It’s been more than 20 years since Oasis exploded onto the international music scene on the strength of brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher’s talent and volatile personalities. As the principal songwriter and outspoken face of Oasis, Noel Gallagher is one of music’s most fascinating figures of the 1990s.
Now older and presumably wiser (Noel turns 48 in May), Gallagher has spent the past few years cultivating solo project Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Their 2011 self-titled debut was pretty good, if unspectacular, but Gallagher is back in peak form with the release of sophomore set “Chasing Yesterday.” It’s the first album written and produced by Gallagher and his fingerprints are all over the 10-track platter.
“It was a major pain in the arse,” he says of producing the new record. “It’s not that I’ve ever had people telling me what to write or what direction to go in, but managing sessions from one end of the week to the other proved extremely difficult. I was making the whole thing up as I went along.”
The songs recall Oasis at their Britpop peak, with Gallagher’s High Flying Birds especially impressive on “Riverman,” “In the Heat of the Moment,” “The Girl With the X-Ray Eyes,” “Lock All the Doors,” “The Mexican” and “Ballad of the Mighty I.” Gallagher’s days atop the charts might be behind him, but he’s still making pretty damn good music. (Jeffrey Sisk)