so, one can hear Noel Gallagher's second "solo" effort today, thanks to Apple. this is ahead of the release next Monday, 2nd March or something like that.
i have heard it, look you see. twice, as it happens. is there going to be a third time? unlikely. this is quite sad, for as much of a complete dick Noel is, he happens to be very much rock and roll, and the music was always good. walking to HMV on the day of release and buying his new album should be a "this is happening", no brainer sort of formality.
if his first solo album was anonymous and sounded like a gent who wished to be regarded as an elder statesman of rock, sitting on a rocking chair and having critics applaud his every whim, then this one is all "it is time for me to release something, here you go".
everything about the album screams "contractual obligations". the 44 minute running time seems rather like the length an album had to be to qualify for album sales. the ten tracks are all nice and neat of a fairly equal running length.
lyrically one should never expect much from Noel - he's not writing epic prog rock, after all, he's doing regular rock, to be sung and shouted along to. however, here we have far too much "na na na nanananahhh" and "la la la lahalaaaah" instead of regular words. there are also vast acres of instrumentals on this short album; instrumentals filled with mediocre, pedestrian and frankly dull guitar ditties.
there are a couple of times when you kind of wish the lyrics, when they appear, were absent. on track six, for instance (Noel was clearly very half arsed in naming songs and the album so i am not going to bother either) he seems to be going on about a ninja. a particular highlight would be track ten, during which Noel cribs, borrows or "lifts" from Adele. oh yes, that Adele.
i am going to sound like an apologist here. Noel's been a recognizable presence in music for 20 years. let's look at how he compares to other elder statesmen of rock 20 years into their careers.
in the 1980s, after some 20 years of fame, one found Jimmy Page doing the soundtrack for Death Wish II. Roger Daltrey was doing a trout farm. Pete Townshend was selling his songs to banks for adverts. Paul McCartney was doing songs with frogs. Bowie was recording Never Let Me Down. Paul Weller was getting knacked for doing The Style Council. the Stones were sitting on piles of money having temper tantrums.
in comparison, Noel Gallagher marking 20 years in the business with a dull, insipid, this will sort of do kind of album is hardly all that bad.
i really, really miss Liam. i liked Beady Eye. there was no lying or dishonesty with Liam - if he released it then it was at least to his ears decent, and he gave it everything, giving it all for the fans. Noel wants money for minimal effort mediocrity, and as we have seen he makes no secret at all of the fact that he wants more and more and more money.
the best thing that can be said of Chasing Yesterday is that this second album makes the first one sound really exciting all of a sudden.
will i end up going and buying it? probably, despite myself. i feel this kind of weird obligation about it, like i am saying "well if i don't buy this then i am saying yeah, rock as it once was is gone". so if i do post pictures of me in HMV, it's all me clinging to nostalgia and memories, nothing to do with the album.
for all those who rushed off to sell out his tour in seconds - man, i really really hope he has enough sense and decency to give you a set top heavy with Oasis. which, in fairness, is what so many rushed off for tickets in the hope of.
Noel - i hope you and every musician that plugs away makes as many millions and billions as possible. be as rich as you can handle. but some decent music, stuff where you at least pretend to be interested, would be jolly nice in exchange for all the coins we can give you.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!