Release Date: Mar 3, 2015
Record label: Sour Mash
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, British Trad Rock
Just a look at the title to Gallagher’s second post-Oasis solo project puts the album into perspective. He might as well be telling fans of his previous high profile band not to be concerned that may suddenly shift musical direction, although his debut also didn’t stray much from Oasis’ pop-rock blueprint. Regardless, it’s encouraging when the disc opens with one of Gallagher’s finest pieces, the beautifully dreamy, mid-tempo ballad “Riverman.” The song, complete with tenor sax, cascading keyboards and layers of guitars is alone worth the price of admission, but there is lots more to enjoy over the next 40 minutes.
Opening with a minor chord strummed on an acoustic guitar somewhere off in the distance, Noel Gallagher's second solo album, Chasing Yesterday, echoes Oasis' second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? -- a conscious move from a rocker who's never minded trading in memories of the past. He may be evoking his Brit-pop heyday -- "Lock All the Doors" surges with the cadences of "Morning Glory" even as it interpolates David Essex's "Rock On" -- but it amounts to no more than a wink because Gallagher knows he's two decades older and perhaps a little wiser as well. Certainly, Chasing Yesterday is the work of a musician very comfortable with his craft.
Review Summary: Noel and his High Flying Birds show no signs of plateauingThere are very few musical relationships which are as volatile and well publicised as the one shared by Noel and Liam Gallagher. Their explosive arguments are really no different to those which occur between siblings worldwide; except of course, that their squabbles are projected nationwide by gleeful British newspapers that rarely miss an opportunity to fan the flames of conflict. The frequency of their altercations in Oasis’ early days has in truth probably led to their rivalry being overstated, but the tabloids were, quite rightly, never going to miss out on a chance to compare Noel’s High Flying Birds with Liam’s Beady Eye.
There are few bands as universally adored (and equally detested) as Brit-pop poster boys Oasis. This is a group who had two of the biggest rock albums of an entire decade (1994's Definitely Maybe and 1995's (What's the Story) Morning Glory?), yet continue to openly mock their recorded output and downplay the band's cultural significance at any opportunity. Frankly, most of the time they were around it just seemed like they weren't trying and didn't really care about anything they were doing (just watch Noel Gallagher discuss the band's many music videos for evidence).
There’s a ton of criticisms you can level at Noel Gallagher and they can pretty much all be dealt with using two words: 'so what?' He’s hugely derivative! So what? His best stuff is behind him! So what? His lyrics are workman like and unimaginative! So what? He keeps repeating himself! So what? The problem with trying to give Gallagher a swift critical kicking is that he’d be the first to agree with you, and the first to not give a crap. As he said himself during a recent interview with the ever-excellent Jude Rogers, 'I've accepted my limitations as a songwriter fucking years ago. I play what I play.
At 47 years old, after more than 20 years in the game and with Oasis now well and truly behind him, what do we really expect from Noel Gallagher? For the first time in a long time, there’s a crop of new British bands who didn’t grow up in thrall to his old one and, while he might frequently lament the loss of “working class rage” in rock’n’roll, Noel is hardly the man to do anything about it. That’s no longer his responsibility. If pop music were a parliamentary system, you fancy he’d be found pissed on the backbenches of the House Of Lords, happily soliloquising about the way things used to be.The title of his second solo album doesn’t do much to rebut that idea.
You cannot accuse Noel Gallagher, the former singer-guitarist and domineering songwriter in Oasis, of lacking self-awareness. The title of his second album since that British band's implosion in 2009 gets right to Gallagher's stubbornly retrospective passions — anything by the Beatles; Seventies glam; the Eighties boom in paisley jangle, led in his native Manchester by the Smiths and Stone Roses — with a light swipe at anyone still pining for an Oasis reunion. Their savage charm is reprised here to satisfying effect in the stony "Lock All the Doors" and, with a twist of wry, "You Know We Can't Go Back.
Nostalgia. There’s a topic to set the blood boiling. Should music be surfing the cutting edge at all times, or is it OK to look back once in a while? The Britpop titans of the mid-nineties are still, in many quarters at least, the big beasts they were back then - few, if any new acts emerging with the character to deliver that knock out blow into mainstream cultural irrelevancy.
Over three years since his double-platinum-selling debut solo album, Noel Gallagher’s follow-up Chasing Yesterday is finally out. It was actually completed last summer but the re-issue of Oasis albums and touring commitments delayed its release. But despite advance publicity suggesting that it was going to be an ‘out-there’ album with Gallagher letting loose, it doesn’t really break any new ground.
