a lot better.
I look forward to hearing next year’s ‘edgy’, ‘forward-thinking’ album. If that one sucks, I guess I’ll never have to be disappointed in anything Noel Gallagher ever does again. At that point, I won’t even bother listening.
REVIEWED IN PICTURES Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Sour Mash)
THE GOOD(ISH) REVIEW Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Sour Mash)
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by Scott Creney
Scott Creney lives in Athens, Georgia. If you want to continue this conversation, try @scottcreney on twitter or ask.fm/scottcreney.