Sound — 8
"Chasing Yesterday" is the follow-up to the self-titled first album of Noel Gallagher. According to the two singles that surfaced before the release, one could wonder if Noel hadn't not lose himself into the easy pop music that seems to flourish these days.
But after a few minutes of listening, all doubts disappear. All along the album, Noel demonstrates again how a production genius he is. Brass instruments are more present and new effects are added on the guitars, like on "The Girl With X-Ray Eyes" with a Leslie Effect that suits the song perfectly. Whatever he adds or removes, it always hits the right spot.
Here, Noel succeedes to mix his own sound with new vibes, as in "Lock All the Doors" and "You Know We Can't Go Back." They are not the best songs he made, but there is an interesting americanish style. Yet, the strength of this album relies on what he does the best. "Riverman," "The Dying of the Light," "While the Song Remains" are very simple on the content, but they are exalted by the little things added here and there, the short riffs, the long solos, the instrumentation. As already said, it's always right on the money.
Lyrics — 7
Noel's lyrics are not very elaborate, but he made an effort here. The lyrics are less redundant compared to the first album, and he managed to write well crafted lines.
As for the voice part, he did a great job as usual, putting commitment or being soft when needed. He is a natural singer, and his voice got better year after year. I would just give a red card for the "nananana" and the "whowhowhowho." This really gets on my nerve, but luckily, he didn't have the cheek to put that on the good songs.
Overall Impression — 8
Although there are clearly some mistakes ("The Mexican," "In the Heat of the Moment"), Noel Gallagher succeeded in writing a beautiful sequel to his first solo album. Even if it is mostly carried up by a few quality tunes and filled with others rather less important, "Chasing Yesterday" like its predecessor is not just another Oasis album, it's way more than that. Noel did a good thing quitting his former band, it seems he is now freer to express himself.
Best tunes: "Riverman," "While the Song Remains."
Worst tunes: "The Mexican," "In the Heat of the Moment."