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I was not sure what to expect from Noel Gallaghers first album. Since its release I have realized his first two albums were indeed meant to be something slightly different.
This record finally shows Stop the Clocks and Record Machine as album songs. Not sure about some of the others, where as The Good Rebel, Simple Game of Genius and Lord shine a light on me, and Alone on a Rope all were left off in favor of more conservative type songs.
Apart from Stop the Clocks and Live in a dream, record machine, this album is not really anything you have not heard before. I am not saying he HAD to do that album with Amphormous and Androgynous but heavens he could turn the guitars up a bit. For his second album at least he revived an old Oasis song which had guitar riffs and a bit of upbeat-ness to it but this album, its nothing really incredible, its just the same old Noel Gallagher you have heard before or Oasis.
And that is fine I guess, but it is not really an experimental album, its kind of the same thing they or Noel have been doing since that Don't Believe the truth album. Let it be said, this record is no Be Here Now or Morning Glory. Maybe it was Oasis's 97 and 2000 albums that put Noel off trying new things again after the reception it got.
But Noels songs have improved in vibe and spirit since then so...why not try new things? I certainly think Noel would of benefited from A and A's influence and pushing the limits more. But in truth this just sounds like Noel getting warmed up for something else, with the exception of 2 songs.
Perhaps Noel is not worried about being the biggest or best anymore, he was the biggest and best for a while or a few years. Time will tell whether he will try for new things eventually. There is nothing wrong with the typical Oasis sound but time moves on and you have to do something different.
A good collection of Oasis-style singalong ditties with the overall standard matching a good Oasis album. There can't be a decent Beatles song left that NG has not filched from wholesale. His voice is not as strong nor distinctive as LG's, but it's suited to his songs here. Very likeable, which is surely the point.
First time I heard anything from this album was when Noel did T in the Park earlier this year...can't believe I missed out on this gem of an album! I don't think it's as edgy or rocky as his Oasis stuff and I reckon it's more mellow and similar to late era Oasis...more specifically DBTT...there's pretty much no distortion on this album...but that's not to take anything away from it...it's grandeur...it's got this massive wall of sound...everything is there...Noel is a craftsman and he creates a magnificent sound here that will get you hooked...everything about this album sounds 'big' and 'epic'...I enjoyed and got addicted to this album in mid 2015...every song for me is a hit...but noteworthy songs are Everybody's On The Run, The Death of You And Me, AKA What A Life.
I have lived with the album for a while and happy to report I love it! Granted I'm biased to an extent because I like Noel's work as chief songwriter in Oasis, and have grown increasingly impressed with his ever maturing soulful vocals. This has come to full fruition on the album which kicks off in a very bold way with Everybody's On The Run, a tune I first heard from a sound check in 2009 and seems to have been given the treatment it deserved with an orchestra and choir (what else?), and big drums, and guitar. It's also a cool way to start an album rather than leave it until the end. I like all of the first 6 tracks best through to Aka What A Life, which has been all over the radio. Definitely one to strut your funky stuff on the dance floor. Uncle Noel would be proud! .. And then the fabled Stop The Clocks ends the album in style. I say fabled because its been around since 2001 and could have been on any of thee last 3 or 4 Oasis albums since then, and finally gets its place on here. On a nerdy note, of special interest is the production from David Sardy who I understand added some ambience to the tunes and really helps elevate a lot them to a whole new level. I believe he also had the drums re-done after Noel originally took on the reigns of production early on in the process. Finally there are other tunes worth checking out which for one reason or another didn't get on the album, but are available on either iTunes, or available as b-sides. The songs Simple Game of Genius and Let The Lord Shine A Light On Me are both amazing, and at least one of these could have easily fit somewhere. Other songs not to feature on this are Alone on a Rope (v good mid-tempo soulful tune), The Good Rebel and I'd Pick You Every Time (folky).
Liking most of the Oasis records very much, I can't help not being totally overwhelmed by Noel Gallagher his solodebut. I know the record has been well received. I do know that the record ended up in a lot of English 'best of the year' lists.
