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The Boy With No Name
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Top Customer Reviews
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?
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!!
"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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Best TRAVIS Album in my opinion. The Melodies are so perfect absolutely beautiful.Published 6 months ago by Billy Wantabe
Travis is an underappreciated pop band. Tons of tracks leap out at you here: "Selfish Jean", "Closer", "Battleships", "Eyes Wide Open", "Out in... Read morePublished on August 24, 2014 by Daniel W. Bleier
If I can't decide on what to listen to, I can always put on Travis and be happy I made that decision. Read morePublished on May 22, 2013 by Jennis
Almost as good as "The Invisible Band"! Their inspiration is still in great shape!... It has a kind of overall sadness, but is intelligent and beautiful as usual!Published on September 27, 2010 by Daniel Cesar
Just love the songs on this album. You won't be sorry purchasing this one...every song's a winner with me!Published on November 27, 2009 by D. J. Slaughter
After a long pause, Travis is back with a new strong release. The sound is the familiar crispy; perhaps with a fuller production than what was heard on the previous albums. Read morePublished on October 10, 2009 by Morten Vindberg
Se esperaba un album nuevo, demasiadas expectativas, lamentablemente no las cubrio del todo. Tiene muy buenas canciones que como singles han funcionado muy bien y un excelente... Read morePublished on June 15, 2009 by SPKBLUE
Most bands are not expected to grow leaps and bounds between albums, but mild Brit rockers Travis seem to completely ignore the concept and if anything, have slipped backwards. Read morePublished on December 14, 2008 by IRate