„A dried up oasis of dross.
Noel Gallagher’s High-Flying Birds practise a particularly guileless, tub-thumping, broad-strokes version of this pungent, hollowed-out genre. Perhaps this is to be expected – we’re talking about a middle-aged Manchester City fan who’s last memorable contribution to his art appeared more than two decades ago. There have been children born, raised, educated, employed and ruined in the years since Noel Gallagher last released a collection of music that meant anything to people. But, thanks to the regressive cultural time-warp in which we are all trapped, and thanks to the predictability of the British music press, he lingers. (…)
There are musical gestures here that would be a cause of embarrassment if you heard them played by a gang of black-clad teenagers at a Saturday afternoon battle of the bands in a rural parish hall. (…) The sound is ultimately, and unintentionally, claustrophobic: the instruments are robbed of any character they might have had, blunted and compressed into an overstuffed void. (…)
It’s not hard to imagine these songs being played on large festival stages, and not just because it often sounds like they were recorded on one. There’s a sense of meaningless spectacle, an opulent set of prefabricated gestures utterly lacking in ingenuity or imagination, performed for the lack of a better idea. Nothing shocks, nothing stirs.
“You’ve got the love, I’ve got the brains,” Gallagher sings on Black And White Sunshine – fair enough, but does anybody have a half-decent tune? Does anyone here have anything new or interesting to say? (…) It’s the stale, musty sound of a glorified pub band going through the motions. Rock is dead; this is a pantomime.“
(Ian Maleney in der Irish Times)