Elder statesman of British rock Noel Gallagher has ignored the speculation of an Oasis reunion to concentrate on making new music rather than backtracking.
However, “Riverman,” the opening scene of the cinematographic Chasing Yesterday, is a worrying one, especially in view of the album title. The initial acoustic chords could almost be “Wonderwall”! Fears are soon put to rest as the song grooves along like a Weller-esque white-soul ballad, complete with sax coda.
"In the Heat of the Moment," by Noel Gallagher
From Noel Gallagher's High-Flying Birds' latest record, Chasing Yesterday
Lead single “In the Heat of the Moment,” with its Spaghetti Western chimes, pulsating rhythm, and “nana-nana-na” harmonies is solid, but not gold. “The Girl With the X-Ray Eyes” ups the ante as Noel transforms into a Mancunian Bowie.
“Lock All the Doors” and “You Know We Can’t Go Back” are no-frills garage rock and roll, and both are irresistible.
“The Right Stuff” hears Noel share vocals with Joy Rose. The backing track is as sharp as a razor blade. The song is a knockout with punching horns and a killer groove.
“While the Song Remains the Same” laments the changing of his home city of Manchester: “I’m tired of being a stranger and I’m miles from home.”
Chasing Yesterday hears Noel showing maturity and, dare I say, sophistication. Both traits rarely aired when Brother Liam was riding shotgun and shooting from the lip.
The final credit is “Ballad of the Mighty I.” It’s an epic conclusion to the albums cinemascope sound. With guest star Johnny Marr it soars and ranks as one of Gallagher’s best compositions.
An Oasis reunion? Why would he bother? Gallagher doesn’t need the money, the fame, or the aggravation. He’s moved on, and this record does what it says on the tin — it’s a Noel Gallagher record. And a damn fine one it is.
- Artist: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
- Record: Chasing Yesterday
- Label: Sour Mash
- Songs: (1) Riverman (2) In the Heat of the Moment (3) The Girl With the X-Ray Eyes (4) Lock All the Doors (5) The Dying of the Light (6) The Right Stuff (7) While the Song Remains the Same (8) The Mexican (9) You Know We Can’t Go Back (10) Ballad of the Mighty I