Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Label: Mercury Records
With bro Liam and the rest of Oasis comparing themselves to "Beatles and Stones" as Beady Eye, Noel takes a seemingly more modest approach with his solo debut. "Hang in there love/ You gotta hold on," he proclaims on the opening track, and he very much keeps this "Love is all you need" attitude throughout. The music, however, is anything but humble: More symphonic rock than Britpop, it bursts with Sgt. Pepper brass ("The Death of You and Me"), bold strings ("Record Machine"), punchy piano ("AKA...What a Life!") and lots of choral backup. It all culminates on grand finale "Stop the Clocks."