The criticisms levelled at Noel Gallagher since High Flying Birds hit the air - he's not taking enough chances, he's retreading Oasis's formula, he's only hinting at his electronic talents, which are briefly revealed on AKA... What A Life! (one of the debut solo album's premier tracks) - indicate that many people feel it's repugnant for the 44-year-old to keep making the kind of music at which he's proven to be brilliant. How dare he.
Birds isn't a commercial risk, nor will Oasis fans find it a challenge, but that doesn't take away from its smart craftsmanship. There are strong hooks, including the building refrain on Everybody's On The Run and the watching-the-sunrise vibe of Stop The Clocks. The aforementioned What A Life! is a tantalizingly effort that hints at a bright, beat-thumping future for Gallagher, though there's no need to rush there.
Top track: AKA... What A Life!