I have been a huge Travis fan since their early days, and they have only gotten better with age. Four albums into their career, "Singles" takes stock of all of their singles that range from humble beginning tracks to arena-filling anthems. This works better as an introduction to those new to the band, and depending on your level of fanfare, the two new songs make it worth a purchase for the diehards.
The tracks are basically divisible by the albums. The tracks from "Good Feeling", their debut, are more Britpop infused, with standout tracks such as "U16 Girls", "All I Wanna Do Is Rock", and "More Than Us". The songs from "The Man Who" are definitely more polished, and it is easy to see why they hit is big with this album. There are few bands who can produce songs like "Driftwood", "Turn" and "Writing to Reach You" on the same record. The tracks from "The Invisible Band" take the sound to the next level, with more stadium-rocking tracks like "Sing", "Side" and the country-infused "Flowers in the Window" (perhaps my least favorite of the tracks). This is my favorite Travis album, as it is the most consistent. Next we have tracks from the fan favored but critically underrated "12 Memories", which is their weakest album, but one that packed more than a few great songs. Included here is the hit single "Re-Offender" (one of their best songs), "Love Will Come Through" and the politically-charged "The Beautiful Occupation". The highlights of each album are here, and it makes for a nice, comprehensive overview of their work so far.
Being a singles collection, there are loads of good songs that are not included here. Missing are some of my favorite Travis songs like "As You Are", "Last Train", "Happy to Hang Around", and "Peace the F*** Out". But this is to be expected, as there is a sharp difference between a "Best of" package and a "Singles" compilation. Many good songs are overlooked. But what I am happy about is the inclusion of "Coming Around", which was a one-off single released between "The Man Who" and "The Invisible Band". The new song, "Walking in the Sun", is a good tune in the typical Travis style, but I wouldn't buy this compilation on the strength of that song alone.
Overall, you can't go wrong with a Travis CD. They have had many great songs and I hope that they have many more to come. For someone new to the band, this is the best place to start. The fans probably have all the albums, so this compilation is not an essential purchase.