NOEL GALLAGHER ‘Who Built The Moon?’ CD

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Who Built the Moon? announces itself as a noisier, busier record than either of its predecessors but by the time the stomping “Holy Mountain” kicks in, it’s clear that Gallagher and Holmes are engaging in a decidedly retro notion of the future, one that looks back to the ’90s looking back at the ’60s. This has been Noel‘s stock in trade since the start, but during Oasis‘ heyday, he’d undercut his conservatism by making a great, bloody racket and writing melodies that sliced into the subconscious — calling cards he neglected in his bid from maturation. Who Built the Moon? happily restores these elements to the equation, marrying it to his refined sense of songcraft. Gallagher may not precisely serve up surprises here — Holmes adds some attractive, quirky flair on the margin, but he’s working with sounds Noel endorsed in the first act of his career — but there is a certain rush hearing him opt for glam, psychedelia, and candied pop instead of respectable strumming. Once that initial rush fades, the album is still satisfying due to its impeccable execution. 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. – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic