After the dark, protest-song side trip that was 12 Memories, Travis have returned to what they do best (and did FIRST, long before Coldplay, Starsailor, or any other). This album sits very nicely next to The Man Who and The Invisible Band, and while it doesn't reach the brilliance of the former, it most certainly is equal to or better than the latter. There are bittersweet lyrics, happy jangly guitars, and even some violin here and there in the songs, and the textures work very well. These guys are decent musicians.
As in albums past, Fran's lyrics remain in "forced rhyme" mode, which can occasionally grate on the ears, and sometimes just plain don't make sense ("I wake up to find you lying awake with your hands in your head..." Eww!), but most of the time they work. I also like some of more experimental sounds Travis pursues (experimental for Travis, anyway), especially the bass-driven song, Big Chair. Unfortunately, this album also contains what is arguably the WORST Travis song ever, New Amsterdam. There is a hidden song called Sailing that makes up for this misstep, however.
I find Travis to be a band that, like CAKE or some others bands, sounds best when they stick to their time-tested formula. Some bands need to rework their sounds from album to album to keep it interesting for themselves and others (Radiohead, to name one), but Travis has a pop-perfect sound that is utterly timeless. Why mess with it?