Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Chasing Yesterday
Published Feb 27, 2015There are few bands as universally adored (and equally detested) as Brit-pop poster boys Oasis. This is a group who had two of the biggest rock albums of an entire decade (1994's Definitely Maybe and 1995's (What's the Story) Morning Glory?), yet continue to openly mock their recorded output and downplay the band's cultural significance at any opportunity. Frankly, most of the time they were around it just seemed like they weren't trying and didn't really care about anything they were doing (just watch Noel Gallagher discuss the band's many music videos for evidence).
That's why, six years after the band's long-in-the-works demise, it's so refreshing to hear Chasing Yesterday, Gallagher's second solo LP under his High Flying Birds moniker and seemingly most meaningful piece of post-Oasis work to date.
Those looking for the chunky, delectable riffs found on his old band's first two albums will have to look elsewhere; none of the LP's ten tracks will induce the kind of drunken sing-along choruses so associated with the songs from his earlier career, and if we're being honest, most of the main musical phrases found on the album aren't that memorable (try to hum a melody from the record after listening and you may find it impossible to summon one).
Instead, Chasing Yesterday acts almost like a distinct piece of rock'n'roll mood music, and a pretty Frampton-esque one at that; listen to the album and try not to imagine a bongo being played somewhere in the mix. While little brother Liam and his now-defunct band Beady Eye were accused of ripping off other people's songs (namely the Beatles and the Who), Chasing Yesterday more closely resembles solo-era Pete Townshend, what with its array of delicately balanced psychedelic soft-rockers (album opener "Riverman," "The Right Stuff"), stadium-ready pub thumpers ("In the Heat of the Moment," cowbell-assisted rager "The Mexican") and intergalactic space odysseys ("While the Song Remains the Same").
It sounds like the kind of album Ryan Adams would enjoy. Whether or not you find that notion attractive will define how you feel about this record. (Sony)