REVIEWED: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Anna Calvi, Bombay Bicycle Club, Florence + The Machine

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Student writer Holly Evans gives the lowdown on the best new releases:

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds - Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Britpop seems to be flying high (no pun intended) after Kasabian’s new release and now its the turn of Noel Gallagher’s musical effort released on his own record label Sour Mash Records.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying birds (I told you to watch out for the metaphorical animal references!) album have quite an reputation to live up to but will it outshine Oasis’ “Morning Glory” days.

One thing that was unexpected and a surprise was all of Noel’s tracks does not out stay there welcome but instead they warm to quite an interesting listen.

Songs like “The Death of You and Me” his first début single from the album and “Jesus Freaks” have brassy undertones and reminisce of New Orleans jazz era. This album is quite a far different experience from the wall of noise of Oasis with the traditional heavy guitars are toned down, allowing the songs to resonate.

The second track off the album ‘Dream On’ was described by Noel as a ‘throwaway’ which is slightly negative I say, It’s an important track because it is so carefree. It’s a song which is liberated and ever so addictive; in the same way as “Telegram Sam” and “Hotel Yorba”.

The question on everybody’s lips is can Noel survive without his controversial brother Liam? Probably less than he likes to admit, the answer is on the tip of his tongue (literally). There are frequent references to his sibling in the album “You’ve been drifting and stealing/ try to walk in my shoes but they don’t belong to you”.

It is naïve not to suggest that the brash Gallagher rivalry will once more escalate, as both brothers have put their ‘solo’ albums out into the public domain. With Liam’s attempt with new band (or old Oasis band members) Beady Eye and now its the turn Noel’s own creation.

The song writing and rhythms of Noel’s High Flying Birds is disappointedly one dimensional but all could have been improved instead of using distracting elements of brass instruments, if only Noel could have pushed himself he could have had the upper hand over Liam.

Can Noel ever emerge from the looming shadow of ‘Importance of Being Idle’ who knows? Overall, to say that Noel Gallagher is a 44 year old father with two children it is commendable good try for an album.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is out today. “AKA... What A Life” is set to be the second single to be released.

Anna Calvi- Suzanne & I

Anna Calvi has been circling the music industry for a while and now in 2011 is receiving a credited acclaim from the likes of Mercury Music Prize for her work. “Suzanne & I” is the third single taken off her self tilted album. The song has a riveting blues guitar which could hold any listener captivated. Anna Calvi style has been described as dark, romantic and atmospheric pop. This single is definitely worth a listen.

‘Suzanne & I’ is out now.

Bombay Bicycle Club – Shuffle

It seems that Bombay Bicycle Club can only get better. After touring many of the festivals this summer their popularity has shot through the roof. “Shuffle” is the first single took off their third album “A Different Kind of Fix” and it should remind you of the summer which has just been gone. With uplifting guitar riffs and the deep soft voice of lead singer Jack Steadman there is nothing to complain about but just to reminisce of past summer days.

‘Shuffle’ is out now.

Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out

Since Florence + The Machine comeback their has been enormous hype about her forthcoming second album “Ceremonials”. As by chance her first single release “What The Water Gave Me” stormed the charts at a quite good position at 24 (this is very good considering decent music doesn’t seem to get a look in the charts these days) and hopefully the second single with do the same. “Shake It Out” has influences of gospel and pop with the infamous Florence + The Machine organ and tambourine instrumental. The song talks of shaking off regrets that has haunted the lead singer, Florence (well that was ambiguous). The single was recorded at Abbey Road Studios if that lifts your spirits.

‘Shake It Out’ is out now.