Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Who Built The Moon? (Sour Mash Records) ***

FOR all their differences, it seems the Gallagher brothers are working to roughly the same timetable, with Noel's latest arriving weeks after his younger brother's.

Liam was always the mouthpiece of Oasis, the older sibling was always the talent, responsible for writing countless anthems, but their latest albums show a slight change in balance, however, with the former frontman's debut solo album an impressive effort and surprisingly well put together, while Noel appears to have remained in something of a comfort zone.

With the largely wordless Fort Knox, for example, it sadly seems like a lazy attempt simply to guarantee repeat plays on sport montages or adverts to keep the royalties rolling in. Wouldn't be so bad if it was as fun as 2000's F*ckin' In The Bushes, but – like the rest of that year's Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants – it's comparatively bland and forgettable. Later instrumental fillers Interlude and End Credits (or Wednesday Parts 1 and 2), are just as pointless.

Things pick up brilliantly with Holy Mountain, a wonderful slice of pop that lifts heavily from Plastic Bertrand's Ça Plane Pour Moi, as well as pinching snippets from Bowie's Diamond Dogs and Ricky Martin's She Bangs, but is none the worse for it.

Gallagher stays upbeat with Keep On Reaching, which stomps along and again sounds like it could have been produced 40 years ago. The lyrics may not be golden, but when your feet are tapping, it's hard to argue.

Elsewhere, Eighties-inspired synth-pop She Taught Me How To Fly has another great hook, Black & White Sunshine is strong, and If Love Is The Law has a nice turn of phrase with a romping guitar.

The Man Who Built The Moon would have been a great way to close the album with its cinematic end-credit style but it doesn't. Instead, missteps follow. It's A Beautiful World has a good chorus, but in using sitar-like guitars and a Tomorrow Never Knows-style drumbeat, it still fails to produce anything as significant as it imagines itself to be, while Be Careful What You Wish For shamelessly rips off Come Together to the point Gallagher's lawyers must surely be waiting for a call.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds play Leeds First Direct Arena on May 7 2018