Noel Gallagher’s new album is, as he often describes his own music, ‘F*$%@#! Brilliant!’
The less crazy Gallagher has done it again.
After brother Liam’s band Beady Eye broke up, Noel Gallagher stated that he was sad to hear the news. This was surprising for an older brother who won’t even speak to his younger counterpart. Perhaps, this proves that some maturing has happened for a pair who’s previous gig in Oasis ended with thrown fruit and guitars swung at people’s heads (allegedly).
Despite the name of Noel’s new effort with his outfit Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Chasing Yesterday, is actually a symbol of growth for the 47-year old rocker. Although some of his familiar tricks are present on this album, they come off more as trademarks than a desperate attempt to hold onto the past. New influences and sounds are also present throughout.
The album opens with “Riverman”, who’s opening guitar chords sound like countless Oasis acoustic gems. Is there a huge chorus? Yes. Guitar solo? Indeed. Saxaphone solo? Surprisingly, there’s two! Although the idea looks preposterous on paper, I have to say it works. “In the Heat of the Moment” is a stompy dance tune with delightfully heavy guitars, smooth synth noises in the background and some interesting percussion (castanets?).
“The Girl With XRay Eyes” sounds a LOT like “Stairway to Heaven” in the intro. Never one to hide his influences, Gallagher again spins the near rip-off into a memorable moment on the album. Also, I notice that this is the third song in a row that begins with “studio noise” at the beginning. I’m a fan of this tactic and I think it’s underutilized in albums today. “The Dying of the Light” sounds like a cloudy day in London while “The Right Stuff” is a creeping, cool soul tune with more, you guessed it, HORNS!
Inexplicably named, “The Mexican” is another great song featuring both cowbell and a horn section that sounds eerily similar to The Rolling Stone’s “Bitch”. Again, I can’t really hate on the guy for a) “stealing” good material and b) genuinely turning it into something new, unique and awesome. “Ballad of the Mighty I”, which is both a cool and confusing title, is by far the best track. Those damn dancy British drums are all over this track like the Bee Gees wrote it and the strings will make you weep. Cascading, echoing vocals in the chorus make it the most bombastic of the bunch. “Yes I’ll find you/ If I gotta be the man who walks the earth alone” Gallagher bellows. That is some romantic shit, y’all.
If you were too broke to buy the deluxe edition of Chasing Yesterday AND too lazy to open Spotify, you really missed out. “Freaky Teeth” is excellently named and executed, while “Do the Damage” and “Revolution Song” are more of the Gallagher gold standard.
Noel Gallagher hates the title that he, himself gave his new album: Chasing Yesterday. Perhaps because Gallagher realizes the music does not reflect the “glory days” vibe it implies or, more likely, because he named it just hours before it was released on iTunes without much prior thought. Regardless, Gallagher successfully tips his cap to his influences (including Oasis) while breaking new ground and it sounds fantastic.
Now if he could only make up with Liam…
Written By Fusion Alternative Blogger: Jason Polakowski