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Not accusing myself too much of actually liking anything recorded by anyone in the last 15 years, I practically fell over Travis in the street. Whilst out on a dreary day hunting down vinyl like a 45rpm seeking missile, I came across a beaten up, super scratched copy of The Invisible Band. As I peered at the cover wondering if I should have picked up my glasses on the way out that morning, I found myself struggling to find the band in amongst the heavily wooded picture. Hence the name of the album, I guess. I flipped over the case in search of a track that I might have once heard of. I found one or two and promptly realised that this little fact was enough for me to make a purchase
Scottish/English rooted Travis went through great up heaved changes around their humble beginnings in 1991. As a female and two brothers were replaced, what we were left with was then the line up that still appears today, although since their collective album Singles, in 2004, they have seemed to have died a quiet death due to gigs here and there, their studio life has taken a back seat. Gaining approval as being winner of Best Album twice at the Brit Awards, they have taken a firm place in the archives of Brit Pop as being one of the great innovative leading bands in modern indie music. Lacing together a simplistic career with wistful tunes and dreamy chords, Travis would appear to have had their day and what remains is the quality that they uniquely produced with such albums as this one, released in 2001.
Falling fowl to the category of crap name, no future, they regarded their first band name Glass Onions to be the kiss of death, they wisely changed it to Travis and suddenly it was hip to have heard of them. Giving warmth and light to their work, they somehow became a land mark in Nineties pop culture. This quartet of young lads fresh faced and clean cut, fashioned by Man at C&A, were far from rebellious rockers. There attempt at making good records came naturally to them and this album is an example of their gliding capability to quite accidentally, fall over perfectly entwining songs.
On the surface, this album, to the untrained eye, will cream out the word depressing to you and perhaps it bought in an average mood, then it is an album best to avoid until a poor mood passes, but if one can get passed their sullen tone that appears throughout the album, then a certain lightness comes through. These four accomplished musicians have created here a gentle succession of tunes that will sooth the soul and warm your spirits. Therefore, it really isnt any wonder why this album didnt do anything else other than climb proudly to number one in June 2001.
Melodic and sung on occasions most angelically, it is a question that drifts through the mind as to how Fran Healy on vocals can ever hit such high notes and remain there foe a considerable length of time. The zombie Afterglow, is the epitome of Travis at their hallucinating best. The notes swim gracefully off Healys vocal chords to an accompliment of sweet guitar riffs that are barely being played at all. It may be a track that one either adores or cant wait to skip over, but what should be noted here is their ability to embrace a feeling; a mood and hold it there, somewhere in mid air and entrance the crowd with it for as long as they wish.
The depth of thoughtfulness of this considerably young band can be felt through their clever string arrangements in Indefinitely, The title is repeated over and over like a hypnotic style whilst the backing drifts out of ear shot not even giving the listener any time to realise it. It is quite obviously striking to the listener how a young band or the most ordinary fellas could attempt to write with such depth and emotion that can surely only come through age.
The mood is strong from beginning to end and one will feel that after a while, you are not listening to an album but to someones musical funeral. There are hidden tributes in every song, its up to you to figure out if they are personal to you or them. The sullen approach worked well ten years ago, the Nineties were leaving bitter tastes in our mouths and the future seemed hazy and nothing seemed definite. House prices were going up, so was inflation, taxes and few pay rises were being handed out. I find that Travis were probably to the best band to have around to reflect the social impact, and this album last came around three years too late.
On hearing the final dying sounds of the album, you will not doubt beginning to realise that the jolliest track on the album was Sing, a hit for them in May 2001 which reached number 3, a perfectly well timed release just in time for the dreamy thoughts of an approaching Summer. However, compared to the rest of this album, this track is about as happy as a New Years Eve drunken crowd jumping up and down to a Status Quo record. It is the Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep of its time in regard to the career of Travis who have only given us reflective moods, sobering tones and mind altering vocals.
Nothing can be knocked here as their ability to bring a tear to the eye is unmatched, yet many will find this album will bring on too many miserable memories. However, if the listener can get over the depressiveness of this work, and experience the talented composition beneath, then it is an album to treasure.
