This is not the middle-of-the-road rock n’ roll we’ve come to expect»
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While flowing from the same, molten core of melody, songwriting craft and towering self-belief, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ new album, Who Built The Moon? alters the legendary singer-songwriter’s course following a bracing, two-year creative collaboration with renowned producer, DJ and composer, David Holmes. Bursting bubbles of perception, drilling dynamite into cracks between past and present and painting a daring portrait of the artist as a free man, Who Built The Moon? gathers vocalists and guest musicians from around the world to breathe life into 11-tracks finely poised between experimental and a jukebox of ageless influence. Meeting to work in Belfast and London, Gallagher and Holmes tuned into French psychedelic pop as much as classic electro, soul, rock, disco and dance on a cultured adventure into recorded sound. If tracks blipping with ethereal, electronic experimentation and French spoken word start rumours of Gallagher’s restlessness, then instrumentals drifting with a latent, melancholic energy, inspired by European television soundtracks confirm them. Setting fire to familiarity, Gallagher wrote entirely in the studio for the first time, leaping into laboratory conditions and a cut and paste adventure with Holmes, turning his back, at least temporarily, on studied solitude and six strings. The studio door was left open for Paul Weller (organ on Holy Mountain) and Johnny Marr (guitar and harmonica on If Love Is The Law) to not only bear witness to, but make a mark on a pivotal moment in Gallagher’s ten studio album career. On blue-touch-paper track, Fort Knox, barely a note is sung by Gallagher, instead toying with euphoric incantations, while It’s A Beautiful World bubbles with progressive, ambient electronica. Black and White Sunshine’s 60s, psychedelic pop DNA canvasses for more traditionalist votes while Holy Mountain is a game of ‘spot the obscure sample’ amidst a joyous wall of sound.
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