The thing is: I do like the two singles "Aka... What a life" and "If I had a Gun" very much. But the other songs are just cool and fine, nothing more, nothing less. Afther I have listen to the record a few times during the last months I can help to notice that some of the songs sound a little bit the same and could have used a sharper edge. The feeling 'I have heard it before' came a little bit too soon. Somehow I miss his brother's vocals on the songs (whereas I miss Noel his guitarplaying and cords on the Beady Eye songs).
Having listened to this album several times, i find it difficult to pin down whether i like it or not. There is no doubt that it is well produced and that there are no really weak or experimental tracks on the album. We hear a more mellow sounding Noel, and nearly two decades after his Britpop days have faded away, this is not unexpected. But there are moments listening to some tracks when it sounds like a paler version of something Oasis has already done eg The Death of You and Me. So on the one hand, it is not a mind-blowing 'Wow' moment sort of reaction, and yet on the other hand this is a solid body of work from a talented songwriter and performer. But i recall Noel once talking about his desire to really stretch himself and 'give it a go' when Oasis was making 'Don't Believe the Truth'. It does not immediately sound like he has followed this approach despite the obvious effort he has made in producing this polished album. Perhaps in the end, Noel without the rest of Oasis is good but lacks something, in the same way that the Beady Eye album sounded strong but just lacking the extra magic ingredient to really nail it as a classic. So it becomes a debate - 3 or 4 stars ? In the end, maybe it does not matter, but i leaned upwards more because it's the style of music i like to hear. If you like Oasis, buy this album. If you like Beady Eye, buy this album. If you like good, indie sounding music with some thought behind the song-writing, buy this album. It's a good one, all-right, but don't expect to be blown away by it. On a final note, the deluxe version has the video for The Death of You and Me - after a few viewings, and the patchy 'making of' video, it has me lost - so possibly this makes it a brilliant video! There is also the usual interview with Noel et al video for the making of the album. It's worth springing the few extra quid to get the deluxe version, if you can.
I loved Oasis, but Noel Gallagher's solo album goes one step further into musical bliss. Noel is an extremely talented songwriter, illustrated by the fact that every single track on this album is really really good. I mean, really really good! And the arrangements are so brilliant. I know this doesn't tell you much, but honestly, I'm gobsmacked at how good this album is!!! Also, it's an incredibly upbeat album, the sort of album you would like to listen to when driving along quiet country roads with the wind blowing through your hair, thinking, and singing, Wow, what a life! My family are surprised, to say the least, at my effusive comments on this album, particularly as I am usually listening to the likes of Beethoven and Sibelius, but music is music, and I'll give anything a go as long as it's good. But Noel's album isn't just good, it's mind-blowingly brilliant, and if you haven't got it yet, you should order it pronto; you can't go through life without hearing this amazing album!!
If you don't know what to expect then it's just a other oasis record really . don't get me wrong it's a great album but was hoping for something a little different from Noel with this album . But it is still a really solid album . good to see a final version of Stop the clocks hit an album
I personally believe that Noel should have gone solo a long time ago. While I think that Liam is one of the all time great front men, he long became a parody of himself. His voice is a former shadow of itself, and nowadays, he seems to be doing a stars-in-their-eyes impression of John Lennon. Badly. Why an established rock n'roll star in their own right has to do this, I don't know.
Now, down to the NGHFB's album. Noel's voice is richer and more expressive than its ever been. He's suprised me with the maturity in his lyrics - especially on tracks such as 'Soldier boys and Jesus freaks'.
AKA what a life, is up there with very best Oasis tracks, A real piece of attitude, with a pounding ryhthm. Everybodies on the run is one of the best opening tracks to an album i've heard in a long while. It really sets out Noel's intentions.
I can't say that there is a duff track on the album, although musically, I find the aforementioned 'Soldier boys and Jesus freaks' a bit drab.
It may sound a strange thing to say, but this sounds like the real Noel Gallagher - His sound not covered up by a preening, over the hill front man. And as for the below par album additions from band mates, the less said of that the better . . .
I really don't understand the critics who accuse Noel of playing it safe - would you rather have a quality bunch of songs which are similar in style to whats come before, or some prog rock opera, new ambient direction which sounds like a pile of sh*te?!He never claimed to be Thom Yorke or David Bowie.
Noel's shown the rest of the pack how's it done. Not bad for a 44 year old.