Featuring another fairly decent hit for the band, this album presents us with Side, which was released as the A side of a live version of Travis take on Mott The Hooples All The Young Dudes, which, I personally, would have preferred to hear as a single itself. Only sitting at number 14 in September of 2001, it is a song that represents the end of Summer. Again, perfectly timed to reflect a mood of another year coming to an end. The lyrics, ..the grass is always greener on the other side, may be poignant to the time of year and should, perhaps have achieved greater success. In the same vein, the uplifting Flowers In The Window, should have done better, for those of you who may remember and for others that will be shocked to hear, this track only got to number 18 in March 2002. It is frilly, and ever so female with its title containing the word, flowers. It is a sweet piece but it seems more to me too wistful and takes me back to a Ben Elton line of that wistful time of the month Should this be an album to quench all PMT woes? I wonder, I shall try it next time
You can have too much lace, pink bows and dreamy twitches of surrealism. Travis didnt have the punch that drives me to appreciate a band or even worship them. I guess coming from the generation that brought us Spandex, glitter, platforms and Dave Hill from Slade, it is no wonder that Travis passed me by ..
I found them though, eventually .
In 2002, drummer Neil Primrose broke his neck from a diving accident nearly ending Travis for good, thankfully, he made a good recovery and the band hope to release another album in 2007.
Flowers In The Window
Follow The Light
The Humpty Dumpty Love Song (did he ever get it on with Hamble?)
Fran Healy - vocals/guitar
Dougie Payne - bass
Andy Dunlop - guitar
Neil Primrose - drums
This is another good album. The tracks innit are excellent and I personally thought that it was value for money. I felt that it stayed long in the charts as it deserved and I think it still in!. Been quite along time since it was realeses but if u dont already have a copy then you defintly need to buy it as its a must buy. I know all travis fans will want one so go on and buy it. I think its brilliant.
The anticipated new album from Travis is finally here for your entertainment and listening pleasure. ‘The Invisible Band’ is the third album from the British band who have had several hits from their past two albums. ~ History ~ Travis released their first album in 1998 (this album was recorded in both 1997 and 1998) called Good Feeling that featured the singles of ‘All I Do Is Rock’ and ‘Happy’. This album was described by Select Magazine as ‘‘The most heartstoppingly-exciting album since ‘Definitely Maybe’…’’. Their second album that is a bit more well known, it is called ‘The Man Who’, it includes the hit singles of ‘Turn’, ‘Driftwood’ and ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’ and is another remarkable album. This was released in 1999. This brings us on to their third album that is yet another great achievement. ~ The tracks ~ The Invisible Band has 12 great tracks on it, and here they are in numerical order: Update – added track descriptions and track length (at end) 1. Sing - One of the singles of the album and probably helped the launch the success of the album (along with the past performances of albums by the band). Lots of harmony in this and the guitar is used to great effect in the silent parts of the song. 8.5/10. 3.48 2. Dear Diary - This is what I would describe as a sad song. It is also one of the slowest songs on the album. I like this song, normally it is not my sort of song but the echo and backing vocals help give it a great ghost effect. 8/10. 2.57 3. Side - I superb rhythm to this song, a great chorus along with splendid lyrics make Side one of me favourites off of this album. The chorus always makes to move my head from side to side. The build up to certain parts is also a reason to like this song. This was a single release. 9/10. 3.59 4. P
ipe Dreams – Well yet another great song, the speed is just at the level that makes me like it. The rolling echo type effect at the end of some of the verses gives it a lot of effect. 9/10. 4.05 5. Flowers In The Window – I love the lyrics in this one, the pace is nice with great use of a tambourine. The piano (I think) gives the song its overall feel and the lyrics express such harmony. 8.5/10. 3.41 6. The Cage – The intro to this song is different to the rest of the song and gives it a good set up for things to come within the song, the gentle tone of the song is risen at several points, although the majority of the song is slow the middle where they hum (almost) is a favourite piece in the song. 8/10. 3.05 7. Safe – Oh praise this song for all eternity, love it, could sleep with it (one of my favourites in this genre of music). Astonishing the song does make you feel safe. The ‘beat, beat’ as I describe the piano key makes the song feel great. This sounds best through a personnel stereo or other device with phones. 9.5/10. 4.23 8. Follow The Light – I get up and go! After that, the du du du of this (if you could put it like that) makes you get up and dance (only if you want to look like a fool). Great song and is one of the fastest paced songs on the album. 9/10. 3.08 9. Last Train - WOO WOO of the Last Train. Nice start but it is slower at the start than it sounds like it going to be, I like the lyrics but the music built them to an anti climax at the end of each song. 8/10. 3.16 10. Afterglow - Up and about again (in terms of the music). The music and lyrics go together well in this fast and slow song with short stops in the lyrics while the music wants Fran to sing on. 9/10. 4.05 11. Indefinitely - Slow to start and is generally slow and sung in a low key. The guitar plays and key feature, the piano intros within the song are great, the plucking on the guit
