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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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
216 Ratings
216 Ratings
woodletoons ,

Before Keane there was Travis - Bravo! Great return and true to form!

Buy it!! What a wonderful collection of songs from a great band who continue their unabashed romance with melody. Their music suffers not one whit for their several years absence and once again Travis demonstrates their mastery of songcraft. If you're unfamiliar with Travis, go back and get "The Man Who" and "The Invisible Band." Their songs are so well done they seem to curl up cozily and comfortably in the ear - honest and earnest tunes that are never overly sincere or cloying. You won't regret this disc either, and iTunes has been kind enough to throw in not one, but two bonus tracks!

RealRock ,

Thank you Travis.

For going back to the Man Who sound that I fell in love with. Selfish Jean, lookout! Battleships, are you kidding me?! And Closer, you kill me. My Eyes, yes!

If you can't appreciate Travis, then you have no meodius bone in your body.

Narnians ,

Ahh, finally......

So happy to say, the anticipated return of Travis is nothing short of spectacular. The Boy with No Name takes the band's characteristic swelling melodic constructions further with every song, resulting in a near-seamless sound that floats rather than walks through the listener's consciousness. Perhaps the one downside is that this stream-of-consciousness, thoughtful mood which the album inspires fails to bring attention to any particular song as "the obvious single". But then again, when every song is a true work of sonic art, there's no need to worry about popularity stats and billboard charts.

Hats off to you, gents, you've crafted another masterpiece.

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