Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Chasing Yesterday

 

noel

Noel Gallagher never has been one of rock’s true originals.

It seems a long time ago now but even in the mid-1990s, when Oasis were at the peak of their powers and could apparently do no wrong, you would have struggled to find anyone to claim that he was anything but a prodigiously talented songwriter with an ear for a tune and a memorable lyric.

Twenty-one years on from Definitely Maybe, Chasing Yesterday shows that little has changed. Gallagher’s lyrics are frequently so cliched that surely even he must be aware of it and his reliance on the rhyming dictionary is as strong as ever.

Equally, whereas Oasis shook up a turgid indie scene with bursts of primal rock ‘n’ roll, so Gallagher’s trademark sound now is reliably straightforward: mod-ish rock with the odd organ thrown in. Take off the vocals and it could be Paul Weller, Johnny Marr (who guests on excellent single The Ballad of the Mighty I) or The Charlatans.

One to avoid, then? Not necessarily. Gallagher’s tunes still knock most of his contempories’ into a cocked hat. There are occasions when you wish Liam was around, opener Riverman being one such case, but overall it works well and even if the much-trumpeted The Right Stuff is far from “space jazz” – it’s more like slightly noodly 1970s prog rock – the album as a whole is a success.

Like this? Try these: Paul Weller, Sonik Kicks; The Charlatans, Modern Nature

By Andrew Greenhalgh

twitter: @adjgreenhalgh

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