As someone who thinks Heathen Chemistry is a great album, I find this less a return to form, as it's generally being hailed, but as a continuation of this return. Always embracing their influences, I can hear plenty of traces of (of course) The Beatles, but also the Stones and an outro reminiscent to Mrs. Robinson in the song Lyla.
This is strong, confident, BIG rock and roll, and the songs are fantastic.
The difference between 4 and 5 stars for me is this: The lyrics are uniformly strong, but don't really take it to the next level. The biggest example is the use of the phrase "Blowin' my mind." Three songs in a row use this phrase: Mucky Fingers ("All the phoneys blowin my mind"), Lyla "I waited for a thousand years for you to come and blow me out my mind"), and Love Like a Bomb ("Blown' my mind, Blowin' my mind, Blowin' my mind"). This isn't a bad lyric in any of the songs, but the non-thematic repetition of this same phrase lessens the scope, for me, of the album as a whole. Perhaps spacing the songs out, or defining the album in such a way as to indicate the link between this repetition would have helped.
Nevertheless, "The Importance of Being Idle" is an absolute stunner, immediately one of the great Oasis songs. In fact, all of Noel's songs shine the brightest. He's writing and especially singing as well as he ever has. Truly, truly, an excellent album, worthy of the high praise it's receiving in all circles.