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Album review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ ‘Chasing Yesterday’

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Annie Zaleski

Four stars

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Chasing Yesterday

Noel Gallagher’s songwriting was the heart and soul of Oasis, the melancholic, introspective yin to brother Liam’s brasher yang. And surprisingly, the stellar Chasing Yesterday—the long-gestating second album from current project Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds—rivals his output with the beloved Brit-pop band. The secret to the LP’s success is diversity: Although the record contains plenty of Gallagher’s trademark guitar barnburners—“Lock All the Doors” resembles the fuzzy surges of (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? and “You Know We Can’t Go Back” is a hardy strummer—Chasing Yesterday doesn’t shy away from pushing boundaries. The moody, vaguely psychedelic centerpiece “The Right Stuff” incorporates grimy sax wails and ominous organ churn; the Stones-esque “The Mexican” possesses glammy swagger and soulful female vocal shading; and “Ballad of the Mighty I” mixes Johnny Marr guest riffs with washes of piano and a sturdy disco beat. Clearly, Gallagher is more interested in chasing tomorrow than he is reliving the past.

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