The Invisible Band...
I was never really a big Travis fan. Sure, I liked their singles - especially 'Tied to the 90s', 'Turn' and 'Why Does It Always Rain on Me?'. Marky bought their new album this week and I've been listening to it at work ever since. It's really grown on me. Here's my track by track musings.
The single 'Sing' is a good way to start any album with it's up tempo radio friendly tune and lyrics. But this start is soon replaced with a more contemplative mood on track two - 'Dear Diary'. It wouldn't be out of place on an early Radiohead album - slow and wailing vocals with an introspective tone to the words. Back in familiar territory with the next track is 'Side'. This is quintessential Travis - simple, catchy and melodic. It will please fans and is an obvious candidate for a second single. Next is 'Pipe Dreams' - a rather retro ditty that reminds me of the neo-folk movement in the 70s. A clean song with an oft repeated chorus. Ideal campfire fodder? The strongest track on the album is 'Flowers In The Window'. A real grower (no pun intended) it gets under your skin like Lennon/McCartney at their best. How can a song fail to impress when it has seagulls in it's soundscape? Perhaps another choice for a single. Back to the more sedate Travis follows with 'The Cage'. A love song from the heart. Minimal production and clever mixing, makes it sounds like a tuneful music box song. 'Safe' is a wonderful song in the vain of Supertramp. The heartfelt vocals and wonderful rift carry you along. You can't help but love it. The next track is 'Follow The Light'. I think this could be dubbed 'Tied to The 90s - the 2001 mix'. Same style... same mood... same song! Following on is 'Last Train'. More navel gazing lyrics ("I'm gonna buy a gun and I'm gonna shoot everyone. Then I'm gonna come looking for you...") as the band goes round and around on that music box again. Next is 'Afterglow'. It's a bit of an album filler and it drags a bit. Over produced too. 'Indefinitely' is in a similar vain to 'Dear Diary' - slow, moody and haunting. Well written and well played. Good for a bit of late night listening. The last track is 'The Humpty Dumpty Song'. Almost invisible lyrics, lots of plinkity, plinkity plink noises, a full orchestra in there somewhere, the odd power chord and lots of random guitar strumming. But it goes to produce that unique Travis sound. A fitting end to a good, but not great, album. 7/10 (i.e. borrow rather than buy).
Why not write an album review yourself? It's always fun to read others. Send it to me.