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7/10

Travis - The Boy With No Name

Trevor Baker
Trevor Baker 3 June 2007 at 21.23

Travis - The Boy With No Name Cover

They've tried to become as tasteful as possible, eliminating the cheap and cheerful chorus from their repertoire.

The problem with writing a hit like Travis' 'Why Does It Always Rain On Me?' is that everybody, including the band, spends five minutes thinking, 'Hmm, catchy', and then five years thinking, 'Please don't make me listen to / play that song again'. Their subsequent albums can be seen as a reaction to the massive success of their signature tune. They've tried to become as tasteful as possible, eliminating the cheap and cheerful chorus from their repertoire but, with this album, there are signs that they've fallen in love with pop again, albeit of a dark and cynical hue. There are still moments where they're so delicate and subtle as to barely be there, but on a track like '3 Times And You Lose' or the ethereal 'Out In Space', the simplicity grabs your attention rather than just drifting past. With 'Selfish Jean' we get their first big chorus in a long time and, while it's not the best track on the album, it's nice to hear they've stopped being so apologetic about their gift for melody. But much better is the yearning 'Big Chair' where they hark back to 'Writing To Reach To You' and show Coldplay how a slow-burning pop classic should be done.

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