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Good Feeling gives off mixed feelings…
on 1 December 2003
Debut albums are important, as successful debuts like The Darkness have proved. Those that don’t see the limelight will die out after one-hit wonders, like the unfortunate Deep Blue Something. Which is why those that lie in-between are always difficult to determine whether their first album will also be their last. Good Feeling is one of those albums.
I can tell you now it must have been considered a success, due to The Man Who, The Invisible Band and 12 Memories albums occupying Travis fans CD racks today. But due to the nature of its predecessors, Good Feeling sounds like Travis trying to discover their roots, and unfortunately doesn’t quite match their current material.
The album kicks off with All I Want To Do Is Rock and the sound of drumsticks being hit together, which in musical terms, portrays a dynamic beginning. Disappointment struck me when Fran sings 'Heeeeey’. Although it has a large, resounding feel (repeated through the album) the laid back tempo causes anything, instrumentation and vocals, to drag and slightly spoils what could have been a good introduction song if only faster.
The 2nd track, U16 Girls, suddenly creates the interest you would expect from the first track. The writing is superb; it’s easy listening, slightly rocky, slightly romantic at times, funny at times, but above all it’s faster. It’s difficult to explain if you haven’t heard it, but is definitely one of the top songs on the album. The Line Is Fine comes third and unfortunately repeats the elements of Track 1, especially with the call and response of the word ‘Fine’ at the end of the song. Track 4, 5 and 6 remain similar with the laid-back tempo, although Track 5, Good Feeling, is quite enjoyable.
Tied To The 90’s follows suit to U16 Girls and stands proud alongside it as one of the best tracks. The rock elements don’t tend to drone due to the upbeat tempo and the hint of acoustic guitar playing methods (definitely present in their future material) top it off nicely. The remaining tracks are a general mix of nice but slow and rocky yet dynamically lacking songs, which bring the end to an unfortunate depressing conclusion. For a keen Travis fan my response may seem somewhat harsh, but purchasing The Man Who and The Invisible Band before discovering Good Feeling, has probably affected my viewpoint.
All the lyrics go with their songs so there’s nothing bad about them in that respect. It just falls down in enjoyment on most of the songs…let’s put it this way, there is ‘drag’ and there is ‘draaaaag’. The album itself it less polished than future releases, so their dragging tracks lose out because of this. I definitely prefer The Man Who and The Invisible Band because although the majority of songs are mellow, they at least have a substantial amount of tempo and non-dragging dynamics. But if you’re after Travis with more raw energy, look no further and give Good Feeling a try.