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WPGM Commentary: Noel Gallagher & The Sophomore Album Factor

Noel Gallagher
As a huge fan of Oasis and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, I was rather giddy to hear that Noel Gallagher has announced his second solo album. The announcement of the album, Chasing Yesterday, was made over a Facebook Q+A session held in London this week.

In his 20-year long career in music, this album marks a turning point in his career as it is the first album Noel has produced by himself. His usual producer, Dave Sardy, was unavailable so the artist took it upon himself to have complete creative control of this album. As always, you will have to compare it to his work in Oasis and from that point of view, this album is more Dig Out Your Soul than (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? – not that this a bad thing as both albums were incredible.

20 years ago, Definitely Maybe was released and a year later (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? hit the shelves and blew up and became more popular than the previous. This could be putting Gallagher under some pressure to live up to, not only his past career, but also fans expectations that this will be bigger, better and more impressive than his first album. A lot of fans are expecting this to be another (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? but I am looking for a bit of a change. I am still looking for the Oasis vibe but would also like to hear something new from the artist that can truly wow me.

With the freedom he now has, I am expecting to a lot more experimentation from Gallagher. On the self titled, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, he introduced some new features to his music (such as trumpets and more orchestral scores) so what will he surprise us with this time? Well, with the upcoming single “In the Heat of the Moment“, due for release on November 17, it is obvious that Gallagher is getting as far away from Britpop as possible and making a more conventional rock album.

If you like heavy bass, perfectly distorted guitar, a fill you can sing along with and thumping drums, then this single is perfect for you! “In the Heat of the Moment” is still full of Gallagher’s recognizable style but also seems to feature a lot more experimenting with other instruments. As an Oasis fan, people are always expecting another “Champagne Supernova” or “Don’t Look Back in Anger“, but this single to me is fantastic and truly shows that Noel Gallagher is moving in the right direction for making a great album! When asked about the song, Gallagher said, “it was the last track to be recorded… Is it great? Of course it is!“. I am looking for a change of direction in this album, but not that big a change that you listen to it and forget about the music he has made in that past which was the case with his brother Liam Gallagher’s band, Beady Eye.

As for guest stars, Gallagher announced that The Smiths legend, Johnny Marr, will feature on the album’s closing track “The Ballad of the Mighty I”. This has been a plan of Gallagher’s since his first solo album where Marr was asked to play on “What a Life” but turned it down. Gallagher has said about Marr; “he’s truly a great guitarist and he has something that nobody else has. He’s amazing, a top man“.

It will be interesting to see what The Smiths icon is bringing to the album, with his vast experience. Will he bring a mellow vibe to the closing track or will he bring a jumpy, upbeat riff (like he did with “The Charming Man” in The Smiths)? I don’t know what to expect of the closing track but I do think it could be the most impressive part of the album. Watching Noel Gallagher live in the past with other artists such as Paul Weller and even Johnny Depp, Gallagher does rub off well on others so hopefully it is the same with Marr.

And as always, Oasis has to be mentioned. Since it is the 20th anniversary of Oasis’ Definitely Maybe, there have been rumours thrown all over the place about a reunion of the 4-piece band. When asked about the reunion by a fan at the Q+A, his answer was, “What reunion?” so don’t get your hopes up about it yet! I know I have and this disappointed me quite a bit… Maybe on his next album, the rumours will be true! Noel Gallagher and The High Flying Bird’s Chasing Yesterday is set for release on the 2nd of March, 2015, and is available for pre-order from Amazon right now.

Words by Nicholas Hamilton // Edited by Ayo Adepoju

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