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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return
Having been lucky enough to watch Travis live in a smallish venue (Liverpool Carling Academy) about three years ago, I was extremely impressed with the energy, drive and tunefulness of the band. It left me looking forward to a new album, which ended up being a long time in the making - but here it is.

'Three Times And You Lose' is a great opening track,...
Published on 19 July 2007 by M. Bowers

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1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent ... but easily forgettable
The latest studio-based offering from Travis (who seeing the fortunes of rivals Take That improve also decided to jump on the come-back band wagon)offers a few happy go lucky songs that are perfectly suitable to nodding your head or tapping your feet to, but after a while you do grow tired of it and none of the songs stand out. They should have called this 'The Album With...
Published on 18 Jan 2008 by starg8


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return, 19 July 2007
By 
M. Bowers (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Boy with No Name (Audio CD)
Having been lucky enough to watch Travis live in a smallish venue (Liverpool Carling Academy) about three years ago, I was extremely impressed with the energy, drive and tunefulness of the band. It left me looking forward to a new album, which ended up being a long time in the making - but here it is.

'Three Times And You Lose' is a great opening track, simultaneously catchy, jangly and moody. Then there's 'Selfish Jean', which nobody with an ounce of rhythm would fail to notice is a kick-ass tune, blazing a powerful, energetic trail with some fabulous lyrics (at university, there was a girl I had the misfortune of living with who labelled all of her food with her own name, so Fran's lyric of 'You keep your chocolate biscuits wired to a car alarm' really makes me smile).

'Closer' is a beautiful track, delicate and wistful, and there are plenty of other gems here too. 'My Eyes' has personal meaning for me as I've listened to it over the last few months, watching my baby son grow up - I can feel what Fran has written about, and the music itself is classic Travis. 'Battleships', with the falsetto vocal, could have failed if Fran didn't have enough power in his singing to pull it off; as it is, it is a gentle triumph.

The only criticism I have is that the album tends to get a bit safe and samey in the final tracks from 'Out In Space' through to 'New Amsterdam'. I've given it plenty of time and listening, but there isn't anything special enough about these songs to differentiate them from the crowd; they're OK, but not stunning. Given that the rest of the album is so good, it shows these songs up a little for me.

Nonetheless, these guys started a musical trend that has revitalised British music, with real bands playing real tunes with real instruments, and this album fits well within the musical genre. After the slightly incongruous 'Twelve Memories', which was a bit uneven in terms of musical quality, this is a grown-up Travis doing what they do best. If you like Travis, you've probably already got this CD, but if you haven't got it yet you're missing out on what will definitely be one of the best releases this year.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At their best, 8 July 2007
By 
D. Bichan "De" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Boy with No Name (Audio CD)
These guys were written off in my books until I had the pleasure of seeing them at T in the Park a couple of years ago. Every song seemed much the same from their first four albums (the Petshop Boys syndrome) with the exception of some cracking songs like Driftwood and Sing. However Fran Healy is a rare outdoor festival commodity and can really get the crowd going. He and the rest of the band wanted to be there resulting in the crowd wanting to be there with them. He inspired me so much that I bought their latest album and on the first few listenings it's arguably their best album to date. Could it be that they are free of the pressure of the first 5 album contract and have had time to relax and enjoy writing music again?

This album has more depth than any of their previous offerings yet still has the familiar Travis feel. Closer, with its moving orchestral feel and Fan's voice at it's best, could nearly bring a man to tears. Big Chair starts off with a Linkin Park feel to it and has a lovely upbeat feel. Selfish Jean wouldn't be out of place as a Trainspotting theme with an Iggy Pop style intro. It's a gutsy number and will definitely get the crowds rocking at any future T in the Park performance.

An excellent album which fills me with excitement for a live performance and encouragement for their next album.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet stuff as per usual, 23 Jun 2007
By 
This review is from: The Boy with No Name (Audio CD)
To be honest after such a long wait since the last album I was a little disappointed with this one as it seemed to have no guts, but I have to say that after a few more plays I am now hooked. Fran's voice is still amazing and sometimes verging on the angelic. I love the backing track and chorus to Closer it brought tears to my eyes for some unexplained reason. If you've ever seen Travis live it's a memorable experience as the boys interact so well with the crowd inviting everyone to sing along, people just seem to know all the words and enjoy themselves immensely.

Please, please Travis with the next album, give it some wellie!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprise, 11 Jun 2007
This review is from: The Boy with No Name (Audio CD)
The old adage that you look forward to an album and it disappoints and then one you think will be OK turns out to be a cracker. The Boy With No Name is in the latter category as a great melodic summer album. Noticed a great deal of homage to Ian Mcnabb running throughout (which is no bad thing), i.e. `3 times and you Lose' could be straight off Before All Of This. As with a lot of other reviewers I agree that Battleships is the stand-out classic.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back on top...where they belong, 7 May 2007
By 
This review is from: The Boy with No Name (Audio CD)
With this latest album I now have all 5 studio albums that Travis have made. Good Feeling was a fantastic debut album. Their next album The Man who, was panned by critics before release but the Public loved it and the album went on to sell Millions, with classics like Driftwood, Why does it always Rain on me,Turn and Writing to Reach You. Their next album was The Invisible Band which was another good album.

