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4.6 out of 5 stars413
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 20 November 2011
I have lived with the album for a while and happy to report I love it! Granted I'm biased to an extent because I like Noel's work as chief songwriter in Oasis, and have grown increasingly impressed with his ever maturing soulful vocals. This has come to full fruition on the album which kicks off in a very bold way with Everybody's On The Run, a tune I first heard from a sound check in 2009 and seems to have been given the treatment it deserved with an orchestra and choir (what else?), and big drums, and guitar. It's also a cool way to start an album rather than leave it until the end. I like all of the first 6 tracks best through to Aka What A Life, which has been all over the radio. Definitely one to strut your funky stuff on the dance floor. Uncle Noel would be proud! .. And then the fabled Stop The Clocks ends the album in style. I say fabled because its been around since 2001 and could have been on any of thee last 3 or 4 Oasis albums since then, and finally gets its place on here. On a nerdy note, of special interest is the production from David Sardy who I understand added some ambience to the tunes and really helps elevate a lot them to a whole new level. I believe he also had the drums re-done after Noel originally took on the reigns of production early on in the process. Finally there are other tunes worth checking out which for one reason or another didn't get on the album, but are available on either iTunes, or available as b-sides. The songs Simple Game of Genius and Let The Lord Shine A Light On Me are both amazing, and at least one of these could have easily fit somewhere. Other songs not to feature on this are Alone on a Rope (v good mid-tempo soulful tune), The Good Rebel and I'd Pick You Every Time (folky).
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on 23 November 2011
This album really is song writing of the highest quality. The songs are beautifully orchestrated and Noel's voice sounds great. As commented by other reviewers, the boundaries of music haven't been pushed here. However, the album sounds nothing like the groove-based "Dig out your soul", or earlier Oasis albums which have more variation between them than they are generally given credit for. "The importance of being idle" is the only Oasis song that would sit comfortably on this debut. The guitars here are toned down in favour of a wider variety of instruments such the orchestra in "Everybody's on the run", the jazzy sequences on "The death of you and me" and the trumpets on the Kinks-style "Jesus freaks". What really shines through on this album are the terrific melodies. Although the later Oasis albums such as "Dig out your Soul" and "Don't believe the truth" were decent, there were weaker tracks contributed by other band members, particularly on the end of the former. So it's great to have Noel undiluted at last.

Overall, a terrific, mature debut that should appeal to anyone who likes great songwriting. For anyone that thinks Noel needs to expand his sound more, his collaboration with Amorphous Androgynous (who remixed "Falling down") should be out next year.
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on 26 October 2011
Vinyl Review.

Love the arrangements the songwriting and the whole confidence thats on display here. Its distinctly Noel but some of the songs seem great departures in his style, others have a slight Oasis feel to them. If I had a criticism its the fact Noels brought over from Oasis that horrible fat wall of sound finish to the engineering and production. This album feels like it needs much more air to breathe and its never given it properly though at least the vinyl sounds warm and easy compared to the CD which has a harshness and horrible compression.

The package is nice with a great gatefold selection of pics and a illustrated inner sleeve with lyrics. Vinyl is excellent quality and nice and silent. All in all excellent but could have been so much better with a different engineering approach.
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on 17 December 2011
Buy it. Good chilling out music. Noel at his best. It's one that you will listen to often. Will become a classic
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on 17 October 2011
This is a very high quality album, every track is a killer and there is no filler. The whole album plays together as one great experience that is greater than the sum of it's parts. Noel's best album since what's the story, glad he's ditched the baggage. Nice one Noel, about time! I knew you really had a masterplan.
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on 18 October 2011
At last - and worth the wait. Noel Gallagher proves he's worth the accolades that are frequently thrown his way by producing this, his debut "solo" album, which is both interesting and comfortable in its content. All 10 songs are of a good quality (with perhaps "Stop The Clocks" my least favourite but it's all relative). Opening track "Everybody's on the run" sets the tone and all that follows doesn't really reduce the quality with "If I Had A Gun", "...Record machine", "AKA..What a Life!" and "Broken Arrow" all top notch songs. Think of Noels clearly solo offerings on past Oasis albums such as "Importance of Being Idle", "Sunday Morning Call" and "The Masterplan" and that's about where we are here.

All in all an excellent debut from a very assured and accomplished artist. Highly recommended.
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on 18 October 2011
I'm a little disappointed with this release...yes, there are some excellent songs here...and the album is extremely pleasant for the most part...but I just get the feeling if Noel Gallagher had let himself go a little bit, this could have been an exceptional album...I know he didn't want to alienate his followers - as if that is ever likely with Oasis diehards - with a massive departure, but we did expect a bit more...I think he has a creative album or two in him...I think you will see that with the next album...however, the same old tired guitar chords, whilst creating a pretty tune, does nothing to push forward the creative process...Noel Gallagher is a good songwriter with great song hooks, but he needs to push himself more.

Things start brightly enough with 'Everybody's on the Run''s attempt at being some kind of epic falls short, but is a great start to the album...follow up track 'Dream On' is the first of 3 Kinks style tracks, and is a winner for doesn't take itself too is just a great catchy song...'If I Had a Gun' sounded so much better in its stripped back form...for me, it is too middle of the road, and is basically Wonderwall played backwards! This is what I mean about the tired guitar chords...following on from this we have 'The Death of You and Me' which I think is a great single...certainly love the brass section...we reach 'Record Machine' which should never have been put on this record...along with 'Stop the Clocks', they should never have seen the light of day...these were songs written for is nearly 10 years old...for all that was written about 'Stop the Clocks', it is very dreary...2 new tracks should have replaced them...'Record Machine' has a great Middle 8 (or is it a Coda) that saves the song from being categorised under 'Awful' sounds very dated...