ar is fairly (not over used) and the Fran is great at singing this one (probably with his eyes closed again). 8.5/10. 3.52 12. The Humpty Dumpty Love Song - Sort of a novelty song this, one for Christmas but not for the teenyboppers. Great lyrics and still in the key of Travis, very moving and the continuous throughout, nod away as the music gets louder and better with low key moments. 9/10. 5.01 The album was released on the 11th June 2001. The album is 45 minutes and 29 seconds long (but not there longest album) and includes the hit single ‘Sing’ that is one of my favourite songs of the album (the B side to the Sing single is a cover of one of Queens songs, if you wanted to know). Other favourite songs of mine include ‘Safe’, ‘Follow The Light’ and ‘Afterglow’. The album has many good links within its shinny circular CD and some mediocre ones with no bad ones (in my opinion). Out of the above favourite songs my out right favourite has to be track 8 ‘Follow The Light’. Why, because it is the best song on the album with its get up and go cheery melody. Another reason is because it rarely slows down to a slow pace, smooth and fast pace songs are the ones that I like. The album is owned by Independiente and published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing Limited. Web sites of interest and further information not contained in the opinion are as follows: www.independiente.co.uk - This website features some great graphics. You can listen to music and you can also submit your own music if you’re a budding writer/singer, very original and nice on the eye. One draw back is that the site is slow to load. www.travisonline.com - A great looking site, to navigate you must scroll over the coloured squares and see what each link goes to, includes discography, message board and the chance to get added to the e-mail list, worth a look if your or a fan of the music, even if
your not you might find something of interest here. I have found this both fast and slow to load, depends on the area of the site you are trying to load. I have not looked at these yet but they will probably be worth looking at, many in my experience are as they contain lots of information. ~ Packaging and CD Design ~ Yet again they have come up trumps with a great inlay and front cover design as well as a back cover design. The front cover of the inlay and the back of the back cover is all four-band members in the woods trying to disguise themselves in the woods (with limited effect, they stick out like a sore thumb). The front cover includes the title of the album as well as the band. The inside of the inlay has the lyrics written on a page for each one with a picture. These pictures are of a house (a beach house, country house, don’t ask me) and of the band the members individually in the house and in the recording studio (in the house, maybe (not!)). Al though all of this is laid on a white background the pictures are of a high quality and are not distorted in any way. At the back of the booklet is the usual stuff on the production teams and the long (and I mean long) list of thanks. As for the back cover it has a pictures of some doors that fold to side (possibly) (shed doors, probably metal). This stuff was by Stefan Ruiz on behalf of Blue Source. ~ The band and production team for the album ~ Travis are the following bunch of cool dudes, guys and blokes: Fran (Healy) Dougie Neil Andy All of the tracks are written by Fran and all are produced and mixed by Nigel Godrich. The album was recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles and Air Studios in London for track 4. Other performances include Jason Falkner for the keyboard on ‘Last Train’ and Millenia Strings on tracks 1,11 and 12. The album is published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing Limited and owned by Independiente
Limited. Management was by Ian McAndrew and Colin Lester for Wildlife Entertainment Limited of London. Lets not forget the huge list of people that Travis thank that we will never meet at the end of the inlay, god it gets bigger with every album. ~ How does this compare to their other albums ~ Of the three albums it is hard to say which one of the three is the best. I would reckon ‘Good Feeling’ because it is the longest and the original that became the blueprint of the music that Travis plays today. ‘The Man Who’ is a great album with the singles probably being the best songs on the album in my opinion but there are many songs on the other two that were not singles (not currently singles in the latest ones case) that maybe could have been singles and successful ones at that if they had been released. All three are super albums, I would recommend to everyone who is in to this music that they buy all three if they are given the chance. So in order of my favourite to my least favourite: Good Feeling The Invisible Band The Man Who This is not a statement of ‘The Man Who’ being rubbish because it was great but the others just pass it on all round performance. My favourite album cover of the lot has to be this one (‘The Invisible Band’) because it is so simple but very appealing to the eye. ‘The Invisible Band’ has some great memorable sounds on it and much of it is original stuff. ~ Final verdict on The Invisible Band ~ My second favourite of the three albums that Travis has produced and very good value for money although the price of 12.99 (HMV) was maybe a bit on the high side the music contained within was well worth it. Overall a great all rounder with plenty of play life and an album that I would come back to time and time again. I love it. TIP: To get the album cheaper you can buy it at www.cd-wow.com for a f
ew quid less with free mailing, I’m not old enough to use a credit card but will use this once I am if in deed it lives up to its promises.
