Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Who Built the Moon?
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2017 Ratings: #433 / 838
User Score
Based on 145 ratings
2017 Ratings: #622
Liked by 1 person
November 24, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sour Mash, Universal / Label
Pop Rock / Genres
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Noel Gallagher / Primary Artists
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Noel knows how to construct a sturdy song and Holmes knows how to dress them up in flashy clothes, and the combination results in Gallagher's best album since splitting up Oasis.
Regardless of which brother is your favorite—aren’t we just rooting for the bickering itself at this point?—most would agree that this is Noel’s strongest work post-Oasis…maybe even Liam.
American Songwriter

It’s overwhelming proof, if anyone needed it, that Noel Gallagher’s best days aren’t behind him. If Who Built the Moon is any indication, the high flying British icon may just be getting started.

Noel shoots for ‘…The Moon’, and strikes bullseye.
It’s not an Oasis record and it’s not a wholly experimental album either. However, it is his best work in an age and an interesting marker for a Weller-esque creative purple patch from an artist rediscovering their sense of purpose.
The Independent
While the widescreen production of “The Man Who Built The Moon” strives to deliver the drama promised by “Fort Knox”, it doesn’t quite succeed. But it’s still by far his best post-Oasis work, an album which doesn’t try to challenge that heritage, but strikes out to explore new territory.
Northern Transmissions
A sonic powerhouse of a record, there’s always something amazing to grab your ears. Even with some less dynamic writing at times, the record is Noel at his distorted best.
The Guardian

Brightness is certainly the first thing that strikes you about Who Built the Moon, an album that cloaks Gallagher’s hardy guitar-pop in glowing Smithsian riffs, tin whistle samples from novelty 60s tunes and a heady fug of riotous glam rock.

He has at last broken away from the solidly made but safely middle of the road retro rock of his first two solo albums and created something much more interesting.
If you expect the experience of Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds building from latter-day Oasis to continue, then this is a jarring shift, albeit not too radically. Gallagher is a solid musician, never straying too far from his comfort zone, but in this foray into more experimental writing and production qualities, he changes the direction so subtly to leave you wanting more just when you were arriving at some aspect of comfortability.
Gallagher can still pump out timeless melodies like they're barbed comments to an interviewer, and his confidence in delivering both has only become stronger with time and experience.
Easily the most ambitious album Gallagher has released since Oasis’ heyday, ‘Who Built the Moon?’ is a surprise late-career reinvention from one of British music’s most distinctive figures – and though some fans may miss the ubiquity of lighters-in-the-air arena anthems found on his long and winding catalogue of previous releases, the album is the most clear refutation in recent memory of that enduring accusation that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
The Line of Best Fit
It’ll doubtless polarise his core fanbase, but amongst those who recognised his capacity for following an exploratory bent as far back as “Setting Sun” in 1996, the response will be a pithy one - “about time”.

Sure, there are few prizes for being on the cutting edge of circa-1997 British rock in 2017, but Who Built the Moon? abounds with urgency and absurdity—qualities that were sorely lacking on the Birds’ previous albums.

God Is in the TV

If, like me, you were expecting the usual limp, flaccid fare, you’ll find Who Built the Moon? surprisingly and satisfyingly tumescent.

Rolling Stone
It wouldn't be Noel without a little grumpy snark ... But mixed with the musical highs, that's part of his charm.
Drowned in Sound
Though of course it has Gallagher’s name on it and he’s the guy with the songs, this feels like Holmes’ record - a studio-created melting pot of awkward approaches, inspired instrumentation, the occasional colossal flop and a few genuinely unique moments. More power to Gallagher for giving him the reigns here and allowing himself to be guided into territory that’s often fresh, sometimes really interesting but, above all, utterly atypical and bizarre.
The Needle Drop
Noel Gallagher's latest album is the mirror image of his brother's – sonically adventurous but lacking in the songwriting department.
A.V. Club

His third solo album with the High Flying Birds, Who Built The Moon?, turns everything up to 11, hardly ever dropping down to add a necessary level of drama, or even basic tension. It’s like an extremely amped-up version of Oasis, but the excesses sway from impressive to taxing.

Consequence of Sound

Across Who Built the Moon?, Gallagher blindly dresses his music in genres in hopes of finding a fit. Much like a child tasked with picking out his own outfit, the final result is a piecemeal production that is momentarily entertaining but ultimately unsatisfying.

I bought my dad this for his birthday and he’s had it on repeat in the car since december I’m losing my mind
Back where he came from, Noel is bringing out a selection of newly developed rock songs that have a somewhat psychedelic edge to them. Who Built the Moon's sound and flow matches the overall concept pretty well, some of the performances on the first half are pretty convincing and the musicianship is notably solid throughout, but at the end of the day, not even the more energetic jams of the first cuts and the expansive production quality can shake off the feeling of unabashed recursiveness that ... read more
Fort Knox,Holy Mountain,Keep On Reaching,She Taught Me How To Fly,If Love Is The Law,The Man Who Built The Moon
Is it better than As You Were? Yes, and Noel actually wrote his songs.

1. Fort Knox - 10
2. Holy Mountain - 6.5
3. Keep On Reaching - 7.5
4. It's A Beautiful World - 9.5
5. She Taught Me How To Fly - 8.0
6. Be Careful What You Wish For - 7.5
7. Black & White Sunshine - 6.5
8. Interlude (Wednesday Part 1) - 6.5
9. If Love Is Law - 4.5
10. The Man Who Built The Moon - 8.5
11. End Credits (Wednesday Part 2) - 3.0
12. Dead In The Water - 10

88/120 - 73.3/100
Fort knox (9/10)
Holy mountain (7/10)
Keep on reaching (9/10)
It's a beautiful world (8/10)
She taught me how to fly (10/10)
Be careful what you wish for (10/10)
Black and white sunshine (10/10)
Interlude (wednesday part 1) (9/10)
If love is the law (10/10)
The man who built the moon (9/10)
End credits (wednesday 2) (9/10)
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Year End Lists

#37/Rolling Stone

Track List

  1. Fort Knox
  2. Holy Mountain
  3. Keep On Reaching
  4. It’s a Beautiful World
  5. She Taught Me How To Fly
  6. Be Careful What You Wish For
  7. Black & White Sunshine
  8. Interlude (Wednesday Part 1)
  9. If Love Is the Law
  10. The Man Who Built the Moon
  11. End Credits (Wednesday Part 2)
  12. Dead In the Water
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Added on: September 25, 2017