Not unlike Morrissey, Noel Gallagher has given people plenty of reasons to dislike him over the years. It’d take far too long to cite them all, so we’ll just mention his recent snipes at Jeremy Corbyn and Brian Wilson and move on. Oh, and in case you were wondering, he and his brother Liam still don’t get along too well.

Anyway, on the ex-Oasis frontman’s latest release, Who Built the Moon?, pettiness and spite are in mercifully short supply. Indeed, the hard-driving rhythms, upbeat mood and spirited, surprisingly un-whiny vocals may make listeners wonder if they’re playing the wrong album at first.

Gallagher’s lyrics have some surprises too. Check out this quatrain from “Holy Mountain:” [LISTEN]

Given Gallagher’s well-documented tendency to put his foot in his mouth, listeners will be forgiven for finding these lines more than a little ironic.

But here’s the crazy thing: Gallagher really does mean it. He also means it when he tells people in the next song to “keep on reaching up for that higher ground.” And although Gallagher has said that “It’s a Beautiful World” is sarcastic, the song’s soaring melody and percolating dance beat make its chorus sound absolutely sincere: [LISTEN]

Of course, since this is Noel Gallagher, there has to be some moodiness and rancor somewhere. These turn up on “The Man Who Built the Moon,” the vocals of which come closest to the “Wonderwall” whine of yore: [LISTEN]

However, Who Built the Moon? ends not on that note but on the serene, mildly wistful instrumental “End Credits (Wednesday Part 2).” It’s as if Gallagher’s grown old enough to realize that all things must pass, including moodiness and rancor. Who knows? Maybe he’ll even patch things up with Liam one day. Though, don’t hold your breath.