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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday | Album Review

Source: Album Artwork

Perhaps the big surprise of 2011 was the sheer quality of Noel Gallagher‘s first solo album. As the principal songwriter for Oasis, it’d be a stretch to suggest that the expectancy wasn’t high. But his debut signaled a more mature attitude to his usual anthemic approach.

Tracks like ‘Everybody’s On The Run’ and ‘If I Had A Gun’ proved to be festival favourites, allowing the crowd

who had grown up with Oasis to finally mature with them. Perhaps the perception of the album was helped along ever so slightly by the failings of his gobby brother, but all the same the expectation of this album is considerably high.

Unfortunately, ‘Chasing Yesterday’ is rather a mixed bag affair. Tracks like ‘Riverman’ and ‘The Right Stuff’ take on a similar leaning to that of Paul Weller on his seminal Stanley Road album. The pair work well in the same way that hearing Weller take the mature approach 20+ years ago was so refreshing. The tracks are allowed space to breath as opposed the the considerable bombast that Noel can often be found guilty of across his career.

In a great irony, the more driven tracks on this album leave the worst impression, perhaps a case of same old rope. Maybe it’s just that he’s done that style of song so many times at a much higher quality. It’s not that the tracks are inherently poor. But back to back with an elite back catalog, these are the most likely to suffer.

The standout track however has to be ‘In The Heat Of The Moment’, which is uncomplicated, fun and driven. What more can you ask for?

Quite simply put, it’s a solid album if nothing else, but from someone of Noel’s caliber we’ve come to expect that little bit more. Something tells us that his pal and neighbor Weller might win the better acclaim for his forthcoming album.

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