Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds are back with their highly anticipated second album Chasing Yesterday. Filled with hard rockers, driven acoustic stompers and a general retro sound, this is everything that music fans have been expecting…and more!
Following on from Noel’s appropriately titled debut solo album Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Chasing Yesterday sees him putting an album out that further develops the band’s distinctive sound.
While the two albums may not be night and day, there is certainly material on their that define the two from each other, with Noel displaying that while he recognises his comfort zone and knows what he is good at, he also isn’t scared to venture out into more abstract and progressive territories.
I’ll provide some breif initial thoughts on each of the individual songs on Chasing Yesterday:
Riverman – The light and rhythmic Riverman welcomes us to the new album. A airy melody keeps things driving along and some sweet instrumentation gives the song a wide open, lonesome feel. Also a cheeky little line pinched from a Beatles classic opens the song. Leave your answer in the comments if you know which song it is!
In The Heat Of The Moment – This strangely other-worldly sounding track was selected as the album’s lead single. And with a goading vocal hook and distinctly Oasis flavour, it was a good choice. You can read my full review of In The Heat Of The Moment here.
The Girl With X-Ray Eyes – Built around a descending chord sequence, The Girl With The X-Ray Eyes has some strangely captivating chord changes. A lovely retro sounding guitar solo adds a twist of 60s to the surprisingly simple track.
Lock All The Doors – One of the heavier songs on the album, Lock All The Doors is reminiscent of Oasis’s Supersonic or Rock and Roll Star. Luckily the differences outweigh the similarities, and with a great vocal and neat lyrics it stands firmly apart from the aforementioned rockers.
The Dying Of The Light – A sadly smiling acoustic track, The Dying Of The Light expresses someone’s regret at how things have turned out in life and represents a last ditch attempt to outrun the world. An album highlight, this track is moving yet uplifting.
The Right Stuff – Utilising some nice brass blasts and a screachy, squeaky clarinet The Right Stuff grooves along and was even referred to by it’s composer as “psychedelic jazz”. While it may not be to everyone’s liking, it is cool, smooth and features a juxtaposed male/female lead vocal.
While The Song Remains The Same – An extended ambient into lulls you into the sense that While The Song Remains The Same may be a similar kind of avant-garde song like the previous one. However it eventually kicks into a ‘typically Noel’ driven acoustic rocker. Nothing special, but still good.
The Mexican – With a wonderfully prominent cowbell (an absurdly underrated instrument), The Mexican builds from a dusty desert stomper until it becomes a quite heavy rocker. Or should a say, a quite heavy rocker…with cowbell!
You Know You Can’t Go Back – A modern, indie sounding tune, You Know You Can’t Go Back features a great vocal and starkly clean guitars. A rising guitar solo and and rapturous, repeated chorus gives the song a cathartic crescendo before it cascades away to a gentle piano outro which segues it into the final track.
Ballad Of The Mighty I – Ending the album on a strong note, the melencholy Ballad Of The Mighty I is the moodily funky and off-kilter second single features The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. You can read my full review of the single here.
Personally I think that of the two albums from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, this new one has the edge on it’s predecessor. The songwriting is even more hones and precise, and the album flows nicely along with good pace, peaking in the middle before slightly abating in order to get a run up for a strong finish.
Chasing yesterday is available to buy NOW. Also be sure to check out Noel Gallagher’s official website in order to keep up to date with the rocker and his band.