As we all know, the world today is not a particularly nice place. The trouble is, it’s just filled with dreadful people. You can’t so much as glance at the news without being smacked in the face with a headline about our miserable planet’s impeding doom, be it at the hands of the Americans, the North Koreans or any one of an ever-growing network of terrorist groups. Bleak, isn’t it?
In the face of all this horribleness, Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds have decided what we really need is a sarcy rock single. ‘It’s A Beautiful World’, the latest track to be taken from upcoming album Who Built The Moon?, sees Gallagher rolling his eyes at the state of our pathetic little planet.
Gallagher explains the ironically optimistic title in typically Noel style: “Is it a beautiful world with all these ISIS ruffians and Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un and his nasty rockets?” Let’s gloss over the fact Gallagher just accidentally made ISIS sound quite cute and focus on the track instead. ‘It’s A Beautiful World’ is tinged with shades of psychedelica, the verses coloured by hazy guitar riffs and intricate percussion before opening into a sparkly, expansive chorus.
“It’s a beautiful dream / A beautiful night / It’s a beautiful world” Gallagher declares in the chorus, his back turned to reality as he sinks into a make-believe world of his own creation. This utopia is interrupted by a spoken word interlude from a French artist known simply as Charlotte or Le Volume Courbe (but these days most famous for playing a pair of scissors as part of Gallagher’s live band), who warns of melting ice caps and air filled with carbon monoxide. But all this is delivered in French. Without the translation, the idyllic world remains intact.
The choice of having the spoken interlude in French could be a dig at people who choose to live in ignorance, who ignore the warnings of our planet’s destruction, instead drowning out these uncomfortable truths and refusing to face the consequences of a growing global panic. The warnings from scientists and experts become like a foreign language, either ignored or intentionally misinterpreted to save us having to confront the frailty of our current situation. Unfortunately, this reading isn’t quite what Gallagher had in mind. “For some reason, I decided it was going to be French,” he says in the behind the scenes video. “And I don’t know why I thought of that.” It’s a characteristically honest statement, and one that shows despite setting his sights on the bigger issues, Noel Gallagher’s feet are still firmly on the ground.