Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Chasing Yesterday

by Nse Ette Rating:8 Release Date:2015-03-02

Noel Gallagher's sophomore set finds him slipping snugly into a calming, trippy, melodic mood. It's got everything we've come to know and love about Noel.

Opening cut 'Riverman' is a lilting acoustic piece with a saxophone coda. He did use the phrase "space jazz" in describing his new album, and the horns add a jazzy noir to the delicate groove, as they do to the meandering 'The Right Stuff', the most experimental thing here.

"They tell me you touched the face of God," he sings on the gently stomping 'In the Heat of the Moment', which wouldn't be out of place on a Kasabian album. The ballad 'The Girl With X-Ray Eyes', drifts atop a lovely mellotron riff, and the similarly sweeping 'The Dying of the Light' is just as charming, tugging at the heart strings and sounding like something The Verve would kill for. Noel could write songs like these in his sleep.

Upping the tempo are the driving rocker 'Lock All the Doors', the buzzing 'The Mexican', which finds him singing "You say you need love/ just like a kid on crack", and the sunny 'You Know We Can't Go Back'. 'While the Song Remains the Same' Is a skittery groove with a bonny guitar solo, and closing cut, the disco-tinged "Ballad of the Mighty I', features dramatic strings, theatrical tinkling ivories, lovely harmonies, and a guitar solo by Johnny Marr. It should please fans of 'AKA... What a Life!' off his debut.

It's nothing earth-shattering, but Noel doesn't have anything to prove anymore anyway. It's a solid work which should add a few more superb songs to his next live outing.

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