12 memories was released four years ago. It was a big departure from The Man Who. Travis seemed to Drift away apart from a brief appearance at Live 8. In the mean time, bands who were influenced by Travis like Coldplay, Snow Patrol and Keane have released succesful albums. This album is a return to form for Travis it is better than their previous two albums.

It gets better with every listen Selfish Jean is incredibly catchy, Big Chair, Battleships( a song about not seeing eye to eye in relationships) , Eyes Wide Open and the single Closer are the standout tracks.

Travis are back in their rightful place. If you have owned a Travis album, the boy with no name deserves to be in your collection. Those who are new to Travis should start off with The Man Who and then get this.

I'm very happy with this album and i'm sure it will sell well.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under the spotlight, 9 May 2007
By 
Dafydd Jones "MetalliManic" (Aberystwyth, Ceredigion United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Boy with No Name (Audio CD)
This, the latest offering from Travis, 'The Boy With No Name', had many people thinking after their 'Singles' collection back in 2003. So, what was to be expected of this release?

A pleasant surprise.

The opening track, '3 Times And You Lose', starts off dreamily, before opening up into dreamy, hazy, melodic guitars and Fran Healy's soft, calm voice. A great intro. Classic Travis. 9/10.

Track two, 'Selfish Jean', is more in an early Coldplay-esque theme, and is arguably one of the best tracks on the album. It's Travis with the swagger that was only previously heard on their debut, 'Good Feeling'. This track has life, and feels more alive than anything they've done in years. 10/10.

Track three, 'Closer', was the first release off the album, and has quickly developed into a Travis classic. The video, incidentally, is worth watching as it features the comedy genius that is Ben Stiller. Yes, it is classic dreamy-guitar rock, but something Travis manage do oh so well. 10/10.

Track four, 'Big Chair', starts off with a piano/bass combination, and has a fresh-sounding drum beat to it. 'Here we go, fast and slow, on the big chair...' Healy sings. 9/10.

Track five, 'Battleships', is soft, and melodic, as you would expect really. Healy's voice is brilliant, and suits the music to perfection. I can honestly see this as a future release. 10/10.

Track six, 'Eyes Wide Open', is a more aggressive, driving riff, and certainly shows Travis from an edgier perspective, with a slight folky, and has a rawer feel to it. Brilliant. 10/10.

Track seven, 'My Eyes', is a return to the melodic, soaring soft guitar-rock that we have got used to over the years. Has a slightly sophisticated, bluesier feel to it at times, with the guitars, piano, and Healy's voice combining so well. 10/10.

Track eight, 'One Night', is typical Travis. Nothing different can be expected here, just the same meat and potatoes- the melodic guitars and Healy's calm voice. 9/10.

Track nine, 'Under The Moonlight', is slightly rockier than previous offerings. The verses are as melodic as ever, and even though Travis have been dismissed as boring by some for their music, this album is very consistent, and it shows how good they really are at what they do. 9/10.

Track ten, 'Out In Space', is more of a soft lullaby. It's nothing special in comparison to other tracks, but it's very melodic and moves along quietly. 8/10.

Track eleven, 'Colder', is very anthemic, reminiscent of Coldplay and Thirteen Senses. Has a similar tempo to the previous track, but this has more life in it. 9/10.

Track twelve, 'New Amsterdam', is a nice song. Not particularly brilliant, but it's good. For this track I would give 7/10.

But there are two hidden bonus tracks here as well. The first one, which is titled 'Sailing Away', is brilliant. Has a quite catchy feel with a slightly rocky edge to it. 9/10.

The second hidden track, 'Perfect Heaven Space', starts with a rather sophisticated piano riff before opening into a piano/acoustic track. It opens up into an anthemic sound eventually before returning to its acoustic verses. The same sophisticated piano riff closes proceedings. 9/10.

So my final verdict on 'The Boy With No Name' is that is is classic Travis, with a few nice surprises in there ('Selfish Jean', 'Eyes Wide Open'), and apart from that it just seems that Travis have picked up from the fairly disappointing '12 Memories' and gone back to the days of 'Good Feeling' and 'The Man Who'.

