The Fashionably Late Top 66 of 2017: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

It’s been a hell of a year. 2017 was exhausting, stressful, and at times just plain terrifying. But for all the mess that’s happened over the past 12 months, and there’s certainly been so much, there’s also been a lot of good going on in the world. From a musical standpoint, for instance, 2017 was rather exceptional. There were so many glorious new sounds to take in.

I’ve put together my list of favorites from the year that was, a touch fashionably late as always. Once again, I’ve decided to eschew a ranking system and instead give you an alphabetical look at the records I fell for this year. There’s some names here that will come as no surprise to anyone, and perhaps a few that might surprise you. These are simply my favorites from 2017, the albums I went back to again and again, the albums that I swooned over. So, without further exposition, here’s my list. I think you’ll find you can get your kicks from any and all of the 66 records I’ve chosen, and I truly hope you’ll find some treasures to cherish, as I cherish each and every record here. Many, many thanks to the artists who put out this fantastic music, their sounds helped make 2017 bearable.

Who: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

What: Who Built The Moon?

When: November 2017

Where: Sour Mash Records

Why: I'm not saying there's a case of musical oneupmanship happening here but...Noel's record is every bit as enjoyable as his brother's. Who Built The Moon? is an ambitious (even for Noel) collection of songs, full of sounds that kicked off an is-it-psychedelic-or-not sort of debate around the internet. Remember, this is the man who wrote songs like "Champagne Supernova" and "All Around The World." Noel Gallagher knows psychedelic. Incorporating his usual Beatles affection along with some Stones-esque blues vibes and some surprisingly hip-shaking moments into the mix, Gallagher the Elder reminds everyone that he was the creative force behind his former band, and make no mistake. Three solo albums in, Noel has come into his own as a frontman, and the songs he sings now were purpose-built to suit. David Holmes was perhaps an eyebrow-raising choice for producer, but the perfectly glossy end result seems to demonstrate that this was a dream pairing. Songs like "Holy Mountain," "It's A Beautiful World," and "Black and White Sunshine" are already etched into my mind in the way songs like "Wonderwall," "Columbia," and "Don't Look Back in Anger" were two decades ago. And "Dead In The Water" may be the loveliest song Noel has ever written. If loving this record is wrong, I couldn't give less of a fuck. Because love this record I do, and that's not likely to change anytime soon.    

[posted 2.18.18]


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