an unremarkable album, every track seems just to creep on by with barely a whimper...
Sam Villis

09:58 9th May 2007

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It’s impossible not to note that the scene has changed substantially since 1999 though somehow it has been an inconceivable eight years since Travis’s 'The Man Who' was released. In that time Travis have often been blamed for opening up the music scene to middle of the road acts like Coldplay and Keane who have since eclipsed them in popularity. It’s a little unfair to do this, 'The Man Who' being an album of pure pop joy laced with just the right amount of melancholy to dampen down the whole affair. They can’t really be blamed if a certain quotient of the British population liked this combination and blindly went in search of more.

These people subsequently gobbling up third album, 'The Invisible Band', making singles ‘Sing’, and ‘How Much Is That Doggy…’ no, sorry, ‘Flowers In The Window’ some of the most played songs on British radio in 2001, and eventually getting right on everyone’s tits.

You would think that Travis have nothing to loose, they are in a comfortable zone where their records are guaranteed to sell, you would think they would have nothing to lose. In a perfect world they would succumb to reckless abandon and do something really mental, like release a prog album or start playing sitars… Unfortunately Travis have released an unremarkable album, every track seems just to creep on by with barely a whimper. Its hard to say if it is good or bad because it sounds like so much like that which has come before.

There are moments when there is a glimmer of hope that they might be pushing the envelope just a little bit. ‘Big Chair’ sounds vaguely like they’re attempting a Thom Yorke kind of electronica, with a brooding repetitive bass, piano and drum loop but alas Healey starts singing and by the chorus we are safely back in Travis territory. Similarly ‘Selfish Jean’ is uncharacteristically upbeat but is really just a poor man’s ‘Town Called Malice’.

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