Who Built the Moon? is the third studio album by English rock band Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. It was released on 24 November 2017, through Sour Mash Records. The album was produced by David Holmes.
Who Built the Moon? was a work in progress since Chasing Yesterday was being recorded, Noel has stated in interviews that this album was being recorded not only during those sessions but also during the Chasing Yesterday World Tour. The album was announced on 25 September 2017 through Gallagher's social media accounts, with the upcoming 2018 UK and Ireland tour. In an interview with Colombian DJ Alejandro Marín, Gallagher revealed that the woman on the album cover is his wife Sara MacDonald.
On 9 October 2017, the song "Holy Mountain" was released as the first single.
On 17 November 2017, "It's a Beautiful World" was released as the second single from the album.
Seven tracks into Who Built The Moon?, and the jangly guitar arpeggios heralding “Black & White Sunshine” remind you of what’s been missing so far – or to put it another way, of how far Noel Gallagher has come since Oasis. As it happens, with references to “glory days for the waifs and strays” and “you got the nerve, I got the brains”, it’s easy to read that song as being about that gilded past, recalled with wistful euphoria; but that was then, and this is now, and Noel has other fish to fry.
And tasty fish they are, too. As might be expected from such an inveterate musical magpie, there are plenty of moments here that summon memories from pop history. But encouraged by the eclectic ears of producer David Holmes, these aren’t the kind of classic-rock influences that once routinely featured on Oasis albums, but more rarefied stitches from rock’s rich tapestry, referencing everything from Krautrock to soundtracks, voodoo to Velvets, world music to Wall of Sound. It’s a riot of musical colour, ingeniously marshalled by Holmes into a series of infectious, punchy pop cuts that allow Noel’s melodic instincts to cut through more clearly than in some while.
The siren-like guitar sounds of “Fort Knox” offer a suitable hint of his ambitions, with jet planes swooping by, and drums battering in: it’s like a fanfare overture to the album, promising drama and panache. The single “Holy Mountain” is the first instalment of that drama, a chugging stomp with keening backing vocals, horns and a ticklish tin-whistle hook behind Gallagher’s monotone machine-gun vocal, rather like a fatter “Ça Plane Pour Moi” crossed with “She Bangs the Drums”.
The pulsing electric piano groove of “Keep On Reaching”, again punctuated with funky horn stabs, sustains the energy into the itchily insistent shuffle of “It’s A Beautiful World”, which with its grinding guitar groove and quixotic association of sex and death recalls the Velvet Underground: “I sing a song of love, and you can teach me what you know of death.”
I love “She Taught Me How To Fly”, featuring Noel’s treated vocal floating above a juddering Neu!-beat motorik; and the brief instrumental “Interlude (Wednesday Pt 1)”, which extends the European flavour by adorning a cyclical acoustic guitar figure with organ, chimes and lead guitar, to create a kind of Euro-thriller character. Of course, there have to be a few Beatles references, but this time they’re blended into the one song, “Be Careful What You Wish For”, which sounds like “Come Together” done in the production style of “Instant Karma”, a loping, reverberant groove that carries his vocal like a camel crossing the desert. But the key to its success may be the backing vocals, which evoke both Dr John’s witchy Gris-Gris and the Trio Bulgarka’s polyphony. The result is moody, cool and mysterious, and quite magnificent.
Of course, it’s not a perfect album. Sleigh bells and sonic opacity give “If Love Is The Law” a Spector-esque feel, but it’s the kind of yearning romance Noel could write in his sleep, and maybe did; and while the widescreen production of “The Man Who Built The Moon” strives to deliver the drama promised by “Fort Knox”, it doesn’t quite succeed. But it’s still by far his best post-Oasis work, an album which doesn’t try to challenge that heritage, but strikes out to explore new territory.
SOURCE: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/album-reviews-noel-gallaghers-high-flying-birds-bjork-and-more-a8070121.html User Comments