Boy W/No Name Import
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Vinyl LP pressing of Travis's 2007 album. The fifth album overall by these Scottish Pop/Rockers is their most consistent release to date and is overflowing with great melodies and dynamic musical twists and turns. 12 tracks including the first single 'Closer'. Sony.
Travis seemingly disappeared after the arguably forgettable 12 Memories but the sound of the Scottish group's daydream-pretty guitar rock endured thanks to Keane, Snow Patrol, and especially Coldplay. More than three years later, Travis is playing catch-up with their fifth studio album, The Boy with No Name. Predictably, it's a well-crafted affair, bursting to life with tunes that celebrate life's minor victories such as "Closer," "Battleships," and "My Eyes." But as a comeback effort it feels flawed, let down by both melodies that disappear into the ether as quickly as they come out of the speakers ("One Night," "3 Times You Lose") and those that clumsily attempt to tweak the formula ("Eyes Wide Open," "Selfish Jean"). --Aidin Vaziri
Top Customer Reviews
"I had a nightmare/I lived in a little town/where little dreams were broken/and words were seldom spoken," Fran Healy sings in a slightly off-key voice, over soft murmuring guitars. But they rapidly pick up into an increasingly vibrant sound, despite the bittersweetness of the song.
The songs that follow are a similar mix of vibrant Britpop and melancholy lyrics -- the gentle, uncertain ripple of "Big Chair," the grimy stomp of "Eyes Wide Open," the keyboard shimmerpop, a rattly stomp that evolves into a tight pop tune, mellow little guitar ballads, and even a song with an Arcade Fire flair to it.
Yeah, it sounds quite dark and melancholy, especially in the lyrics. But surprisingly Travis sound much peppier in "Boy With No Name," compared to their last album. There's a new passion in Healy's voice, and they sound like they're pouring lots of energy into the instrumentation.
It's also quite nice that they haven't radically changed their sound as many bands do; they sound essentially the same in "Boy With No Name" as they have before. The ringing, gentle guitars, shimmery keyboard, gentle piano and solid drums are still solidly in place, though with renewed enthusiasm.
But they've come up with some new flourishes to keep it from sounding like the same ol' same ol' -- a fuzzy intro, a clattery intro to "Selfish Jean," and a brilliantly epic mass of rippling keyboard and swirling guitars in "Colder," which takes Britpop to a new level.Read more ›
Now that is risk taking.
Already, the likes of Coldplay and Keane have bottled and, indeed, tweaked the original Travis formula to a point where success in the fickle world of pop is virtually guranteed.
For Travis, the new record, "The Boy With No Name", follows a similar path, ironically first laid down by the talented Scots nearly a decade ago.
The question is will pop be big enough for the three of them?
Travis with lead singer Fran Healey in fine fettle are certainly making a determined stab of it.
Like "The Man Who", "The Boy With No Name" is a collection of songs as tuneful as they are emotional.
And in "Big Chair", "Battleships" and "Eyes Wide Open" they have killer tracks that match "Why Does It Always Rain On Me" and "Driftwood" in the quality stakes.
There's a real warmth to the material particularly on the moving "My Eyes", written the day Healey found out he was going to be a dad.
In the past Travis have had the tag 'gloomy' thrown at them - "The Boy With No Name" is anything but.
On the contrary, there are no whiny moments.
Instead this album radiates feel good beautifully crafted songs that will lodge in the memory.
"The Boy With No Name" is a wonderfully charming record that hopefully will see Travis regain their acoustic rock crown.
You will love it!
There isn't a catchy song amongst the bunch, and the lead guitar player must be in perpetual pergatory until Fran and the boys let him plug-in again.
I loved the melancholy-laden The Man Who, but this has become a watered-down Travis-by-Numbers