It has to be said that this was genuinely one of the albums besides Mastodon’s that I’ve been looking forward to, Oasis were the reason I got into music and everything that came after was a direct consequence of that. However even as a massive Oasis fan a few odd tracks aside (all Noel led tracks such as ‘The Importance Of Being Idle’ & ‘Little By Little’) their output since ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory’ has been anything but great or consistent. It is for this reason I was so intrigued by the Noel Gallagher album as for the first time in a long time he is back in the driving seat writing the songs he wants to as the creative force without being held back by Liam and the rest of Oasis. Although Noel doesn’t overly stray away from his comfort zone on this the first of two releases he has put together a collection of ten really good songs and without doubt the most consistent release since ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory’.
Normally at this point I would start singling out 3 or 4 tracks from the album that stand out above the rest and talk about them, but the truth of the matter is that Noel Gallagher has put together a rarity of an album type in which all 10 tracks could be potentially released as singles. On my first few listens though ‘If I Had A Gun…’ would probably be my pick as favourite song, it is probably the closest to the old great Oasis that I used to love when I was younger and invokes the memories that come with it, also the song is perfectly crafted for Noel’s vocals and is genuinely up there with the best that he has ever written. ‘AKA…What A Life!’ is the song on the album that see’s Noel move the furthest from his comfort zone with its looping Piano chords and distinct psychedelic edge that he has previously experimented with but never perfected to this degree.
The one thing for me that is clear from this album is that Noel Gallagher has got his confidence back, after spending the last few years infighting within Oasis where in the end everyman and his dog could throw a song into the pot, he is once again able to take the creative reigns and do as he so pleases. This is a towering album and if nothing else it proves once and for all where the talent behind Oasis lied, Liam’s ‘Beady Eye’ is lacklustre and a combination of all the things that were wrong with Oasis in the end, this however is a celebration of what made Oasis great in the first place and a reminder why so many loved them. Although the judgement call can’t be made on just one release, of the two brothers I would say Noel has the best chance of carving themselves a successful post Oasis Career and as things stand in terms of the one-upmanship that clearly exists between them it’s Noel 1 Liam 0.
1. Everybody’s on the Run
2. Dream On
3. If I Had a Gun
4. The Death of You and Me
5. (I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine
6. AKA…What a Life!
7. Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks
8. AKA….Broken Arrow
9. (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach
10. Stop the Clocks
Recommended Tracks: –
‘If I Had A Gun’, ‘AKA…What A Life’, ‘AKA…Broken Arrow’