Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Oct 17, 2011
    100
    High Flying Birds is the best collection of Gallagher tunes since his Morning Glory days.
  2. 83
    While his brother Liam trundles on with the morose Beady Eye, Oasis' better half delivers a bracingly kinetic solo salvo.
  3. Oct 18, 2011
    82
    Coming from a band that derives a certain amount of its notoriety from seeming jaded and indifferent, Gallagher's solo flight is actually stunningly pure and beautifully rendered.
  4. Dec 22, 2011
    80
    Here, for the first time in years, the primetime Gallagher swagger is back, in a more mature form. [Nov 2011, p.94]
  5. Nov 17, 2011
    80
    His deftly executed--and surprisingly eclectic--debut features flourishes that Liam never would have allowed.
  6. Nov 11, 2011
    80
    Birds isn't a commercial risk, nor will Oasis fans find it a challenge, but that doesn't take away from its smart craftsmanship.
  7. Nov 8, 2011
    80
    Formerly one of the finest melodicists of his generation, this assured debut secures his position as one of our finest artists. [Nov. 2011, p. 124]
  8. Oct 26, 2011
    80
    These songs will do very nicely, thanks, as reassurance that Gallagher can still deliver evocative and memorable tunes.
  9. Oct 21, 2011
    80
    High Flying Birds isn't a total knockout, but it should keep Liam sleeping with at least one Beady Eye open.
  10. Oct 18, 2011
    80
    Noel has crafted one of those rare gems in an LP where every track is a potential single.
  11. An unprecedented futuristic hybrid of dubstep, speedcore and math-rock, with lyrics which charge towards unexplored lexicographical horizons.
  12. 80
    Noel's still got it. Only a fool would write him off.
  13. Nov 8, 2011
    75
    Much of High Flying Birds is concerned with more understated charms.
  14. Nov 22, 2011
    70
    Wrapped in guitars, strings, brass and reverb like a psychedelic Union Jack, he's in full flashback mode.
  15. Nov 8, 2011
    70
    In addition to being the most sonically adventurous collection of songs Gallagher has released to date, these are also his best since (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
  16. 70
    It's a decent enough album with 10 rock-solid songs that come close to but never quite reach the elevation pitched by the album's expressive title.
  17. Oct 17, 2011
    70
    It suits him well, and he knows it.
  18. Nov 28, 2011
    65
    The fact that this debut hews closer to the Noel we know certainly shouldn't be a disappointment.
  19. Nov 21, 2011
    65
    It's all very appealing and completely listenable, if sometimes overreliant on mid-tempo rhythms with occasional surges in passion and pacing. [#82, p.56]
  20. 63
    Not as memorable as Oasis' best anthems in the '90s, or as nasally rock-ready as his brother's latest incarnation, Beady Eye, the album hovers within a melodic good-to-average middle ground.
  21. So, for now we're left with another Noel Gallagher album that continues in the same trend of most of Oasis' output, trying to be something greater than it is. But hey, at least it's better than Beady Eye.
  22. Nov 8, 2011
    60
    Noel's High Flying Birds is tasteful, mannered craftsmanship.
  23. Nov 2, 2011
    60
    The problem is that the rest of High Flying Birds is not as successful as it is ambitious. [Oct 2011, p.99]
  24. Oct 17, 2011
    60
    Tick the boxes, add a few strings, loud bit here, quiet bit there--it presents as the musical equivalent of a catering buffet that while attractive, initially satisfying and never truly souring of the palate, ends up quickly becoming a homogenised sprawl that fails to tempt you back for second helpings.
  25. Oct 17, 2011
    60
    Lyrically, there are interesting ruminations on the trappings of fame ('(I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine') and his troubled mind ('Broken Arrow'), while the album is all the better for losing some of the bravado Noel hid behind while writing for Liam--but there are admittedly some clunkers.
  26. Oct 17, 2011
    60
    For now, it'll do that it's a more enjoyable album than Oasis' latter-day catalogue.
  27. Oct 17, 2011
    60
    There are certainly some nice tunes here though it's doubtful if Underground buskers will be swapping them for the likes of Wonderwall and Don't Look Back In Anger in their Christmas run-up repertoire.
  28. 60
    One can't help wondering whether this was really the album that Noel Gallagher set out to make when he contemplated a solo career, or just the one he settled for.
  29. Oct 18, 2011
    57
    Forever a slave to rock history, Gallagher feels like he's biding his time for the third act reunion rather than breaking from the well-trod path.
  30. Nov 7, 2011
    50
    Gallagher never turns these slight detours into genuine departures. By not veering far from the Oasis blueprint, he invites unflattering comparisons to his best work.
  31. Nov 4, 2011
    50
    Beneath the shiny new ear candy, the album peddles the same sort of passable exercises in Gallagher's patented populist songcraft that have populated the last decade's worth of Oasis LPs, with the main difference being the boorish laddishness embodied by Liam is totally absent.
  32. Oct 18, 2011
    40
    The cumulative effect of all this mid-tempo moodiness is that High Flying Birds feels awfully plodding. [Nov 2011, p.88]
  33. Oct 17, 2011
    40
    For now, then, Gallagher's High Flying Birds are merely coasting.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. Nov 8, 2011
    10
    Brilliant album by Noel Gallagher. This album truly contains some brilliant songs with wonderful melodies. It is a shame that Noel Gallagher never seems to get proper credit in professional reviews despite making some fantastic songs. People expect him to top Definitely Maybe or WTSMG? every time he records and album. Those are outrageous expectations, but despite that Noel comes with brilliant songs and this album is proof of that. Full Review »
  2. Nov 10, 2011
    8
    Noel's best work since Morning Glory. A class apart from Beady eye. A must if you're an Oasis fan, I'd still pick it up even if you're not. Only one stinker; Solider boys and Jesus freaks. Other then that a great modern album. A nice pick-me-up from the stress's of life. Full Review »
  3. Nov 9, 2011
    10
    Easily one of the best albums of the year, Noel Gallagher has proven once and for all that he deserves to be placed among the greatest songwriters of not only his generation, but all time. While many music fans and critics pine for the glory days of Oasis, Noel has consistently shown an ability to create high-quality, accessible tunes that beg to be listened to over and over.

    Often criticized for the simplistic nature of his songs, Noel seems to bask in throwing it in the face of those critics, realizing correctly that making great music does not mean having to reinvent the wheel. Noel admits freely that he is operating at the peak of his abilities at all times and nearly 20 years after he and Oasis burst on to the scene, most other songwriters struggle to keep up.

    I don't need to get into each track off the album, but if you want even more proof as to why Noel remains such a potent musical force, look no further than the B-sides that accompany the singles from this album. "A Simple Game of Genius" and "Let the Lord Shine a Light On Me" in particular stand as testaments to Noel's ability to almost nonchalantly pluck classic tracks out of thin air, and are better songs than most acts choose to release as singles.

    Simply put, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds is simply another step in the wonderful musical journey that Noel has led his legions of fans on for years. Hopefully his move to full-time solo artist will finally grab hold here in the United States where for too long people have dismissed anything written by Noel Gallagher not called "Wonderwall" or Champagne Supernova".
    Full Review »