Last October, Noel Gallagher’s second solo album was announced via a Facebook Q&A with fans. As ever in interviews, the elder Gallagher was on fine, bullish form, describing the recent reissue of Definitely Maybe as “money for old fucking rope”, dismissing the suggestion that he should give his new album away for free (“If anything I want to put the prices up”) and talking intriguingly about its contents. The phrase “space jazz” was mentioned; the presence of saxophones was alluded to; he expected audiences to be bamboozled.
The first time I recall feeling true disappointment as a child was when I was given The Beatles’ Story as a birthday gift. Tearing off the plastic and firing up my Fisher-Price turntable, I eagerly prepared myself for four sides of Fab Four classics, only to hear... a lot of talking. The double-album set, it turned out, was nothing but a hastily compiled Capitol Records Beatlemania cash-in that edited together various press conferences.
The opening acoustic strums of “Riverman”, right up until Noel Gallagher’s voice eventually slides in, sound suspiciously like the former Oasis songwriter’s most recognizable tune, “Wonderwall”. When asked about the remarkable similarity, Gallagher responded, “To me, it’s just a good song. The end. It’s for other people to decide what it sounds like.
Three months into 2015 and the world has been subjected to both a new Noel Gallagher album as well as the news that Blur is putting out a new record, their first since 2003’s Think Tank, entitled The Magic Whip. From the My Bloody Valentine reunion LP two years ago to the unearthed studio instrumentals that Pink Floyd released as an ostensible album at the end of 2014, a general message continues to thrive in the world of music: Nothing Ever Has to End. Reunions have become a regular occurrence; 2015 alone can count Blur, Sleater-Kinney, and Swerverdriver to its name, and one has good reason to leave those will be far from the last instances of “getting the band back together” this year.
There are many lost albums sitting in record company vaults, shipwrecked for numerous reasons: quality control, financial disputes, artistic pique. One such artefact is the collaboration between Noel Gallagher and psychedelic crate-diggers the Amorphous Androgynous, an album Gallagher recently swore will “never see the light of day”. Recorded around 2010-11, but apparently never mixed to his satisfaction, it was originally destined to be Gallagher’s debut solo album (or at least, that’s what he told AA).
It’s always tricky when an artist admits, “I was making the whole thing up as I went along. ” Noel Gallagher, the former Oasis co-leader, said that about this new solo album, which has a dashed-off, somewhat directionless feel, yet is much more impressive than his nonchalant confession would suggest. “The Riverman” evokes “Wonderwall”-era Oasis, but “Lock All the Doors” and “You Know We Can’t Go Back” have a harder, Foo Fighters-like adrenaline rush.
Since Oasis split the musical fortunes of the brothers Gallagher have gone in unexpectedly different directions. The combination of Liam, who always played the role of Lennon, the narcissistic dreamer, to Noel’s McCartney, the musical schemer, never looked like a sustainable relationship. Now the older sibling is busy getting on with his successful solo career whilst Liam dissolves Beady Eye.
Chasing Yesterday feels like an all-too-apt title for Noel Gallagher’s latest endeavor. The record gives off the vibe of being eager for days gone by; it has the spirit of a much older album, which makes listening to it feel a bit like stepping out of time. Noel Gallagher doesn’t give a fuck what contemporary music sounds like, and his new album proves that in spades, as there’s nothing here to give any evidence that it’s the 21st century.
It's no surprise that Noel Gallagher already hates the title of his new album, Chasing Yesterday: he must know it's an apt description of what's wrong with the record. Then again, he probably doesn't care that some will dismiss it as another predictably conservative rock album overly indebted to both his own glory days with Oasis and the usual icons of classic rock. And to be fair, anyone still excited about a record from either of the Gallagher brothers is unlikely to see those factors as serious flaws.
opinion by BENJI TAYLOR < @benjitaylormade > In one of Mad Men’s best scenes, a first season episode titled “The Wheel,” Don Draper makes a persuasive and powerful pitch for an account with Kodak, a prospective major heavy hitting client. Draper — immaculately dressed, impossibly handsome — puts forward a plan to sell Kodak’s product via the notion of nostalgia, which he poetically describes as “the pain from old wound… a twinge in your heart, more potent than memory alone. ” He nails the pitch and wins the day for his firm Sterling Cooper, tenderly tugging on the heart strings of the Kodak representatives — and the viewer — by conjuring a vision: a personal vision of a place we all ache to return to.