April 13, 2015 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday (Album Review)
It has been six years since the talented co-singer/songwriter of Oasis, Noel Gallagher, parted ways with the band. Celebrating decades of international success as a part of Oasis, Noel marched on in 2010, entering the studio to record debut solo album Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Proving his talents can stand alone outside Oasis, the record was voted a top album of 2011 from many sources, including Rolling Stone magazine. Now four years later, Noel returns with his second solo effort entitled Chasing Yesterday. Joining Noel are accomplished musicians Paul Stacey (guitar/bass/keyboards), Jeremy Stacey (drums), Mike Rowe (keyboards), and dynamic musicians The Wired Strings (strings). Marking a new chapter and sound for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, the music this time around features a much broader array of instrumentation than ever before, resulting in a rich, expansive and multi-layered record, drawing from a range of disparate influences.
Opening the ten track album, single “Riverman” begins with a big bang, setting the expectations high. Fortunately, fans will not be disappointed. Continuing with another catchy track, lead single “In The Heat Of The Moment” keeps the pace going with a easy bridge that will provoke listeners to hum along, if not sing the words out-loud. Next, “The Girl With X-Ray Eyes” is a little slower, but still very catchy. It is a song to sway along to and get lost in deep thought. Picking up the pace again, “Lock All The Doors” features electro guitars and a tambourine that carries an energy which takes the listener on a ride. After the adrenaline rush, it is time to take a breath, and that is provided by “The Dying Of The Light.” The slow and thoughtful melodies, along with deep lyrics, make this track one that tells a story all its own. Keeping a relaxed vibe going, “The Right Stuff” will remind listeners of a jam session where musical creativity flows freely without restraint. With singing that do not join the music until about ninety seconds into the song, the smooth voice of Noel and backing female singer Joy Rose are a perfect marriage. Combining a Jazz flavor with the jamming style make it unexpected, but brilliant. Continuing the Jazz flair, “While The Song Remains The Same” is highlighted by some jive guitar chords placed throughout the song before a Pop Rock sound takes over. It is yet another catchy song that will definitely catch the listener’s ear.
“The Mexican” comes with female backup vocals of Vula Malinga that is held together by catchy melodies, along with a well-placed detailed guitar solo. While the guitar sets in with special chords, another part of the arrangement is being pulled back, so details are not overlapping, therefore making each texture easier to notice. Again picking up the pace, “You Know We Can’t Go Back” is a track very reminiscent of one Noel would have done as part of Oasis as far as the arrangement structure and lyrics. It is certainly a beautiful song that fades into the album finale, “Ballad Of The Mighty I.” Chosen as the second single to be released, the song features a guest guitar appearance by legendary guitarist Johnny Marr of The Smiths fame. With a steady beat, Noel’s vocals are the main focus while the guitars and tambourine complement the overall track. Brought home with a strong chorus, the lyrics are solidified and make it a fitting way to end Chasing Yesterday.
Chasing Yesterday is a musical journey that combine beautiful lyrics and catchy melodies. With exceptional, professional sound, this album is absolutely smooth and easy-going from start to finish. Chasing Yesterday showcases every detail Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds place into the songs. That attention to detail is exactly what makes this album stick out of the masses and make it a must listen. CrypticRock gives Chasing Yesterday 3.5 out of 5 stars.