After more than twenty years in the game what can be expected from Noel Gallagher? Apparently, still so much more. The music titan proves he cannot be replaced. He is set to release his second solo project, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, that he began after Oasis’ split in 2009.
Chasing Yesterday is the follow-up to 2011’s NGHFB’s, same-name, debut. It’s a 10 song album, 13 for deluxe, opulent psychedelic type of album that has a mix of jazz and hint of blues.. It’s unlike anything he’s ever done. It’s said to feature “a much broader array of instrumentation than ever before,” according to a press release, resulting in a “rich, expansive and multi-layered record, drawing from a range of disparate influences — from west coast rock to classic rock ‘n’ roll and even some space jazz.”
In the Heat of the Moment is an entertaining tune that showcases Noel’s vocals paired with intoxicating drum beats and matching chorus. I can’t stop singing that ‘na, na, na, na, na’s.’
The Girl with X-Ray Eyes excels as another epic Noel ballad, he infuses it with serpentine-like guitar riffs that had me play it on repeat.
Lock All the Doors was originally written back in 1992, it has a certain Mancunian band feel to it. You can see how it would have fit perfectly during Oasis era.
The Dying of the Light is a hazy ballad, that would you play in your car driving around passing through the neon lit city. It reminds me of so many great Oasis b-sides which were often the band’s best work.
The Right Stuff is leisurely ballad, with a layer of jazz, even some soul and bluesy type of vibe with a hint of psych. Listening to it may surprise you to know that it is in fact, Noel Gallagher.
While the Song Remains the Same is a mid-tempo melodic ballad with non-stop dulcet array of instruments.
The Mexican is hypnotic. Trance-like almost with lyrics like “you say you need love, like a kid on crack” paired with seedy guitar riffs and shrewd amounts of cowbell and an addictive beat/horns. I had to hit re-play.
You Know We Can’t Go Back is an impressive bouncy, soaring melody with lyrics to match “Baby I believe in magic love. Find it in the morning stars above, I take you from one stars on that’ll bring you down and I love you for all time but it’s alright, to know we can’t go back. Said it’s alright to know we can’t go back, know we can’t go back.”
Ballad Of The Mighty I is a more surprisingly infectious dancey tune than we expect, which makes it all the more better. Vocally driven, the song and its towering melodies and hauntingly catchy beat features Johnny Marr on guitar
Do The Damage is the B-Side to In the Heat of the Moment and it’s also on the deluxe version. It takes you on an intergalactic journey with its celestial melodic singing by Noel paired with interstellar riff-heavy guitar that draws you in immediately. The pulsating drumming, meteoric organ, and a stew of horns make up the constellation of beauty that is this b-side.
To write Noel off as a nostalgic echo of the past would be a massive mistake. Noel Gallagher is a class songwriter with biting wit, humor, and gumption to match. Listen to Chasing Yesterday and I dare you to say that Noel is still not the very top of his class in songwriting.
My standouts are In the Heat of the Moment, Lock All the Doors, The Mexican, You Know We Can’t Go Back, and Ballad Of The Mighty I. Do the Damage is also a standout track, it’s a B-Side and on the deluxe version.