Gallagher has always had a gift for melody and he spares no expense to craft a pop record. The opening majesty of "Everybody's on the Run" sets a tone of classic rock to the set of songs. This is followed by a shuffle and stomp number entitled "Dream On" that echoes some of the early releases of his former band and at the same time details his struggles to keep clean in his new adult life. "If I Had A Gun..." marks the introduction of the "Wonderwall" acoustic sound as the song recalls the sense of longing that has been in his writing since the beginning. "The Death of You and Me" is really the first sign of any divergence from the Beatles inspired manual, with a bit of a country twang to the guitar and an old piano tinkling in the background. You have to wonder if this is a song of lost love or lost brotherly connection. "(I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine" is a full on sing along full of epic strings and a soaring vocal performance. It's a highlight of the record for sure. "AKA...What A Life" follows that with a sense of positivity not often found in Noel's lyrical profile. Is his appreciation of life due to the freedom from the Oasis drama? The closing "Stop the Clocks" brings the record to a sweeping conclusion in true Oasis fashion.
It's hard to judge this record without considering Noel's prior band. What if this had been a proper Oasis record? You can imagine what some of these might have sounded like with Liam singing (whose voice has a deeper range to it for sure.) Noel has invested more in this album than the last couple Oasis record for sure. It is certainly a good album but once has to wonder would this have been the next great Oasis record if they could have worked out their family issues?
(mp3) Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds -- (I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine