Noel Gallagher

Top 20 Albums of 2017

20. Ride – Weather Diaries

The Oxford quartet’s first album since 1996’s ‘Tarantula’ saw them on mixed form. At it’s best though, ‘Cali’ and ‘Lannoy Point’ deliver their brand of melodic shoegaze.

19. Cast – Kicking Up The Dust

The Scouse legends deliver their best album since the 1995 classic ‘All Change’. Flitting between their free flowing blues and spritely pop numbers, John Power has hit a purple patch of song writing once more

18. Noel Gallagher – Who The Built Moon

The old mongrel shed a few coats for his latest album. When he nails it, as he does on ‘Holy Mountain’, it’s magnificent. It’s big bold and new. Alas, when he doesn’t, its because the leaps are not big enough or he doesn’t remain in his big key change comfort zone. Nevertheless, with plans to make another record with David Holmes, this could be the start of a glorious journey.

17. Public Service Broadcasting – Every Valley

Those clever clever bastards have churned out the goods once more. Getting to grips with pit life in Wales this time round. The guest vocals from Camer Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell and Manics’ James Dean Bradfield were welcome additions to their sound. However, the standout track comes from the rage

16. GospelbeacH – Another Summer of Love

The West Coast veterans channel their inner Byrds spirit and deliver exactly what it says on the tin. As the cold sets in and all that’s left to eat is cold meat, this blast of sunshine will see you through to your next holiday.

15. Alvvays – Antisocialites

Molly Rankin’s sublime vocals should be saved for a long journey staring out windows at vast landscapes. Everything this band do sounds life changing or affirming.

14. Girl Ray – Earl Grey

With the single of the year ‘Touble’ on its books, Girl Ray were always making this list. Brilliant melodies, unique vocals and a sense of humour unrivalled, they are band with magic at their fingertips.

13. Tom Williams – All Change

History has always proven the poet can achieve far more than social comment. Nevertheless, the social commentary here is smothered such warming pop music vibes, it’s hard to picture this not reaching even those who disagree.

12. Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band

There is nothing we can say, that the genius John Dorman hasn’t about Michael Head already: https://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/article/3ka349/the-british-masters-michael-head Nevertheless, we love this album, we love that Head is in a good place and long may it continue.

 11. Liam Gallagher – As You Were

To quote Jurassic Park, “clever girl”. Did anyone see this album coming? All the money was on a flailing Beatles via psyche album. What we got was, big emotive albums with remarkably honest and humble lyrics from the icon.

 10. Shed Seven – Instant Pleasures

Sixteen years was well worth the wait. All the pain and bitterness felt by band and fans alike when they were shunned by the industry has dissipated. Emerging from the fog are the unsung heroes of Britpop. This new offing is packed with great choruses, wit, and a charming underdog spirit. Business as usual!

 9. The Moonlandingz – Interplanetary Class Classics

This supergroup was always going to deliver wasn’t it? Whether it’s the Mary Chain inspired ‘The Strangle of Anna’, the Gary Numan-esque ‘The Rabies are Back’ or Earl Brutus via The Horrors ‘Black Hanz’, everything sounds so fresh!

 8. Idles – Brutalism

Wry, sarcastic and effing hilarious. This pitiless body of work will stop at nothing to take the piss and provide punk rock nirvana.

7. Johnny Flynn – Sillion

The one true genius of the nu-folk era returned from acting to prove he is still the master. No one in the folk world can touch him for sincerity of song writing. Everything he delivers has a warmth and depth of emotion to be admired.

6. British Sea Power – Let The Dancers Inherit The Party

Is this the first ‘Remainer’ album? Quite possibly. It has overarching sense of together is better and, inevitably, a sense of loss.

Forever consistent, BSP have risen their pop sensibilities to ‘Open Season’ standard and, on leadoff single ‘Bad Bohemian’, surpassed it. Despite the “half glass empty” and “what’s done is done” lyrics, it’s as defiant single your likely to hear. Effortlessly free, it tumbles and swirls with abandon.

Elsewhere, ‘Don’t Let The Sun Get In The Way’ is a sauntering rock behemoth which will stop you dead in your tracks to ponder life as you know it.

5. Daniel Wylie’s Cosmic Rough Riders – Scenery For Dreamers

Proving age is but number, Wylie, 59, as delivered a masterpiece. No one thought it was possible for him to ever reach the heights of the Cosmic Rough Riders’ ‘Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine’ but, this Teenage Fanclub via Neil Young offering just does that.

4. Theatre Royal – And Then It Fell Out My Head

Comfortably the pop record of the year. Smart, funny and always brave in its song writing topics. The heartfelt ‘Standing in the Land’ just grows in resonance the more the British press turns away from atrocities of Syria. To wrap such a subject in a achingly beautiful acoustic number is the very reason why so many people think Ed Sheeran is shit. This is the pinnacle of a simple song!

‘Locked Together on the Lines’, ‘Port Bou’, and ‘Will Somebody Please Write Me a Song’ ooze a carefree spirit that demands instant affection.

3. Ryan Adams – Prisoner

Mr Prolific is back, and his back with the most brutal of break up records. This is the sound of a crushing divorce and searing unseen pain. Channelled through big rock riffs and dream pop production, Adams is at his scintillating best. 

2. Wolf Alice – Visions of Life

The hottest property in the UK right now, and rightly so. They’ve combined a sense of experimentation with punk and pop immediacy on an album that is forever shape shifting in sound. Rock music might not be dominating the charts right now but, Wolf Alice have taking a big stride towards making it relevant again and, they’ve done it with the utmost integrity.

1. Trampolene – Swansea to Hornsey

What a year these boys have had. As if supporting The Libertines and Liam Gallagher wasn’t enough, all the promise from the early EPs has been followed up with an instant classic. There's the aching beauty of ‘Gangway’ and ‘Beautiful Pain, the vitriolic social comment of ‘Dreams So Rich, Life So Poor’ and William Blake poetry scattered throughout, it has it all

Top 10 of 2015: 10 - 6

10. The Charlatans - Modern Nature

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When tragic news broke in August 2013 about the passing of The Charlatans drummer Jon Brookes, many questioned whether the remaining members would call it a day. With Brookes very much in mind, they returned at the end of January to release ‘Modern Nature’.

Whether the band approached the track ordering with fans in mind remains to be known but, to open with the solemn ‘Talking In Tones’ was spot on. It allows the listener to approach with caution and gradually be coaxed into yet another new era for this great enduring band. The new found electronic production on this track would suggest hanging out with Grumbling Fur has had positive effect.

The secret weapon of ‘Modern Nature’ is the subtle and underlying groove that flows through its veins. Former single ‘So-Oh’, stomps (with a small s) along so pleasantly its impossible to not be completely in awe of the affection it dishes out. Add Burgess interchanging from his classic deep gravel vocal and his ‘Wonderland’ falsetto beautifully and you have a classic on your hands.

‘Come Home baby’ is another fine exponent of this new groove. The piano loop ties this track together, which, in turn allows the ‘Tellin Stories’ country-blues chorus comes crashing in. This is sure to be a live sing-along favourite on their March tour.

Their love of New Order not only resurfaces, but to the same high quality of ‘Mistakes’ and ‘Misbegotten’ from their ‘You Cross My Path’ album. This time round, ‘Emillie’ trickles along like something from ‘Get Ready’ but with far more elegance. Meanwhile, ‘Let The Good Times Be Never Ending’, the track dedicated to Brookes, combine the free flowing nature of New Order’s guitar playing with some 70s disco production to conjure the highlight of the album.


Not everything works on ‘Modern Nature’, the stripped back ‘Keep Enough’ fails to spark any emotion. However, reflecting upon the grief and pain the band went through (and probably still are) to make this album, you have to stand up and applaud.

The Charlatans have never been afraid to try new things but who among us would have not forgiven them for sticking to a tried and tested formula on this offering? Instead, they launched a new era for The Charlatans and begun, yet again, to change people’s viewpoints on what their archetypal sound is.

9. PINS - Wild Nights

Manchester’s PINS second album ‘Wild Nights’ was eagerly anticipated after their great punk debut ‘Girls Like Us’. This time round, PINS have built upon their punk roots by adding elements of psyche and shoegaze to the arsenal. 

