Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, 'Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' (Sour Mash)

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Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Critical Mass
Release Date: November 8, 2011
Label: Sour Mash

by Stephanie Benson

What's a year without a Gallagher brothers throwdown? Months after Liam and the rest of Oasis unveiled the score-settling Beady Eye, Noel gets in the ring with a sizable advantage (he did write the band's hits) and a dedication to spreading the love instead of exacerbating the hate. His solo debut is hardly humble, though, from the dramatic strings flooding "Everybody's on the Run" to the New Orleans brass dancing around the stretched-out vowels of "Dream On" and "The Death of You and Me." "What a Life" gallops with a grandiosity that recalls Arcade Fire, and "Stop the Clocks" is a full-on orchestral-rock orgy. High Flying Birds isn't a total knockout, but it should keep Liam sleeping with at least one Beady Eye open.

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