Chasing Yesterday

Noel Gallagher will never be able to outrun the Big Ben-sized shadow that Oasis casts on his musical career. But as time goes on and his solo efforts continue to shine, it becomes clearer that he was the creative muscle behind that group. Even more so than Gallagher and his High Flying Birds' self-titled 2011 debut, Chasing Yesterday is an adventurous record that finds the songwriter once again relishing the opportunity to do whatever the hell he wants. Yes, there are catchy-as-hell rockers like the air-guitar-inducing “Lock All the Doors,” but would you expect saxophone solos? Both the groovy “Riverman” and the swaggering “The Right Stuff” give us saxy moments only slightly less expected than the heavy presence of cowbell on the cooky rocker “The Mexican.” Gallagher's vocals have always been underrated, and they are as strong as ever here, particularly when he's letting loose on the album's first single, “In the Heat of the Moment.” Less of a nostalgic attempt to regain the glory of his past than its title might suggest, Chasing Yesterday is more a tip of the cap (and a flip of the bird) to that season in his life. It's a glorious and eclectic collection of rock, blues, jazz and pop tracks supported by Gallagher's unbridled confidence.