Released at the end of 2017, “Who Built The Moon” was just in time to catch the festive party season, and although that move was probably a bit calculated, it is a perfect fit.
This is the High Flying Birds third album and Noel Gallagher’s tenth in all. Although it will probably never outsell Oasis’ monster hit album “Be Here Now” from twenty years ago, I predict that the critical acclaim will far surpass it and people will probably still be playing this album in forty years time.
Bouncing right out the speakers from the get go and all the way through this collection of thirteen songs, this is an album Noel Gallagher has always promised, but somehow never quite delivered. There is not a weak moment as the music rampages from track to track with never any hint of a let up.
In fairness the album is a bit of a collaboration effort with the genius that is David Holmes, a famous producer, songwriter and DJ. But for whatever reason, this album just works. There are still plenty of Brit-Pop touching points and Gallagher’s Oasis years are never far away. Nor are his early influences, there is always just a hint of John Lennon running through this album. Hey everybody has influences, so why not pick the best?
The album opens with “Fort Knox” and then just heads straight for the dance floor. I guarantee you could put this album on at any party, let it play through and then just push repeat and you would have a happy bunch of campers.
All the music is multi-layered, making for interesting listening and the guitars are of course always to the fore, but running alongside or behind them are all the bells and whistles that the studio can add.
There is plenty of room too for Gallagher’s peers and friends to make appearances, with Paul Weller of the The Jam fame, from a generation before Oasis, playing organ on “Holy Mountain” and Johnny Marr (formerly of The Smiths) getting a chance to dazzle on “If Love Is The Law”, playing both guitar and harmonica.
It’s nice to hear the flavoring of cinemascope sound and eastern influences all fueled in with Gallagher’s natural talent to make some real stadium balcony shakers. The results are exhilarating and “Who Built The Moon” is an album for the party at the end of the universe, guiding the wary along its path and playing the pied piper to the faithful, leading them down the dancing path to utopia.
When interviewed about the album David Holmes said, “People are going to be surprised. I think people love Noel and they are desperate for him to make a really big, bold, up-tempo beast of an album. Whilst a lot of Noel’s previous work has been quite mid-tempo, this one has been fun.”
After all the inner turmoil of working within the confines of a band and the fury of the sibling rivalry with brother Liam, I think Noel Gallagher has emerged triumphant from the war zone that was Oasis after leaving the band for good in 2009 and is now able to take giant steps forward on his own. Liam Gallagher had the voice, but it was always Noel that had the vision and here you have it on this album all laid before you in its completed form– a rock solid 5 stars.
The High Flying Birds:
Noel Gallagher – vocals and guitar
Jason Faulkner – bass guitar
Jeremy Stacey – drums
Keefus Cianda – keyboards
Keep On Reaching
It’s A Beautiful World
She Taught Me How to Fly
Be Careful What You Wish For
Black and White Sunshine
Interlude (Wednesday Part One)
If Love Is The Law
The Man Who Built The Moon
End Credits (Wednesday Part Two)
Dead In The Water
God Help Us All
Note: Written by Mott The Dog who can often be found whistling the tunes off this album at Jameson’s Irish Pub, Soi AR, North Pattaya