Gary Flockhart: New album good, first Noel better

Noel Gallaghers' new album, Chasing Yesterday. Pic: PA

Noel Gallaghers' new album, Chasing Yesterday. Pic: PA

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YOU would have to be living under a rock not to know Noel Gallagher has a new album out.

What you may not know is that this column has ‘previous’ with the former Oasis man.

Back in 2011, when Noel released his first solo effort, High Flying Birds, the singer’s PR refused to provide me with a press ticket for a gig at the Usher Hall after I described the album as “a lot like a collection of Oasis B-sides”.

When the media got wind of the snub it all blew up. For days, my phone barely stopped, with radio stations and newspapers from as far afield as Brazil asking me to comment. The story was everywhere for a while. And then it was fish ’n chips paper.

It all blew up again, however, when Noel took to his blog to ‘rectify’ the claims. “There was a story I’d had some hairdresser-turned-journalist banned from the gig for apparently s**tting on the album? A ludicrous claim,” he wrote. “Sounds like someone trying to make a name for himself.”

Wrong, Noel. I simply didn’t think the album was very good - and I said so.

Now that he has a new album out it would be easy to reopen old wounds by dismissing it out of hand. But that would be petty. Not to mention a tad unprofessional.

Truth is, I’ve given Chasing Yesterday a few spins and it’s a lot better than its predecessor.

Is it his best work? No. Is it his best since Oasis? Yes. Will it satisfy hardcore fans? Definitely. Is it an early contender for album of the year? Let’s not push it.

All told, Chasing Yesterday has some throwaway songs and some good songs - it’s a typical Noel Gallagher album in that respect - but there’s enough of the latter that he needn’t call little brother Liam to arrange that big reunion just yet.