CD reviews: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

After almost a quarter of a century ploughing an increasingly unproductive furrow, Noel Gallagher has decided to change tack.

His third solo album is his most expansive yet, with an uncharacteristic energy, most notably on the stomping glam rock of Holy Mountain.

Keep on Reaching, meanwhile, owes more to Mark Ronson, swept along by frantic forward propulsion, and there are echoes of former collaborators the Chemical Brothers throughout.

As the tempo drops, though, so does the quality: It’s a Beautiful World remains lumpenly uninspired, despite producer David Holmes’s best attempts at window dressing, while Be Careful What You Wish For slumps when it tries to slink.

• Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: Who Built the Moon? Sour Mash.

★★★ (out of five)

Phil Mongredien/Guardian News & Media

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