‘Baby Bhangs’ and ‘Curse These Dreams’ form a big part of their evolving sound. The former has a big krautrock riff pulsing through its veins before the Cats Eyes-esque chorus comes rippling through. The results are not perfect but they are on a clear path towards it.

 

‘Curse These Dreams’ is a hazy affair with a baseline Mani would be proud off. The new intoxicating sounds are a big leap from the ferocious ‘Get With Me’ and Banshee’s inspired ‘LUVU4LYF’ from the debut but not an irrelevant one.

Making it all sound like a great rock n roll journey are the vocals of Faith Holgate. In a similar fashion to Tim Burgess, Holgate’s ability to adapt to different styles seems effortless.

They haven’t completely discarded their punk beginnings though. ‘Too Little Too Late’ brings in their debuts power along with the new pop-psyche sounds. This feels like a space where PINS could really make their mark on album number three. Thee Oh Sees do this sort of thing well but they lack the pop sensibilities of PINS.

What is evident on this record is the lack of killer guitar solos. Lois McDonald has created some brilliant riffs here and at times impressive melodies but the definitive hook or solo eludes. If they materialise, McDonald will rightly take her place alongside the likes of Andy Bell and the Reid brothers.

‘Wild Nights’ is a very good record. A great record it is not. It’s imperative to state this because PINS are so close to creating one. As a live act they have everything. On record though, they are still learning the ropes it seems. Take ‘Molly’ for example’. The guitar pay off doesn’t match the world class build up it’s given in the opening minute. It’s an eight out of ten but feels like full marks could have been got.

Nevertheless, ask yourself this, how many bands in recent years have you felt that about? Exciting times definitely lay ahead for PINS. 

8. Noel Gallagher - Chasing Yesterday

We would love nothing better than to write a glowing review about Noel’s second solo album but we won’t. The reason being, another Mancunian legend John Robb produced the finest piece of music writing of 2015 back in March when he reviewed ‘Chasing Yesterday’.

So, click on the link and go to his brilliant website Louder Than War and read his review. Afterwards, set the site to your favourites and tweet John the gushing praise he deserves.

http://louderthanwar.com/noel-gallaghers-high-flying-birds-chasing-yesterday-album-review/


7. Public Service Broadcasting

The second helping from PBS is a concept album based upon the US vs Soviet Union space race from 1957 to 1972. A genius idea as the rousing speeches, tragic missions and sense of isolation in space are a great source of emotion with which to hook listeners.

The samples are used expertly as they were on their debut 'Inform-Educate-Entertain' to detail the events of the space race chronologically. It's not just Brian Cox educating us on space now!

The real power of this album is not the gimmick, no; it lies within the emotional understanding of the events. 'Sputnik' is a slow building house track which uses scintillating synths to signify the world's realisation that travelling to space will happen. Whereas, 'Gagarin' displays the hero worship Yuri Gagarin obtained for being the first man in space and the subsequent feel-good factor it gave to millions around the globe.

The tragedy of Apollo 1 is captured with minimal effort. The fuzzy radio static and deep noise of the cello acts as a back drop to news reports. This is a as haunting as it gets and a record which will never cease to make you stop and contemplate that fateful day.

Soaring above the crowd is the glorious 'The Other Side'. It documents the successful mission of Apollo 8 utilising NASA radio transmissions via Kraftwerk inspired synths. As it becomes clear the mission will be achieved the music saunters into escapist heaven providing goosebumps galore.

The London duo has delivered above and beyond on their second album. With such a strong gimmick as their key hook for listeners it really wasn't clear if this would be the case. The decision to make the album around such an awe inspiring epoch of human achievement was an excellent one. One in which they were allowed to breathe creatively and conjure new sounds and new image for themselves.

6. Richard Thompson - Still Life

In at number 9 is the fabulous new offering from folk veteran Richard Thompson. Read all about it via Jim Wirth's great review and highly revealing Q&A on Uncut's website here:

http://www.uncut.co.uk/reviews/album/richard-thompson-still