Noel Gallagher is launching his solo, post-Oasis career with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, a record that stands out, despite wandering into realms of familiarity.
Noel has started his solo career in fine form, despite his apparant decision to take little to no risks on this often predictable release.
He has said that his second album will be a more adventurous, psychadelic affair - perhaps starting with that may have made this seem less safe and contrived.
Although occasionally feeling like a solo extension of Oasis rather than the beginning of a fresh new career, Noel carries the album well vocally, and has crafted a good, solid (dare we say great at times?) collection of songs.
Some of these are undeniably great tunes, and even the far-too-predictable 'The Death of You And Me' works well in the context of the record.
However, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds can be a frustrating album, in that many of these songs have definite quality, but feel so familiar.
It does prove that Noel still has a knack for writing fantastic rock n' roll songs with a catchy pop influence, and this will probably see more success than Beady Eye have thus far, as the various members attempt to move from under Oasis' shadow.
Consistent and solid, the record does well in keeping an underlying theme and sound to hold it all together nicely.
The production does give the album a warmly familiar tone that, despite being criticised in this review, makes for a consistent and perfectly likable record.
'Solider Boys and Jesus Freaks' is one of the album's stronger moments, highlighted by a warm brass section that brightens up an otherwise slightly unremarkable song.
It's supported by nine other good-to-great songs that are slightly hindered by Noel's decision to play it safe on his debut.
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds will do well to ease fans into his solo career and prepare them for a more radical second effort.
The tracks see Noel come into his own without the limits put on him during his time with Oasis, and will prove to the sceptics that he certainly has a great future past the band.
Female First - Alistair McGeorge