Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – The Death of You and Me

We’re taking sides in the Gallagher sibling rivalry by snubbing Beady Eye and reviewing this.


Iain Mew: The Importance of Being Able to Actually Write a New Song.

Brad Shoup: I actually don’t mind the band’s name. England has a noble history of eponymous rock concerns, like Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated or Leslie Harvey’s Good Grounding. But major demerits for the “city/pretty/pity” rhymefecta, as well as for the whole thing sounding like a Lovin’ Spoonful tribute, or a Gomez B-side. Things get kind of stirring in the chorus, yeah, but that’s cos Noel’s an unreformed structuralist.

Jonathan Bradley: Noel Gallagher confusing grave digging for crate digging is nothing new, but that doesn’t mean he’s produced nothing great from the practice. It’s been nine years since “Stop Crying Your Heart Out,” but that came out more than a half decade past Oasis’s prime and made clear it’s not wise to completely write off someone so wholeheartedly determined to emulate classic rock radio to the point he becomes a part of it. “The Death of You and Me” is woozy pop psychedelia hearkening back to some hazy time in the past when the hoary old bores of Gallagher’s imagination were really on the radio. It’s not even that I mind his nostalgia; worse is that he clearly can no longer convince himself those times are coming back. A horn part can’t make a wake fun.

Anthony Easton: Gallagher’s voice is completely shot, and everything about this fails to live up to the brass, which while a little bit interesting, is not as skilled as it could be and often fails to be completely interesting. 

Alfred Soto: Forget the objects of desire in his songs: Noel Gallagher, still pledging his troth to mid period Beatles, is a formalist because he has nothing to say and no particularly compelling reason to keep saying it, no matter how many tubas and mellotrons clutter the arrangement. He’s not much of a singer either, otherwise why do the lines “I’m watching my TV/Or is it watching me?” inspire not a single chuckle?

Sally O’Rourke: Five decades after their career peak, the Lonely Hearts Club Band have taken up meeting Tuesday evenings at the local VFW Hall to play the songs of Badly Drawn Boy.

Zach Lyon: Yeah, I guess it’s about time for Noel to finally get around to Badly Drawn Boy’s first record and the I Heart Huckabees soundtrack. Always good for a time warp, that guy.

Michaela Drapes: Something is terribly wrong here; I didn’t hate this nearly as much as I expected to. Catchy, tuneful — I had no idea that Noel had become so … twee? Yes, yes, there’s a whiff of Oasis-ishness here, but what’s more interesting is the British-indie-pop-via-Elephant-6-via-OK-GO of the horns (not all that all that odd really, considering that producer Dave Sardy worked on Oh No). Better than slogging away on redundant arena rock, right? 

Jonathan Bogart: It’s a tribute how much I love even the most half-assed attempt at second-line trad horn charts (in fact, the more half-assed the better) that even though this song is a) melodically derivative, b) lyrically unspeakable, and c) has something to do with Oasis and it’s not 1995, I’m still giving it a:

Edward Okulicz: There’s an appealing whimsy to the arrangement which you’d expect from such a classicist, and the song wears it pretty well melodically, shuffling to and fro quite pleasantly. His voice isn’t up to a great deal, like a lead weight in the chorus, and his lyrics deal in lyrical platitudes but they’re not precisely bad. Replete with as close to twang as he’s likely to get away with, I guess the High Flying Birds are Gallagher’s equivalent of, say, the Notting Hillbillies, and frankly it suits him better than a new Oasis album.

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