14 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

There was a time before Coldplay, Keane and Snow Patrol established themselves as a new wave of Brit-pop when Glasgow, Scotland’s Travis were viewed as Radiohead-lite. (Sharing Radiohead’s producer — Nigel Godrich — didn’t help this perception.) Singer-songwriter Francis Healy has a lightness of touch that recalls Radiohead’s Thom Yorke at his most relaxed, but writing hummable melodies and uncovering the simple beauty in pop music’s construction isn’t as easy — or safe — as it seems. While Travis may not have transformed much over their five studio albums, they have maintained a high level of performance and The Boy With No Name continues this streak. With the opening acoustic strum of “3 Times and You Lose,” the album’s haunting, ingratiating melodies are ready for service. “Selfish Jean” kicks them out of their usual sense of drone, while “Closer,” “My Eyes” and “Battleships” add the band’s trademark guitar-keyboard shimmer.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There was a time before Coldplay, Keane and Snow Patrol established themselves as a new wave of Brit-pop when Glasgow, Scotland’s Travis were viewed as Radiohead-lite. (Sharing Radiohead’s producer — Nigel Godrich — didn’t help this perception.) Singer-songwriter Francis Healy has a lightness of touch that recalls Radiohead’s Thom Yorke at his most relaxed, but writing hummable melodies and uncovering the simple beauty in pop music’s construction isn’t as easy — or safe — as it seems. While Travis may not have transformed much over their five studio albums, they have maintained a high level of performance and The Boy With No Name continues this streak. With the opening acoustic strum of “3 Times and You Lose,” the album’s haunting, ingratiating melodies are ready for service. “Selfish Jean” kicks them out of their usual sense of drone, while “Closer,” “My Eyes” and “Battleships” add the band’s trademark guitar-keyboard shimmer.

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