I'm in the tank for Noel Gallagher and have been since I first fell in love with "Live Forever" on Oasis' timeless debut Definitely Maybe. He's floated a turd or two over the course of his career but his misses are more interesting than most hits and his best work is equal parts magic and genius (he would tell you the same thing) and I'm ecstatic about his new record Chasing Yesterday. Those are the ears listening to the first single "In The Heat Of The Moment," which I can first confirm is not the Asia tune (though he really ought to record a version of that for the B-side, just for fun).
I had a momentary cringe in the first 10 seconds when I heard the big "Na na na" bit in the intro and that comes back later but the song has gotten much better by the time it returns. Gallagher has been promising/threatening for years to bring back the excess of Be Here Now but with better songs and that's a bit of what we have here. Percussion bells chime, keyboards mimick a string section yearning to make this a pop symphony, and layered vocals create a choral effect. Gallagher pushes into his upper register with confidence and clarity on the lead vocal, particularly in the chorus.
I don't know what he's on about in this one but he seems to understand a song thisbig needs a lyric playing to that sense of the grand, opening with the line, "They tell me you've touched the face of God." The chorus is a bit of a mystery but maintains unrestrained and vast without apology:
The more that you want it
The more that you need it
I know you'll be by my side
In the heat of the moment when the thunder and lightning come
I know that you'll be by my side
There's also something intimate that in that heat of the moment, he's still looking to the person next to him and knowing that while they may not have whatever the "it" is, neither of them will be alone.
"In The Heat Of The Moment" is not as good as I think it is but it is fantastic and I love it. Damn you, Noel, for making me wait six months for the record but welcome back, Chief. Things are so much more interesting with you around.