Much like Oasis’ sophomore opus, Chasing Yesterday will surely be put under the microscope to see if lightning can indeed strike twice and unlike that other Gallagher’s failed band and joke of a sophomore album, Noel succeeds.
On Chasing Yesterday, the elder Gallagher goes for a less bombastic/more subtle approach and while the album may come off as subdued during your first listen or two, man, does it resonate once you let it sink in. Almost three years in the making, Chasing Yesterday is not as immediate as its predecessor but in the end the album is more consistent and even more dense with layers upon layers giving each song a greater depth.
“Riverman” is a gorgeous opener replete with a driving bass and swaying acoustic guitar lick…but what’s that? A saxophone? Just when you thought you knew Noel he throws a monkey wrench into the proceedings for the sake of the song. And the surprises don’t end there! There’s a sexy duet on “The Right Stuff” with, I believe, an oboe (Bostonregina doesn’t agree with that theory) somewhere in the mix while “Ballad Of The Mighty I” (Which features guitar work from Johnny Marr) is like the cooler cousin of “AKA…What A Life!” filled with strings and wonderful things.
Then there’s “In The Heat Of The Moment” which is a running contradiction beginning with a, dare I say, Blur-type sing-a-long until settling into one of the suavest Noel jams in recent memory. Sometimes The High Flying Birds output is like building more groove while adding more personality and organics to Gallagher’s contribution to The X-Files movie, “Teotihuacan”, which is in full effect on Chasing Yesterday.
Elsewhere on the album, the guitar really steals the show. Whether it’s a solo during “The Mexican” or the steamroller of riffs on rocker “Lock All The Doors”, Gallagher’s primary instrument really takes center stage once again on album number dos.
The DNA of (What’s The Story)… is alive and well on Chasing Yesterday making up what is probably the most solid collection of songs Noel Gallagher has ever attached his name to thus far.