Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

Chasing Yesterday

Written by: BV on 04/03/2015 16:00:30

A new release from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is pretty much an equivalent experience to listening to something from the now defunct Beady Eye. Sure, the songwriting is remarkably different between the two; effectively acting as light and shade proponents, with Beady Eye showcasing straight-forward rock music and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds going moody, melancholic and, well, introverted. However, the overall thought ”the Gallagher brothers were better together than they are apart” is a lingering one throughout. To be entirely fair, these high flying birds do seem both more ambitious than Beady Eye and more interesting altogether. The end result is also quite a bit more interesting as a whole.

One needn’t look further than album opener “Riverman” for a great track. Gallagher’s moody vocals and relatively simple, yet relatable lyrics are pretty much all one needs to be hooked, but with a fairly expansive and intricate instrumentation backing said elements one does seem to have a full package of things to pique one’s interest. Much of the same can be said about the steady groove of “In the Heat of the Moment” – it’s straightforward and mostly driven by the characteristic front-man’s voice and a fairly humorous “na-na-na-na-naa-naa” vocal backing, but even though the instrumentation occasionally sounds a bit lackluster it’s still passable as a quite good track in itself.

However, tracks like “The Girl With X-Ray Eyes” often start out interesting and eventually falter in comparison to the stronger moments on the album. Gallagher’s occasionally quasi-philosophical approach to lyrics often come out for the better, but on “The Girl With X-Ray Eyes” lines like "shot from the sun like a bullet from a gun" or something similar can’t really win me over –as if something is distancing them from me; making them far less relatable than Mr. Gallagher’s previous work.

In all its strangeness, “The Right Stuff” is by far the album highlight. With its mellowness, the duet handling the vocal duties and the sparse, yet effective instrumentation, “The Right Stuff” is indeed the right stuff for the album as it distances itself from the tried and true clichés that Gallagher often dabbles in. It’s a move in a genuinely solid direction, as is the album as a whole. But it never really grows beyond solid.


Download: Riverman, In the Heat of the Moment, The Right Stuff
For the fans of: Oasis, Beady Eye, Johnny Marr
Listen: Facebook

Release date 02.03.2015
Sour Mash Records

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