Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds: Chasing Yesterday
Posted by: Mark Sutherland @ March 31, 2015As a scuffle broke out down the front of Noel Gallagher’s recent show at London’s O2 Arena, he surveyed the scene and wryly commented: “I thought my solo career was supposed to be a bit considered.”
But, while his second solo album may not quite provide the ideal soundtrack for brawling that Oasis once supplied, its less abrasive charms still land more knockout punches than any indie rock album so far this year.
That it does so is down, of course, to Gallagher’s songwriting: the likes of The Dying Of The Light and Ballad Of The Mighty I, the latter enhanced by Johnny Marr’s guitar, are the sort of primetime arena-friendly anthems he seems to produce without breaking sweat.
Gallagher has no need to take risks and, by and large, he doesn’t, but Chasing Yesterday still sees him gently pushing into territories where Oasis couldn’t, or wouldn’t tread. So there’s a classy sax solo all over the even classier Riverman and The Right Stuff – a survivor, albeit a heavily rejigged one, from his abortive collaboration with out-there producers Amorphous Androgynous – employs subtle traces of what he calls “space jazz”.
Noel being Noel, of course, he also includes the likes of You Know We Can’t Go Back and Lock All The Doors, driving songs with an air of menace that recall his former band.
Older and wiser he may be, but Chasing Yesterday shows Noel Gallagher is still up for the fight.