The Invisible Band
marks no major change in direction for Travis, but this is no bad thing. That Travis are the most simplistic of the post-Radiohead groups may not sound like the heartiest of compliments, but it undoubtedly accounts for their massive appeal. The Man Who
became one of the most popular indie-rock records of the 1990s by virtue of its cheery accessibility and its way with a simple weather metaphor, and judging by the lyrics of "Side"--"The grass is always greener on the other side / The neighbor's got a new car that you wanna drive"--it's immediately obvious that come their third full-length album, Travis have figured out that their fans are not waiting for a brave sonic crusade. Which doesn't matter a bit, because The Invisible Band
is such a natural, instantly lovable, and thoroughly unforced record, it seems completely churlish to knock it. The opening "Sing" sounds like, since their inception, all Travis have been missing is a banjo; the florid "Flowers in the Window" harks back to McCartney's finest Beatles compositions; and the synth-led "Humpty Dumpty Love Song" lays Travis's sentimental heart bare. "I'd pray to God if there were heaven," sings Fran Healy on "Pipe Dreams," "But heaven sounds so very far from here..." And that's exactly why Travis are so popular; they're the humble down-to-earth boys from next door, still singing the simplest songs, still making the mundane sound beautiful. --Louis Pattison
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.