Noel Gallagher's Cosmic Classic: Black Star Dancing
The legendary Oasis mastermind released his first batch of new tunes since his 2017 number one album, Who Built The Moon?
Noel's latest EP entitled: Black Star Dancing, is a three song EP which isn't too much of a departure from Who Built The Moon? The first song from the EP to be released was the title track, "Black Star Dancing," which is a disco infused song, influenced by the likes of David Bowie, U2, Queen and ZZ Top, if you can even try to comprehend how the hell any of those acts sound anything like each other. Well, leave it to Noel to pull something of that essence out of the (glittering) sky. "Black Star Dancing," is driven entirely by layered synthesizers, loop machines, a stomping base line and painted with beautiful backing vocals following choruses. While the the whole disco bomb never hit me at any point in my life, I can't put the song down. The first time I had heard the recurring beat, I was a bit taken back, but thirty seconds into it I was already dancing to it. It's unlike anything I've ever heard before and it's one of those songs where I can't listen to it just once, I have to at least three plays in a row before moving onto the next one. Something else worth mentioning, only Noel Gallagher, or someone in a band fronted by Noel Gallagher, could you perfectly fit that guitar solo in this kind of song. He's unreal.
Some might say (see what I did there?) that Noel is just going through a mid-life crisis and has completely lost it, all he's doing is proving that he's one of the greatest songwriters of all time. He can literally write any song of any genre and write a masterpiece. I want you to sincerely think about this; name any other artists where you consistently listened to their newer music from when they were in their 20s well into their 50s. I can assure you, you probably don't. Being the Beatle Fanatic that I am, there's only around three of their solo albums that I sincerely enjoy, two of them being John Lennon's albums written in his early 30s, and then George Harrison was still 27 when he recorded my favorite album of all time, All Things Must Pass. Other than that, I haven't enjoyed any other Beatle's solo work.
Brother Liam, the outspoken gem that he is, has always been highly critical of Noel's
departure from his rock 'n' roll roots, as well as everything else, coincidently took to twitter the day that the song had released and had this well thought out response to say about it.
I don't think he liked it too much...
I swear, every McDonald's ice cream in the entire world will be working properly before these two make up.
Moving onto the track two, "Rattling Rose." Definitely the weaker of the tracks on the EP, but still something enjoyable to say the least. It's heavily driven by a bass line, drum fills and a few chord strums on the guitar. There's nothing overly complex to the track, it's quite basic and its b-side material. The best way I can possibly put this track to use is that it's a great song to run to with a great beat and great drive to it.
The final track, without question the best on the EP and one of his greatest songs he's written as a solo artist, "Sail On." I heard the song for the first time the morning it released around 6:00 am when I was at work; I don't know that anything has ever stuck me that early in the morning the way this song did. "Sail On," is vintage, acoustic Noel polished by influences of Mumford and Sons, Simon & Garfunkel and Dave Matthews Band. The song opens up with pouring rain, right off the bat you think it's going to be a dark, depressing Cure-esque song, except when the music kicks in, the rain clouds go away and the sun starts shining in the evening. The song features acoustic guitars, synthesizers, a tambourine and something that has never been featured on any Oasis or Noel Gallagher track, a freaking banjo. "Sail On," is the uplifting summer track that we all need in our lives. It's something you would ideally play either on the beach during sunset or late at night at a bonfire on a chilled out evening with good company. An absolute diamond of a track and something that will be played quite often during this summer and many to come.
Twenty-five years into Noel Gallagher's songwriting career, he's at the Forrest Gump's Box of Chocolates stage because you never know what you're exactly going to get from him, but you just know it will always be something great, that's just who he is. I absolutely love this phase he's going through because every different genre he dabbles with, it turns you onto that kind of song, leading you to listen to other bands and artists that had influenced that song. "Black Star Dancing," has me listening to Nile Rogers and David Bowie, and "Sail on," with Mumford and Song and Dave Matthews band. It's incredible when your favorite artists are able to turn you onto new influences while still writing their own great, unique music.
Noel will be releasing two more EPs throughout this year, one at the end of summer and the other during Christmas time. Needless to say, it's going to be a very, very long year until I have my hands (or ears?) on his new music. Noel is also on a co-headlining tour this summer with the Smashing Pumpkins where I will be seeing him at Jones Beach on August 9th.
A job well done, Chief. See you soon.
See the video below to see Noel in a short interview, breaking down the the title track!