Who Built the Moon?

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Who Built the Moon?
NGHFB-whobuiltthemoon.jpg
Studio album by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Released 24 November 2017 (2017-11-24)
Recorded 27 October 2013 – June 2017
[citation needed]
Studio
Genre Psychedelic rock[1]
Length 43:25
Label Sour Mash
Producer David Holmes
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds chronology
Where the City Meets the Sky – Chasing Yesterday: The Remixes
(2015)
Who Built the Moon?
(2017)
Singles from Who Built the Moon?
  1. "Holy Mountain"
    Released: 9 October 2017
  2. "It's a Beautiful World"
    Released: 17 November 2017
  3. "She Taught Me How to Fly"
    Released: 25 May 2018
  4. "If Love Is the Law"
    Released: 17 August 2018

Who Built the Moon? is the third studio album by English rock band Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. It was released on 24 November 2017, through Sour Mash Records.[2] The album was produced by David Holmes.[3]

Background[edit]

Who Built the Moon? was a work in progress since Chasing Yesterday was being recorded, Noel has stated in interviews that this album was being recorded not only during those sessions but also during the Chasing Yesterday World Tour. The album was announced on 25 September 2017 through Gallagher's social media accounts, with the upcoming 2018 UK and Ireland tour. In an interview with Colombian DJ Alejandro Marín, Gallagher revealed that the woman on the album's cover is his wife Sara MacDonald.[4]

Singles[edit]

On 9 October 2017, the song "Holy Mountain" was released as the first single.[5] On 17 November 2017, "It's a Beautiful World" was released as the second single from the album. On 6 April 2018, "She Taught Me How to Fly" was announced as the third single from the album, and was released on 25 May 2018.[6]. “If Love Is the Law” was the 4th single to be released from the album on the 17th August 2018.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic76/100[7]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[8]
The A.V. ClubC+[9]
The Guardian4/5 stars[10]
The Independent4/5 stars[11]
NME4/5 stars[12]
Pitchfork7.1/10[13]
Q4/5 stars[14]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[15]
The Times4/5 stars[16]
Uncut7/10[17]

Who Built the Moon? received positive reviews from music critics. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 76 based on 20 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[7]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic gave the album a very positive review, noting that "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."[8] The Times gave the album a positive four-star review, saying "This sounds like the work of a man who has been micro-dosing LSD. And listening to a lot of Chemical Brothers and Primal Scream albums while he's at it. This isn't a groundbreaking epic, but more for middle-aged mods — brimming with cool references and psychedelic on a modest level."[16] The Guardian wrote that "The third record from Noel Gallagher’s solo outfit is, according to the ex-Oasis man, merely him in 'more colourful clothes'. Brightness is certainly the first thing that strikes you about Who Built the Moon, an album that cloaks Gallagher’s hardy guitar-pop in glowing Smithsian riffs, tin whistle samples from novelty 60s tunes and a heady fug of riotous glam rock. Particular highlights include the gloriously Slade-esque Holy Mountain and the singalong-friendly Black and White Sunshine, which resembles Oasis basking on a sun lounger. Even the fact that the album regularly recalls some of the duller post-Britpop bands – It’s a Beautiful World is basically an Elbow track backed by a breakbeat – can't dampen the joy that rings out from every corner. Producer David Holmes may be responsible for Noel’s change of pace, but the vibrancy and strains of psychedelia never feel like intruders: instead, they act as the perfect foil for the record’s blissed-out lyrics about life-changing love."[10]

The A.V. Club were mixed in their C+ review, saying: "Whereas his brother Liam turned a bit inward on his recent solo debut, Noel Gallagher, unsurprisingly, is doing the opposite. His third solo album with the High Flying Birds, Who Built The Moon?, turns everything up to 11, hardly ever dropping down to add a necessary level of drama, or even basic tension. It's like an extremely amped-up version of Oasis, but the excesses sway from impressive to taxing. Often the effort to be interesting just comes off as nonsensical cacophony, like the alarm-clock ring in 'Fort Knox' or the French dialogue at the end of 'It's A Beautiful World.' Although Gallagher can still capture the hooks that elude lesser songwriters, they nearly get lost in his orchestral overages. 'Black & White Sunshine' seems to have at least three superlative songs in it, while 'If Love Is The Law' piles on sleigh bells, harmonica, and strings to its plaintive romantic plea, which can barely be heard by the time the chorus crescendos. Bonus track 'Dead In The Water' offers Gallagher's sentimental vocals with just acoustic guitar and piano, and underlines what's so off about the rest of the album: He may be having fun layering a multitude of tracks in the studio, but the truth is he doesn't need them."[9]

In July, the album was nominated for the 2018 Mercury Prize, Gallagher's first place on the award's shortlist since Oasis' (What's The Story) Morning Glory? in 1995. [18]

Commercial performance[edit]

Who Built the Moon? debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart with 78,000 album-equivalent units,[19] making it Gallagher's 10th number one studio album as part of both Oasis and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.[19]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Noel Gallagher.

