Travis' 'Everything At Once' Offers Nothing
Travis. Remember them? They asked in the early 00s why it always rains on them. They blazed a trail that Coldplay now tread. Since then, they've been steadily releasing albums but failed to hit the dizzy heights of 'The Man Who', which bagged them a couple of BRITs and a place on Q's Greatest Album of All Time list. You could say they had 'everything at once'... see what I did there?!
Now with the release of their eighth studio album, 'Everything At Once', they're looking to reclaim that former glory. Perhaps egged on by this trend of band revivals. I mean we've had The Stone Roses, Rage Against The Machine and Jesus And Mary Chain all creating a bit of a stir.
OK, this isn't on that scale and their last album was released just three years ago, so to call it a comeback would be an over-statement. What I'm trying to say is perhaps they're hoping a bit of nostalgia will help give this album a much needed push.
To be honest, I don't remember any Travis albums/singles since The Invisible Band. I was a big fan of the little ukulele melody in "Sing". After that, Travis just disappeared from my world. Not intentionally, I'd like to add. It's just I prefer music with more balls or melancholy.
This album did nothing to change this perception. It's packed with ten light-hearted, inoffensive ditties. Each track flows into the other almost unnoticed in a upbeat and jaunty fashion. It's too rock to be folk and too folk to be rock, which makes it a bit bland.
Although Travis are what I would call an intelligent band (their second album was named after an Oliver Sacks book and they're named after a character from cult, art-house movie Paris, Texas), they don't produce what I would call intelligent music.
And it's this lack of creativity, empathy and appeal that leads Travis down the same path as other flash-in-the-pan bands like Glasvegas, The Bravery and The Vines. They've simply run out of things to say and ways to say it... much like me and this review.
What I look for in an album is an ability to strike an emotional chord like Daughter, get a physical reaction like Foals (or the aforementioned Coldplay, for some) or have a message like Radiohead.
This is just pleasant background music. And that's all there is to it.