By Scott T. Sterling
While music pundits are busily losing sleep as they compile year-end music lists for 2013, the always-quotable and generally caustic Noel Gallagher, formerly of Oasis and currently fronting the High Flying Birds, has broken down the year in music as only he can.
During an F-bomb-saturated interview with Rolling Stone, Gallagher termed 2013 as an “okay” year in music, reserving high praise for rock legend David Bowie and his most recent full-length, The Next Day.
“I thought at the time, and I still think now, that it’s a f*****g masterpiece,” he raved of Bowie’s 24th studio album. “I love it. Nobody has the right to be that f*****g good at this point in their career. Apart from Neil Young, all of the people that are in his league are basically f*****g s**t. Do you know what I mean?”
Gallagher also had surprisingly kind words for Kanye West and his controversial Yeezus album, which he termed as “f*****g great. I really like it. Particularly [“Black Skinhead] – it’s f*****g out there, do you know what I mean? It’s got a great low-fi, punk vibe to it.”
The guitarist was even more effusive when discussing breakout U.K. house music duo Disclosure, who he saw perform at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.
“They were truly f*****g amazing. I love that record,” he said in reference to their debut, Settle. “It’s got a really old-school f*****g acid house vibe to it, which I really f*****g like.” Although when it came to dance music at Glastonbury, his favorite performance came from disco legends Chic, featuring 2013 comeback hero of the year, Nile Rodgers, calling the show “f*****g mega. Absolutely out of this world.”
Before you wonder where all of this love and positivity came from, know Gallagher made sure to throw the artists and records he didn’t appreciate under the bus with glee. None more so than Arcade Fire and their new dance-influenced full-length, Reflektor.
“Anybody that comes back with a double album, to me, needs to pry themselves out of their own asshole. This is not the Seventies, okay? Go and ask Billy Corgan about a double album,” he seethed in reference to the Smashing Pumpkins frontman. “Who has the f*****g time, in 2013, to sit through 45 minutes of a single album? How arrogant are these people to think that you’ve got an hour and a half to listen to a f*****g record?”
Female artists didn’t fare so well this year either, according to Gallagher, who lambasts Miley Cyrus and the women of teen pop while categorizing the sounds of British chanteuses like Adele and Emili Sande as “music for f*****g grannies, but at least it’s got some kind of credibility.”
“I think there’s a trend, unfortunately, in the game, at the minute, of girls desperately trying to be provocative or desperately trying to – in inverted commas – ‘start the debate’ about some old s*** or other,” he added. “Because, really, they’re not very good…it’s just embarrassing.”
As far as his own music goes, Gallagher said that writing a wealth of new songs was the “saving grace” of 2013, with plans to record in New York next year in hopes that he’ll “bump into David Bowie somewhere on the street, and get him to come down to the studio, dressed as an elf, and do a little mime while I’m putting an acoustic guitar track.”
While Gallagher joked that he should change his band’s moniker to “Paul McCartney and the High Flying Birds” to move more concert tickets in America, he should take comfort in knowing that he can always fall back on a comedy/spoken word tour. Those tickets would sell like Oasis albums in the ’90s.