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    the boy with no name

    The Boy With No Name 7 ( 2007 )
    3 Times and You Lose / Selfish Jean / Closer / Big Chair / Battleships / Eyes Wide Open / My Eyes / One Night / Out In Space / Colder / New Amsterdam

    In 1994 Travis were called 'Glass Onion'. They were one of the second ( perhaps even 3rd ) wave of Britpop acts and only hit big when Britpop was nearing its end. Songs like 'Why Does It Always Rain On Me' were hummable by Milkmen and Travis scored big with the general public at large, if not always the critics. 'The Boy With No Name' is a concious attempt by Travis to get back to what they did best with 'The Man Who', no frills tunefulness. Travis have never really been hip and their brand of polite pop/rock was never going to change the world and that much is true also of 'The Boy With No Name'. Joining Travis in the studio is producer Nigel Godrich who adds some much needed texture to these songs. Fran Healy's voice and Travis music can suffer from blandess and a lack of rough edges. These songs benefit hugely from the touches of Godrich, 'Colder' for example has a superb sound with hints at other things and a layered backing track. The harmonica break is also a nice touch during 'Colder' and helps the track stand-out. Lead single 'Closer' is trademark Travis, a winning smile surely almost visible as the song plays safely through. It's a slight surprise to hear booming drums open up 'Selfish Jean' but the song soon traces familiar Travis territory with clean vocals and a ringing, chiming guitar sound. Decent enough song, though. Travis do try on this album to make sure the album doesn't get too samey, acoustic guitar for 'Out In Space', piano for 'Battleships' a few string sections dotted around the place, too.

    'Battleships' sounds like potential single material to these ears, it has that thing Travis do, plus mentions of sinking, drifting, drowning. Travis drift very nicely and have these lonely spaces in the songs for a listener to inhabit and feel warmed by. 'Big Chair' is a really lovely swooning tune, beautiful really, but Travis still sound too much like music to shop to, pleasant, nice background stuff that is easy to switch on and off without your brain getting taxed too much. It's hard to imagine anyone but the particularly snobby disliking this album, but equally hard to imagine lots of people being activited excited by it. Still, Travis can only do what they do and they do that pretty well for the large majority of this album.

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    Readers Comments

    Lee Foster,
    7 an half out of 10 i think thats about right. Travis have always been a very impressive band to me an i love there style an way of doing things the travis way. But they are in my opinion a SINGLES BANDS an can sometimes have bland unremarkable songs on there albums . but when they are good . they are very very good. Here i would say SELFISH JEAN is defienetley one for the collection of the awesome best of travis which will one day be compiled an will be perhaps one of my favourite albums of all time. really love this guys voice an his style of singing that song rocks! .. however the song on this album that is so TRAVIS an has the whole beautiful vocal thing an sweet sound i love them to make is BATTLESHIPS, just pure class an a perfect song that only TRAVIS could do . I'd say thats one of there best songs ever . an essential travis. Its addictive an almost illegally catchy yet cool at the same time . No-one else could sing like that an sing a song like that an make it sound! so good . most people would murder it an get called bad singers . elsewhere on here we have other standouts CLOSER .which was the 1st single an a very worthy addition to the travis back catalog ..thers also the single MY EYES which is pretty standard with a very catchy bridge. not really the best travis single but its okay. theres EYES WIDE OPEN which is pretty damn catchy an well structured rock n roll with that excellent voice which is so expressive been used to full effect in the chorus. an we have UNDER THE MOONLIGHT which is kinda a standard rock n roll song by TRAVIS standards but really fresh an beautiful an brings home the fact as with CLOSER just how sweet this guy is an he is the guy who wrote FLOWERS IN THE WINDOW .. He is one of the few guys who writes love songs which are actually good an not too cheesey an really emotional an easy to feel . just like the wonderful bonus track PERFECT HEAVEN SPACE its real nice music an songwriting an he is the sweeter more s! ensitive guy to come out of the britpop era by a mile .even on! the att empts of harder rock in the early days in U16 GIRLS ect .. he been nice an the good guy with positive rightness about him . He is the rockstar you would be glad to be your daughters bf lol . Thats the thing about travis that is really appealing an its the fact that its rock an roll but its a real sweet guy with a real sweet voice an sweet songs an thank the lord that he has been able to get his music out there in the world in a big way an been a positive impact an one of the more sensitive songwriters of the modern world who we embraced an i love to hear this guy sing . BATTLESHIPS takes me to another world man! lol

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    this page last updated 2/05/08

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