In 2011 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds released their debut self titled album and it was “essentially the last Oasis record”. Fans loved hearing all the previous Oasis demos fine tuned into a polished package. Noel has been hard at the songwriting in the intervening years, yet the 9 month delay in release of his long-awaited album Chasing Yesterday was due to the reissue of Oasis’ first two albums.
Chasing Yesterday has landed; it is far from the classic Oasis rock formulae, with a mature sound echoing through. On first listen one might expect to hear familiar sounds dotted through the album, especially since the opening bars of the album’s ‘Riverman’ are highly reminiscent of ‘Wonderwall’. However, sorry to disappoint, but there are only a handful of familiar sounding rifts with Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds going for an altogether more relaxed sound.
Overall the album has a soothing sound which is uplifted by a healthy spattering of instrumental solos. Whilst the previous album was full of anthemic tunes, the main stand out tracks here are the singles ‘In the Heat of the Moment’, ‘Ballad of the Mighty I’ as well as ‘You Know We Cant Go Back’. ‘
Noel creates a new sound on ‘The Right Stuff’ fusing male and female voices throughout. With its saxophone solo and its eclectic lyrics asking “are you the devil with the heart of gold” has the listener in an uncharacteristic trance. Whilst he man himself says don’t overthink it, there is a theme of maturity, love and questioning of life threaded throughout the lyrics. Noel reflects on his former days when the “streets were paved with gold, no time for getting old’ in the dying of the light”.
Johnny Marr’s unmistakable guitar solo in ‘The Ballad of the Mighty I’ leaves the listener in an upbeat mood but wanting more. Some might say the best was left til’ last. Whilst Noel does not want us overthinking this, it may have you reaching to your Oasis albums to reminisce over what is now well and truly faded away.
Chasing Yesterday is out Monday 2nd March. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds are out on tour later in the month. Details on www.noelgallagher.com