Well done guys. It's been a long time coming, but you're back on form.
9/10.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thats more like it!!, 8 May 2007
By 
Mr. B. T. Carter "B Carter" (Ely, Cambs) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Boy with No Name (Audio CD)
I have been a fan of Travis since their formative years. I saw them at some of their earlier gigs supporting Reef, Cast, Paul Weller and Oasis. Since those days they went to have massive success, notably with 2 albums (The Man Who & The Invisible Band). The Boy with No Name deserves to be as succesful as the other 2, it is a vast imrovement on the poor 12 Memories (so poor I gave my copy away!). Selfish Jean is easily one of their best ever tracks and there is not one duff track on the album. I fear though that Travis' years in the big time has all but passed and that they will return to playing the small venues as in their early days. But no matter, I think the true fans will love this. Also, if you don't have the debut album Good Feeling, I suggest you purchase this too as its a belter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This IS rare quality ..., 8 July 2007
This review is from: The Boy with No Name (Audio CD)
You know how it is. We get used to a few good tracks out of 10 by most known bands and think ourselves lucky if we can hum some of those in the shower. Then there's Travis, more tracks more tunes. Then there's A Boy With No Name: 12 tunes out of 12 tunes you won't forget - ever. This is ace song writing as it connects with a range of emotion and comes from crafting in addition to inspiration. Go to the Travis official site and follow the link to a recent Netherlands film interview with Fran Healy for a few clues about what makes them great. For a start, they chuck out the mediocre stuff and see the good songs as hard won gold nuggets. This IS rare quality!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When I see you, I know it will be next to me, 8 May 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Boy with No Name (Audio CD)
Travis are not known for their cheerfulness, but they sound a bit happier this time around. This gentle Glaswegian band spins more melancholy Britpop tunes in "The Boy With No Name," with a general feeling of being more upbeat and musically together than in their last album.

"I had a nightmare/I lived in a little town/where little dreams were broken/and words were seldom spoken," Fran Healy sings in a slightly off-key voice, over soft murmuring guitars. But they rapidly pick up into an increasingly vibrant sound, despite the bittersweetness of the song.

The songs that follow are a similar mix of vibrant Britpop and melancholy lyrics -- the gentle, uncertain ripple of "Big Chair," the grimy stomp of "Eyes Wide Open," the keyboard shimmerpop, a rattly stomp that evolves into a tight pop tune, mellow little guitar ballads, and even a song with an Arcade Fire flair to it.

Yeah, it sounds quite dark and melancholy, especially in the lyrics. But surprisingly Travis sound much peppier in "Boy With No Name," compared to their last album. There's a new passion in Healy's voice, and they sound like they're pouring lots of energy into the instrumentation.

It's also quite nice that they haven't radically changed their sound as many bands do; they sound essentially the same in "Boy With No Name" as they have before. The ringing, gentle guitars, shimmery keyboard, gentle piano and solid drums are still solidly in place, though with renewed enthusiasm.

But they've come up with some new flourishes to keep it from sounding like the same ol' same ol' -- a fuzzy intro, a clattery intro to "Selfish Jean," and a brilliantly epic mass of rippling keyboard and swirling guitars in "Colder," which takes Britpop to a new level.

And as well as being musically brilliant, there's a personal appeal to this album as well. The song "My Eyes" -- as well as the album title -- are wrapped up in Fran Healy's baby son: "You've got my eyes/We can see, what you'll be, you can't disguise/And either way, I will pray, you will be wise..." Healy croons in his smooth, slightly off-kilter voice. The other songs are more uncertain, full of "my darkest night," moonlit strangers, and an ex who has "a quite alarming knack of knowing when to twist the knife."

Travis took a well-deserved break before creating "Boy With No Name," and came out all the better for their vacation. A reimagined, newly revitalized sound, for a brilliant album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are Travis getting old?, 8 Oct 2007
By 
Robbie Swale - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Boy with No Name (Audio CD)
I think they are, and as such are slipping into the unfortunate pattern that bands that are getting old fall into. The challenges of producing an album later on in your career to match the magic debut and follow up can't be overstated, and the basic thing that usually happens is this - the class of the songwriters prevails once, twice, maybe three or four times, and the rest of the album leaves a listener slightly disappointed. And that is what this feels like to me.

For me, Closer, with it's beautifully sad chorus and minimalist arrangement, and the incredibly bouncy and cleverly written Selfish Jean are two of Travis' best ever songs, and would sit happily alongside their hits from 90s. Excuept that they sound like Travis now - the sound is full and interesting, and the songs have a different 'sound'. Alongside this as the best songs here are Battleships and My Eyes, which sound like they could come from The Invisible Band (think Pipe Dreams or Flowers in the Window), except they have a more melancholic edge.

Beyond that, the album has the quality that Travis' songs never fail to have - they are very nice to listen to. The melodies are lilting, some lovely lyrics, (some better forgotten,) but above all they have that familiar feeling that the radio (and indeed my bedroom) has had for ten years since The Man Who hit the world and made people sit up and take notice.
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