tue 18/05/2021

CD: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday

CD: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday

Noel and his High Flying Birds aim for new heights without straying too near the Sun

'Don't worry about the shadow, we'll sort it in Photoshop'

The enduring appeal of Noel Gallagher isn't hard to fathom. His music is brimming with resolution and resolve; it does what we expect it to with a rewarding honesty and an often admirable lack of pretence. This meant that, on 2011’s Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, with its marked shift away from previous (morning) glories – particularly on its most successful tracks, such as “AKA… What a Life!” – there was still that particular sense of purpose and satisfying melodic structure.

The enduring appeal of Noel Gallagher isn't hard to fathom. His music is brimming with resolution and resolve; it does what we expect it to with a rewarding honesty and an often admirable lack of pretence. This meant that, on 2011’s Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, with its marked shift away from previous (morning) glories – particularly on its most successful tracks, such as “AKA… What a Life!” – there was still that particular sense of purpose and satisfying melodic structure. However, with all the recent talk of space jazz, saxophones and nights out with Morrissey, you'd be forgiven for thinking that new album Chasing Yesterday was going to be a radical reinvention.

You'd be wrong, of course. Much of this new collection of songs remains very route one, although there are some interesting musical A roads Gallagher takes us down. Firstly, the much-talked about “Riverman”, inspired (that is to say part-lifted) from Brian Protheroe’s 1974 hit “Pinball”. Along with “The Right Stuff” (taken from the aborted Amorphous Androgynous remix project) and – to an extent – “The Girl with the X-Ray Eyes”, this marks his biggest departure and greatest success. The fluid grooves and languid lines prove irresistible and inviting, and mark a clear creative high point. Plus, to those who accuse Gallagher of being artless, he can now say, "THERE’S A SONG WITH TWO SAXAPHONE SOLOS ON IT FOR FUCK'S SAKE. THAT’S LIKE KING CRIMSON OR GONG OR SOME SHIT!"

For the most part, however, we are on more familiar ground. As ever, the ghost of Oasis rattles some chains but, in fact, “Lock all the Doors” ends up sounding just as much like a spiky Buffalo Tom, while “The Dying of the Light”, with its plaintive chorus raises thoughts not of Liam, but of Evan Dando. True, these are not songs that are going to scare the horses, but then why would he want to?

Chasing Yesterday is a solid album, split evenly between earthly sense and lofty sensibility. Most importantly, it shows Gallagher is in need of an Oasis reunion like Andy Bell needs Hurricane #1. In fact, it leaves only one unresolved question: anyone got a moody download of the Amorphous Androgynous sessions?

Gallagher is in need of an Oasis reunion like Andy Bell needs Hurricane #1

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Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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