The second album from 47-year old Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds is a tale of two tracks; both of which you can’t help but subconsciously refer back to Oasis, which is both a compliment and quite annoying.
“Chasing Yesterday” follows a debut album that many criticised to be repetitive, top drawer nonetheless, but some saw it as frustratingly continuous. Some felt that the blame for this unspectacular exhibition of songwriting should be party put down to Dave Sardy, a producer with which Noely G has worked with since 2005 and “Don’t Believe The Truth”.
“Chasing Yesterday” definitely challenges you to bear with two first thret songs, which are by all means nothing worth going on about – “Riverman” and “The Girl With X-Ray Eyes” will probably be excused for setlists at this years’ festivals, even if they will most likely feature at his own gigs. “The Heat Of The Moment” was released a while back now, it’s good, and probably should’ve been on the first LP, but it is made to look completely average by the sublime fourth track – “Lock All The Doors”. Written pre-Oasis (see, Oasis reference again, its hard not to) “Lock All The Doors” features that exact swamp rock that O*sis were famous for. It rips you awake after the start of the album, and you can’t help but wonder why there aren’t more like this featuring on “Chasing Yesterday”.
After this, just when you’re ready for Cigarettes and Alcohol to roar in, you get knocked back down to “The Dying Of The Light” – yes its nice, it’d go on your playlist for a warm Sunday in June, and if that’s what you’re looking to fill you might have a few here. “The Right Stuff” grooves in as an experimental sixth track, it shows a confidence to try something different, potentially from the criticism of his last album. It’s jazzy, and oozes with soul and blues, it’s great as a single track but we now find ourselves listening to an album that bar a few tracks is a mix or genre’s – too far the other way Noel!
“While The Song Remains Same” and “The Mexican” work well as a pair, the latter is again different, bringing in, as the title suggests, cow bells hang behind this like an annoying ticking clock, it’s frustrating and we’re saved from insanity by the second stunning song of the record, and the last before the Johnny Marr-featuring “Ballad Of The Mighty I” – a review for which can be found . “You Know I Can’t Go Back” which brings back that punch we longed for since the fourth track, and together they reminisce “Fade Away”, “Bring It On Down” and “I Hope, I Think, I Know”. I hope they both feature at Benicassim especially, I think it’s an album with an undercurrent of frustration from experimentation, but I know that Noel Gallager has been better – and it’s these two songs that are keeping that alive from relevance only from his weekly NME rant and his Oasis discography.
You can listen to the iTunes streaming of the album here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/noel-gallaghers-high-flying/id450757148