No.TitleLength
1."Fort Knox"3:57
2."Holy Mountain" (contains elements from "Chewin' Gum Kid" by Rodell)3:54
3."Keep On Reaching"3:24
4."It’s A Beautiful World"5:17
5."She Taught Me How To Fly"5:02
6."Be Careful What You Wish For"5:40
7."Black & White Sunshine"3:41
8."Interlude (Wednesday Part 1)"2:10
9."If Love Is the Law"3:25
10."The Man Who Built the Moon"4:28
11."End Credits (Wednesday Part 2)"2:27
Total length:43:25

Personnel[edit]

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

Additional musicians

  • Paul Weller – organ (track 2)
  • Johnny Marr – guitar and harmonica (track 9)
  • Samuel Dixon – bass guitar (tracks 1, 4, 9)
  • Emre Ramazanoglu – drums (tracks 1, 4, 5, 7), programming (tracks 2, 6, 10)
  • Pete Lockett – percussion (tracks 1–4, 6, 9, 10)
  • Mike Rowe – keyboards (track 3)
  • Martin Slattery – tin whistle and piano (track 2)
  • Kaidi Tathum – keyboards (tracks 7, 8, 11)
  • David Holmes – keyboards (track 7), programming (all tracks except 9), tape loops (tracks 2, 3, 5–8 and 11)
  • Charlotte Courbe aka Le Volume Courbe – French spoken word (track 4)
  • Jim Hunt – saxophone (track 2, 3)
  • James SK Wān - Rhodes (tracks 5, 8)
  • Dominic Glover – trumpet (track 3)
  • Gabe Noel – cello (track 7)
  • Rob Lewis – cello (tracks 1, 9)
  • Emma Smith and Vince Sipprell – strings (track 1)

Backing vocalists

  • Adelaide McKenzie
  • Beverley Skeete
  • Sara-Jane Skeete
  • Mary Pearce
  • YSÉE aka Audrey Gbaguidi
  • Michelle John
  • Janet Ramus
  • Una McGeogh
  • Georgina McGeogh

Production

  • David Holmes – production
  • Emre Ramazanoglu – mixing and engineering
  • Tristin Norwell – additional engineering
  • Paul "Strangeboy" Stacey – lead vocal recording
  • John Davis – mastering

Design

  • Gareth Halliday – artwork
  • Sara Macdonald – artwork cover model
  • David Newton – cover model photography
  • Matthew Cooper – design
  • Lawrence Watson – booklet photography

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[46] Gold 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stutz, Colin (27 November 2017). "Noel Gallagher on His New Album, Controversy in His Career & The 'Magic Trick of Joy and Togetherness'". Billboard. Retrieved 30 November 2017. 
  2. ^ Trendell, Andrew (25 September 2017). "Noel Gallagher announces new High Flying Birds album 'Who Built The Moon?' and UK and Ireland arena tour". NME. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  3. ^ Kreps, Daniel (25 September 2017). "Noel Gallagher Announces 'Bold, Uptempo' New Album 'Who Built the Moon?'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "Bilingual Podcast EP 74: Noel Gallagher". Themusicpimp.com. Retrieved 23 November 2017. 
  5. ^ "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Released a New Song, "Holy Mountain"". Noisey.vice.com. 9 October 2017. Retrieved 23 November 2017. 
  6. ^ "New Single – 'She Taught Me How To Fly'". noelgallagher.com. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018. 
  7. ^ a b "Who Built the Moon? by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds". Metacritic. Retrieved 30 November 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Who Built the Moon? – Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 November 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Ihnat, Gwen (24 November 2017). "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Who Built The Moon?". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 28 November 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Aroesti, Rachel (23 November 2017). "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds: Who Built the Moon? review – like Oasis on a sun lounger". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 November 2017. 
  11. ^ Gill, Andy (22 November 2017). "Album reviews: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Bjork, and more". The Independent. Retrieved 22 November 2017. 
  12. ^ Beaumont, Mark (22 November 2017). "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds – 'Who Built The Moon?' Review". NME. Retrieved 22 November 2017. 
  13. ^ Berman, Stuart (28 November 2017). "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds: Who Built the Moon?". Pitchfork. Retrieved 28 November 2017. 
  14. ^ "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds: Who Built the Moon?". Q (379): 104. December 2017. 
  15. ^ Dolan, Jon (27 November 2017). "Review: Noel Gallagher, Cantankerous Oasis Refugee, Still Has Tunes to Burn". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 November 2017. 
  16. ^ a b Hodgkinson, Will (24 November 2017). "Pop review: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds: Who Built the Moon?". The Times. Retrieved 24 November 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^ Robinson, John (January 2018). "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds: Who Built the Moon?". Uncut (248): 27. 
  18. ^ https://www.live4ever.uk.com/2018/07/noel-gallagher-arctic-monkeys-land-2018-mercury-prize-nominations/
  19. ^ a b Copsey, Rob (1 December 2017). "Noel Gallagher is flying high at Number 1 on the albums chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
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  30. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  31. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds – Who Built the Moon?". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  32. ^ "Oricon Top 50 Albums: 2017-12-04" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
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  45. ^ White, Jack (3 January 2018). "The Top 40 biggest albums of 2017 on the Official Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 January 2018. 
  46. ^ "British album certifications – Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds – Who Built the Moon?". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 8 December 2017.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter Who Built the Moon? in the search field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]