Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built the Moon?

Noel Gallagher’s third album with High Flying Birds is his most creative, original, and ambitious post-Oasis effort to date. Perhaps the sibling rivalry lit a fire under Noel’s ass and made him pull out all the stops. After all, Noel was the creative force that wrote all the Oasis songs that so many fawned over in the ’90s.

On Who Built the Moon?, Noel teams up with occasional Steven Soderbergh collaborator David Holmes as producer to create a very eclectic, trippy, psychedelic, over-the-top, self aggrandizing musical journey, incorporating both electronic and world instruments. “Fort Knox” opens the album in an almost vocal-less, very loud, grandiose way. It’s like Noel decided to make a mockumentary Kanye West parody filler track for fun to start the album off, and it actually works. This leads right into what seems to be the meant-to-be-obnoxious, ultra poppy “Holy Mountain,” a song that sounds like the Best of The Beatles on Crack. “Keep On Reaching” keeps this manic tempo going, while “It’s a Beautiful World” takes things down to a sedated, hypnotic cadence. “She Taught Me How To Fly” continues with the magnetic ambiance but speeds things up a bit with basic classic rock trappings and has one of the sweetest, catchiest choruses on the record.

Elsewhere, “Black & White Sunshine” offers up the closest thing to throwback ’90s Britpop that Oasis fans are going to get and it’s pretty decent stuff if that’s your thing. “If Love Is the Law” almost sounds like a Christmas song and that’s not a bad thing. “The Man Who Built the Moon” is the darkest track on the record, yet at the same time it’s quite hooky, polished and dynamic.

Three records in and it seems Noel Gallagher isn’t doing this for money, he’s got enough of that. He’s just doing this for his own love of making music. He’s making the records he wants to make.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Who Built the Moon?
[Sour Mash]