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The Boy With No Name

4.4 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 4, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This album contains 13 brand new tracks and reunites the band with acclaimed producer Nigel Godrich. [Note: This product is an authorized CD-R and is manufactured on demand]

Amazon.com

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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. 3 Times And You Lose
  2. Selfish Jean
  3. Closer
  4. Big Chair
  5. Battleships
  6. Eyes Wide Open
  7. My Eyes
  8. One Night
  9. Under The Moonlight
  10. Out In Space
  11. Colder
  12. New Amsterdam
  13. Sailing Away


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 4, 2011)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Independiente
  • Run Time: 63 minutes
  • ASIN: B000O77SKY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,495 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Gray on May 14, 2007
Format: Audio CD
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?
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I absolutely adore Travis, and although their sound has progressed somewhat over the years since they began (they've been around for a long time), I still very much enjoy every single album and song and The Boy With No Name is one of my favorites. If you are new to Travis I would suggest you start at their latest release (including Fran's solo album) and then work backwards. Everyone finds their own path to music, this is just my opinion.
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Format: Audio CD
Travis return with their brand of melodic but melancholic rock, and that choir boy voice, aped since by fellow Brits Coldplay and Keane.

Titled after lead singer Fran Healey's son who was nameless for a while after being born recently, "The boy who had no name" opens with the downbeat Simon & Garfunkel-like "3 times and you lose", followed by the upbeat Motown-like "Selfish Jean".

Lead off single "Closer" is a rather dreamy, melancholic tune, with superb, echoing vocal effects.

Other standouts are "Big chair", the sweeping "Eyes wide open" (with edgy guitars), the touching "My eyes" (which seems to be about Healey's son), the ballads "One night" (pretty and jangly), "Out in space" (complete with alien-like effects), and the woozy "Colder". "Under the moonlight" features KT Tunstall.

Tight harmonies, beautiful guitar and piano work, and personal lyrics, just what we've come to expect from Travis!!
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Format: Audio CD
i remember touring in england when i saw a TV spot for this new record form travis called "the man who"...the next day i went to the virgin magastore in picadilly circus to buy it, but it was the equivalent of about 30 bucks US. i declined purchase thinking i would pick it up in the states when i got home for about half that. not realizing it was in import-only, i spent the next year trying to but it online or illegally download songs from the internet. i finally got it when it was officially released in the states and thought it was just majestic. lush english soundscapes, U2esque guitarwork, and fran's unique almost operatic voice; the album was strong from start to finish and really (to me) painted a landscape of what scotland and england actually felt like in the late 90's.

"the invisible band" came next, and this is where i felt travis started to really get cheesy. granted, they're not that impressive lyrically to begin with, but i can accept a semi-sappy love song if it's packaged in a way that travis was genius at to begin with. (btw, "good feeling" was a great freshman effort for a young UK band. nothing really unique, but showed some promise. i never listen to this record now.) but with "sing" i wanted to distance. the saving grace of this record was in the latter part. it got really dark and really smart with the almost-trilogy of "last train", "afterglow", and "indefinitely". it was a perfect balance of the 3 minute simple britpop song and foreshadowing of something a bit more progressive. to me it saved the record. they should have stopped there.

it was gonna take me being blown away by travis to really consider them one of my favorite bands again with their next release. i just couldn't get my head around "12 memories". maybe i had outgrown them.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been a Travis Fan since 'The Man Who'. I actually liked 12 memories, but understood that it was far too dark for most people.

Thankfully, this album is upbeat and has a ton of GOOD songs.

Battleships, Big Chair, Closer, and My Eyes could get plenty of airtime. Check out the bonus song at about 5:50 on the last track -- it's terrific!

If you've liked Travis in the past, this album will *NOT* disappoint.
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Well I've read the other reviews and comments here, and I have nothing new to add. I like Travis, but they repeat themselves each album. I, too, would like to see a more drastic change, but at the same time it doesn't matter because Travis fill a niche in my cd collection. They DO sound like Radiohead, Coldplay and in some ways The Verve. I don't think they copied Radiohead or The Verve, nor do I think Coldplay stole from Travis or Radiohead. I like all of these bands for the same reason: they sound alike, and I might now add Snow Patrol to this as well.

This is Travis's fifth studio album in ten years. I think it has seven good songs: "Selfish Jean", "Closer", "Big Chair", "Battleships", "Eyes Wide Open", "My Eyes" and "New Amsterdam". That leaves six average tracks including the hidden track which I will call "Sailing Away". This is typical, in my not-so-humble opinion, of a Travis album. Good melodies, good lyrics, nice, soothing mood music that I think actually began with The Byrds. Travis have always had this 60's vibe to their harmonies which I like.

So what to recommend for a Travis fan? Buy it, don't buy it, do what you will. It doesn't matter to me. I bought it, I liked it, I own all five of their albums, so take that for what it's worth. I didn't think it was fantastic, nor did I think it was the best album by the band. It was just good.
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