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Album Review: Noel Gallagher - Chasing Yesterday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Connor Mullins   
02 03 2015
ImageThree and a half years after his first foray into life as a solo artist, Chasing Yesterday proves a progression into more uncharted territory of psych-filled music, saxophones, and jazzy rock built upon what you'd typically expect from a Noel Gallagher album - a more forward thinking effort than his first, self-titled record.

While his 2011 record, produced by Dave Sardy, was safer, Noel-rock, aside from AKA What A Life, the more experimental sounds of his latest release displays an insight into just what the singer-songwriter can muster as a solo artist, and the fact he has produced this album helps his willingness to make a move to define his solo sound without changing how he writes songs.

Chasing Yesterday feels more intimate and expansive, keeping the originality of studio scuffles, exhalations, and the atmospheric, quite mournful introduction to While The Song Remains The Same, as Gallagher ventures slightly further afield than his debut.

The Right Stuff highlights exactly that, with its drugged groove, creating a shimmery, hazy feel and space jazz sound; a chill out song that could transport you back, as Gallagher says, to a "smoky club in 1963."

At just under five-and-a-half minutes, the track, featuring a female vocalist and bass clarinet, survived the scrapped Amorphous Androgynous sessions, and is unlike anything the ex-Oasis man has ever produced before, briefly pulling the record into a new, exciting territory.

It is an example of the more psychedelic, bluesy material Gallagher could have expanded upon, rather than a few of the tracks which don't pack the required punch.

That's not to say that the record disappoints, however. Far from it. Overall, it is a lot more groovy and mysterious in parts, with Pink Floyd-esque saxophone interludes and wailing guitars, on the impressive opener Riverman, a nice steady-paced track and one of the album stand outs. 

The grunge guitar distortion that drives Lock All The Doors wonderfully captures the big chorus that Noel has become so adept at writing, sweeping along the melody at a storming pace and which you could imagine to be a hit live.

In the Heat of the Moment's na na nas do little to enhance the song, while The Girl With X-Ray Eyes is decent, but doesn't stretch further than that.

The Dying of The Light is haunting in parts, and the beautiful chime of the piano and guitar layers compliments the acoustic chord progression. The melody and bridge are the kind he can knock out in his sleep, and an interesting final production compared to the acoustic demo, released last week, and the sound check version which has been on the internet for the past couple of years. Both classic Gallagher acoustic versions, much in the mould of Talk Tonight, yet, perhaps convey the emotion of the song through his voice more than the finished track.

You Know We Can't Go Back is nicely complimented with the delay guitar effect intro, before the Springsteen-like stomping verse kicks in, almost carrying you into the summer with its sparkling guitar melody and upbeat groove. 

Ballad of the Mighty I, the second single, is a more bass driven dance track, given an extra edge with Johnny Marr's jangly guitar solo, and a upbeat tempo percussion to replicate the success of AKA...What A Life.

The end result? A very good album, displaying a hint of experimentation and new direction you wish he had expanded on to make it even greater. The music twists and new grooves are built upon a foundation of classic Noel-like chord progressions, producing some very catchy melody's, which fans of his have come to love down the years. Without a doubt, some of the finest songs he's produced in years.

4/5

Release date: March 02, 2015

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