We now flip over to side 2 and 'Aka...What a Life' kicks things off in outstanding fashion...for my money, this is probably the highlight of the album...this is what is so frustrating about Noel Gallagher...this is what he's capable of...but he seems to retreat to safer ground far too often...'Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks' carries things on in great fashion and things are looking up...unfortunately, Noel follows this up with 'AKA...Broken Arrow' which is the closest the album gets to 'filler'...'(Stranded) On the Wrong Beach' is another great track which really should be what Noel Gallagher does more of...

All in all, this album is probably a 4 star out of 5 because there isn't really a clunker on here...most of the tracks are good...but the addition of 2 tracks written for Oasis was a mis-step...and, while pleasant, there is a sense that, frustratingly, we've heard it all before.

I was always more interested in the idea of the next album, though, in 2012...hopefully, this will be the mindblower that we have all been waiting for.
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on 5 January 2012
This is a great album although I would agree with some other reviews, I think there is better to come from Noel and yes I think he has played it safe. For me I loved Master Plan, Sunday Morning Call, Magic Pie, Don't Look Back in Anger which are the Songs that Noel not only writes but sings and there is a song that is pretty much a copy of the Importance of being idle. If your a Noel or an Oasis fan then I think you will enjoy this debut and I'm sure there will be plenty more to follow
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on 13 January 2012
This album is one of the best things to come out of music in a long while, with the exception of a few albums. It's good to see Noel back and doing what he does best.

"Everybody's On The Run" is one of those songs that gives you chills like The Masterplan. The string arrangement is fantastic (with credit to Rosie Danvers) & the structure in itself is wonderful. The bassline to this song is very repetitive but is brilliant in the way it effects the song, working over every chord change in the verses. The chorus melody is extremely catchy, which works even better over the chord progression played at the end when the song is in it's climax. The Strings at 4:05 give me goosebumps almost every time I listen. Great open to an album.

"Dream On" is has a much more "pop" sound to it. And is probably the most "pop-like" thing on the album. The chord pattern is very Oasis which isn't strictly a bad thing (those complaining about the Oasis sound are crazy, what do you expect?). The lyrics however, don't mean much, but personally I listen to the music rather than the lyrics. Still, a nice catchy tune.

"If I Had A Gun" is one of those songs that bring you right back to those wonderful days of Wonderwall & Half The World Away. I rate this as one of my favourites on the album. The acoustic has a lovely "push" sound to it, and the lyrics are beautiful. The vocal harmonies on this track are also something to note. Once again this song's arrangement is similar to stuff we have heard before. But I love it for that very fact. I personally have always loved Noel's music, and why should he change the way he writes?

"The Death of You and Me" is a slightly new approach for Noel, despite it's similarity to The Importance of Being Idle. The Brass section is absolutely first-class, when that section enters it is as if you have entered a completely new dimension, it's simply brilliant. And for those who say he can't sing; give this track a go, very difficult to nail with the switching from falsetto to full voice.

"(I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine" is the first song on the album I really took some serious notice of the choir. The choir part on this track is fantastic, with some simple but brilliant parts. The strings on this once again speak for themself, Rosie Danvers has done a great job. As for Noels side; once again pleasing, but not quite as pleasing as the first 3 tracks. The coda makes this song. The guitar solo is melodic and harmonises with the strings perfectly. Once again a very good song, with a cleverly put snippet of "Stop The Clocks" played just towards the finish.

"AKA..What A Life!" took us all by surprise, but a very good type of surprise! I'm open to new things from Noel as much as I love the old stuff, and this is an example of how this guy can easily go out of his comfort zone and create something special. I first heard this song on an advert and have loved it since. The looped guitar at 2:13 and synthesized strings is my highlight of this song, chilling!

"Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks" gave me a bit of a repetitive impression at first, I didn't like it too much. Until I focused on the lyrical side; which is very clever. Brass is reintroduced in this song, which mimics the vocal melody, adding to the mood of the song completely. However, not the best on the album.

"AKA..Broken Arrow" is another one of my favourites, a fairly simple chord pattern turned into something special. Something Noel does best; less is more. The bassline in particular is what I love on this song.

As for "(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach" and "Stop The Clocks", both are again fantastic songs, both very easy-listening and give a good round up to a brilliant album.
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on 16 November 2011
Back in the day, I was a big Oasis fan but over the years I grew bored of them, especially when newer bands left them behind and made them sound bland by comparison. When they split I wasnt even that bothered. Then, through a sense of nostalgia I bought Beady Eye's debute album and I hated it. Liam clear obcession with John Lennon has been taken a step to far and I decided that Beady Eye were just a cheap John Lennon ripp-off band. However, after my friend lent me Noel Gallaghers debute album I was very suprised that I completely loved it. From the first track to the very last, this is Noel Gallagher at his best. The cynic in me, has the idea that Noel has been saving his best work for his first solo project.

Needless to say, I will look forward to Noels next solo album. To be honest, this is a better album than any Oasis album previously produced .... and it is vastly superior to Beady Eyes debut album. So far this is proberbly the best album I have bought all year.
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