By this time, it was clear to many that Noel Gallagher was on a mission musically, even though it was a mission that was less popular and more artistic than Oasis. It took four years for him to return for his second solo album, Chasing Yesterday. This was a long wait for fans of Noel Gallagher.
Was it worth the wait? Let’s find out.
We begin the album with Riverman. It’s another Wonderwall-esque sounding piece. Seemingly a love song, it has strummed acoustic guitars and a decent rhythm here. Sounding also somewhat like Coldplay, Noel seemingly goes through familiar territory here. There are some interesting sound effects here, and the song is okay, but not spectacular. Still worth a listen. The sound is swirling and semi-psychedelic, with a saxophone thrown in it as well. It does have a lot of emotion in it though.
Next, is the Blur styled (re-read that again) In The Heat Of The Moment. It’s a more upbeat song for fans of the band. Therein lies the problem with these songs, they are only really for hardcore Noel Gallagher fans. Sadly, at this point in time, Noel seems rather stuck in a creative rut. It would only worsen as time goes on. Still, it is a good effort, but not a great effort like early Oasis was. Still, it is listenable. Without the quality control that Oasis had, the music suffers here.
The Girl With X-Ray Eyes is a reference to The Beatles Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. The Beatles were Noel’s hero band. It’s more of the same, and sadly all the songs on this album do sound the same, regardless of any individuality about them. From a lyrical perspective though, it is a brilliant song written. Unfortunately, it is rather forgettable.
Lock All The Doors is apparently a song that Noel Gallagher wrote back in Oasis days. It is so much better than the other songs so far, it is musical and catchy. It’s about chasing a known lover at night. Yes, it is a good song and will get your interest. Very groove-based, this is a great sonic example of what Noel can do, provided he is inspired to make good music. The guitar solo is interesting.
Next is The Dying Of The Light. It’s a slower piece that sounds so much like Coldplay than original Noel Gallagher music. It’s about going through a rough time personally. It does have some cool keyboard sounds in it, however. “I’ve tried my best to get there, but I can’t afford the bus fare…” sings Noel. Still, it is not a standout track on the album, despite Noel Gallagher having written the material. It’s a drag to listen to.
After that, we come to The Right Stuff. It has some strummed acoustic guitars, piano, and other interesting instrumentation for a while before Noel Gallagher sings. It’s a nice downtempo listen before we hear a saxophone solo. It’s better than most songs on this album and is refreshing. A more solid listen with female backing vocals. Noel indeed has the right stuff here. Good effort. It’s moving, although lengthy.
While The Song Remains The Same is a rather poor title for a song, obviously borrowed from Led Zeppelin. It begins with psychedelic keyboards before beginning another rather dull song by Noel Gallagher. Sadly, this album, compared to the debut solo album by Noel, is almost identical musically. You would think that Noel understood an evolutionary approach musically? But, no. The album and this song sound very uninspired. The rushing midsection is great in this song, but the rest of the song is not.
The Mexican is so much better than the previous song. Actually sounding very catchy and groove-based, particularly with the repeated guitar riff, it is a welcome change from the musical rut of many of the previous songs. The lyrics are daft, but at this point, that is to be expected. If Noel made more songs like this, he would likely get noticed better. Still, this is a good song. Worth a listen.
Next is You Know We Can’t Go Back. It sounds too much like U2. In fact, unlike Noel’s Oasis contributions, this whole album lacks originality and standout consistency. Even some of the moments of Be Here Now and Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants were better than this. It sounds boring due to this reason and lacks magic about it. Noel’s best days are seemingly behind him.
After the rubbishy piano intro, we go into Ballad Of The Mighty I. Again, it is more of the same, and uninspired. There is some good singing from Noel Gallagher, and that’s about all you should be feeling good about with this song. It’s another forgettable solo number from Noel and is easily skippable if you can do so. Nothing good much to say about this song. Oh well, at least Noel Gallagher can sing better than brother Liam Gallagher now.
Do The Damage has a spacey keyboard intro, sounding very much like the Magical Mystery Tour era from The Beatles. A chugging guitar then comes through, with recycled lyrics from Noel. It really sounds like he has no inspiration at this point, sadly. The groove is good, but the song is naff. Does Noel Gallagher really think that this music is good? It drags on and on, not worth your time.
Revolution Song follows. It’s another unoriginal title, this time nabbed from John Lennon. Some great singing from Noel Gallagher saves another pretty mediocre piece. Has he learned anything from the Oasis story? Maybe not. Only real Noel Gallagher fans will treasure this music, otherwise, forget it entirely. The mix is not good either, with no separation between the instruments.
Next is Freaky Teeth. It sounds like something from the awful Oasis album Dig Out Your Soul. This confirms – yes, Noel Gallagher has no clear future as a solo performer due to him totally abandoning his past music. Oasis was better than this, this album is no glory of the past. It’s just postmodern naff music. Very difficult to listen to. Noel’s ear has gone completely down the drain.
The last piece here is In The Heat Of The Moment (Toy Drum Remix). It’s a good remix of a poor song. Sadly, it’s nothing special due to that reason. We finish the album with a sour taste in our mouths.
Avoid this if you can. Noel Gallagher has lost the plot musically, and there is nothing original or special about this album. If you have to listen to it, then do so. Good thing though that it is not really mandatory to do so. It just falls flat.