Album Review | ROCK

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, ‘Chasing Yesterday’

It’s always tricky when an artist admits, “I was making the whole thing up as I went along.” Noel Gallagher, the former Oasis co-leader, said that about this new solo album, which has a dashed-off, somewhat directionless feel, yet is much more impressive than his nonchalant confession would suggest. “The Riverman” evokes “Wonderwall”-era Oasis, but “Lock All the Doors” and “You Know We Can’t Go Back” have a harder, Foo Fighters-like adrenaline rush. Gallagher smartly expands the instrumentation, including a Mellotron on the Beatlesesque “The Girl With the X-Ray Eyes” and a bass clarinet on “The Right Stuff.” Guitarist Johnny Marr turns up on “Ballad of the Mighty I,” lending a dreamy solo evocative of his Smiths days. Gallagher doesn’t distinguish himself with his cliche-prone lyrics, but as he just told one interviewer, “The words? Who cares about the words?” Well, some of us do, but the melody-rich music here compensates nicely. (Out Tuesday)


ESSENTIAL “Lock All the Doors”

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds perform at Boston Opera House June 6.
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