[sic] Magazine

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday

You know exactly what you’re going to get with a Noel Gallagher album. You’re going to get 10 or 11 generally good songs, some of which have sprightly tempos and big strings, and some of which are going to be big, phones-in-the-air stadium pleasers, and a couple of faster ones. You’re going to get some great lyrics, which are probably the product of happy accidents, and you’re going to get some fairly rubbish “cat-sat-on-the-mat-in-a-hat”lyrics.

And it’s going to be much better than Beady Eye.

After the first track, the opening and meaningful / meaningless ‘Riverman’, ‘The Heat of The Moment’ is both utterly 100% an Oasis classic, and at the same time, just shows how damn far Gallagher has eclipsed both his former band in terms of sheer strength, and how far he has come from then. You might think that Oasis were the best band there ever was, is, and gonna be, but to be honest, Oasis were a damn good band that got wrapped in a whirlworld of hype, and then became something completely different – and Gallagher solo no longer has to be confined to the Oasis brand, or what anyone’s expectations of that band, and just do whatever he wants, without compromise; or, as was the case in the latter few years, diluting his vision with other songwriters.

There’s still the powerful, balls-to-the-floor rockers made of unrelenting rhythms like an indie AC/DC, and then there’s song with orchestras, made of soaring choruses. ‘Lock All The Doors’ and ‘You Know We Can’t Go Back’ are designed for his other band, but Noel acquits them with no small conviction. Like the debut, Chasing Yesterday is by no means an essential record, a solo album made by a very well-off man who makes music through habit not through a life-threatening conviction to do so, but also, it’s a free record, made out of a sense of complete freedom – and so few artists ever get the opportunity to do that. Chasing Yesterday will not win, or lose fans, it’s another record Noel Gallagher has made, and as good as anything he’s put out in the past 20 years.

For more from Mark, please visit The Final Word