In 2011, former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher started his own solo project –Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. The self-titled debut was a vast departure from the Britpop genre, Gallagher perfected in Oasis. The record showed off his immense talent as a singer/songwriter as well as a gifted guitarist, showcasing his talent for creating mesmerizing melodies and polarizing lyrics. It has been four long years, but Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have finally released their follow-up, Chasing Yesterday, and it could quite possibly be some of the best material Gallagher has ever written.
The album begins with ‘Riverman’ and it may give Oasis fans déjà vu. The opening track is eerily similar to the opening riff from ‘Wonderwall,’ which some might say is the most famous song in the Oasis discography. Although it may sound a little bit like the ‘90s staple, that’s where the similarities between Oasis and High Flying Birds end. With High Flying Birds, Gallagher has created his own entity where he constantly changes his sound and style with each track.
It’s no secret that Gallagher has been known for his headstrong personality and his distaste for the current state of music, but it’s difficult to see him as such a hard-ass when he writes such beautiful songs like ‘The Dying of the Light’ or a bluesy melody like the one on ‘The Right Stuff.” For the fans of his more upbeat tracks look no further than ‘Lock All The Doors’ and ‘You Know We Can’t Go Back.’ The latter of which acts as the first of a two-part ending of the album culminating in “Ballad Of Mighty I.” The second single off Chasing Yesterday features the legendary guitarist Johnny Marr (formally of The Smiths), and contains some of Gallagher’s best lyrics to date.
If you put me up like a fly on the wall
You’ll be to blame when the heavens fall
Give me a sign that you hear me call
Buy you just pass me by
The colours around me are fading away
And I’ll be waiting, come what may
I’ll find you (I’ll find you), Yes I’ll find you (Yes I’ll find you)
If I’m gonna be the man who walks the earth alone
Between the bombastic beat, Marr’s masterful guitar work, and Gallagher’s poetic vocals, “Ballad Of Mighty I” is easily the best of the ten tracks and an impeccable way to end the album.
Noel Gallagher’s sophomore effort, Chasing Yesterday, expands on the artist’s new solo direction and further displays his immense talent. Each track is better than the last and is consistent throughout the length of the album. With its genuine lyrics, captivating instrumentals, and impressive vocals; Chasing Yesterday should be considered an early contender for album of the year. Although Liam was considered the face of Oasis, it was always apparent that Noel was the true talent of the group. His latest album further proves that statement.
Al Mannarino is the managing editor for Pop-Break. He is also host of the News Over Brews Podcast, Loot Care Unboxed, Backstage Break, and the producer of Behind the Brews. He graduated Rowan University with a degree in Radio/TV/Film & History and is currently a Promotions Assistant for Clear Channel Media + Entertainment. When he isn’t writing he is either trying to build his own TARDIS or taking a nap. Follow him on Twitter: @almannarino