Noel Gallagher is flying solo and high
High Flying Birds is not your average alternative rock album. It's the brainchild of Noel Gallagher, former singer-songwriter and lead guitarist of Oasis. And no, he's not relying on his previous fan base. This time, he's branching out with his own music as a solo artist.
Making this album was a catalyst for Gallagher to finally get his own computer, something he had always resisted. But after hearing about teens who posted versions of his own unfinished songs on YouTube, he decided to give it a go.
The result? 'It was like the moment man discovered fire,' Gallagher says about finding out what was going on in social media.
His impulsive use of a computer is analogous to his music: nothing in it seems forced, and his method of exploration is like stumbling upon a hidden gem. One of the tracks, AKA ... What A Life - which in his own words 'sounds like something Madonna might sing' - took Gallagher some time to accept it was a worthy song; but the dancefloor-filling disco classic has turned out to be a crowd favourite.
Gallagher's different perspective on the ideals of love may strike a chord with teenagers: Love is amazing but consuming at the same time. Love should not be seen as an ultimate goal, but something to be treasured when we do come upon it.
'However good things are, a bit of anything will still be [rubbish],' the musician says. His no-holds-barred honesty is what makes the album stand out.
Another song about love, If I Had A Gun, provides another alternative view of the emotion, with young lovers finding a way to be together. The track features a tender sort of sadness, and is one of the most emotionally charged songs he has written since Wonderwall.
Apart from the requisite songs about love, Gallagher displays his political side in Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks, a song he wrote when the US was 'kicking off with shock and awe in Iraq'.
Finding happiness in the midst of all that melancholy is one of the traits that resonates throughout the album. You can really feel the undertone of comfort, or even a pat on the back, reminding you that everything will work out in the end.
Even though Gallagher describes High Flying Birds to be 'a loose collective kinda thing', we can't be fooled by his humility. The album exudes a sense of effortless mastery none of us mere mortals would dream of achieving.
It affirms that 'if you're switched on, you can find it [creativity] - regularly,' as the artist puts it.
We can only agree.