After Travis released their first album, 'The Man Who', we assumed that they couldn't get any bette. But they have proved us wrong with their second hit album, 'The Invisible Band'. With 12 tracks this album is sure to sell and become a world wide smash hit. There are maybe 1 or 2 songs that aren't so good on the album. All 12 tracks are listed below. 1. Sing: The first release off the album. Sing has been compared to 'Turn', a track from the first album. The tunes are pretty much the same and they're both great. A good track to sing along to. 2. Dear Diary: This isn't one of my favourites on the album. Has an ok tune, but I don't think it would do very well if it were to be released. 3. Side: This has to be my favourite track on the album. An excellent tune and definately on e you can sing along to. Has been released and certainly gets a lot of radio play. 4. Pipe Dreams: A nice song. But it can get boring if you listen to it any more than 2 times in a row. 5. Flowers in The Window: One of the best songs on the album. It isn't much like the others, but in someways it is similar to tracks such as, The Cage and Pipe Dreams. Has it's own tune and great to help you relax. 6. The Cage: Again, another great song. There's not really much to say about this one. It is one you can listen to over and over. Although it could be improved slightly to make it brilliant. 7. Safe: One of the not so brilliant songs on the album. It is quite slow and not one you can happliy sing along to. 8. Follow the Light: An ok song but not one I listen to all the time. Has quite a nice tune and it's easy to listen to. 9. Last Train: Yet another one of my favourites on the album. A great track that I can always listen to and never get bored of. A brilliant tune. 10. After Glow: This track has pretty mu
ch the same description as number 9's. 11. Indefinately: A nice track. Again one of my favourites. There's quite a lot of beat in this one. Although it isn't the best on the album, it certainly is one to listen out for. 12. The Humpty Dumpty Love Song: There's only one word to describe this track, weird! There re the 12 tracks. A few of them let down the album. But the others make up for it. Some great songs. This album is very similar to their first. It has the same kind of songs but also has a few extra different ones. I would reccomend buying it as long as you liked the first one. I love this album, and I hope you enjoy it just as much as I do.
Travis seem to have decided upon thier direction now, after the very heavy guitars and shouting vocals on their debut album 'Good Feeling' to a complete mellow and arguably too sombre sound on 'The Man Who'. This album follows on yet there seems to be more opitmism with very simple pop songs such as the single 'Sing' and an old b-side revamped 'Flowers in the Window'. There are a few tacks on this which are boring as hell, but if that's your bag then you'll like 'The Last Train', which is very depressing and 'Dear Diary' which is very moody and almost slightly dreary. Do not fear though! there are more cheery songs such as 'Side' which was their second release and what a fantastic choice, full of wisdom and a very catchy chorus to say the least. There are no songs that stand out as having the almost 'amthem' like status such as 'Why Does It Always Rain on Me' from 'The Man Who', yet with the summer festivals aproaching 'Sing' could become a winner. Overall, this is class album and one of my favourites of 2001.
The last Travis album, The Man Who, was, and still is a huge favourite of mine, and rarely leaves the Hi-Fi, well it didn’t until I went out and bought their latest offering – The Invisible Band. Some may criticise the band for playing safe with this album, because it is so similar to its predecessor, but surely that’s not a bad thing. Hey, if you like The Man Who, you are bound to like this! Mainly catchy and uplifting, but with the odd slower, darker track dotted throughout, this is a great album to listen to any time, anywhere, whatever your mood. Altogether 12 mainly fantastic tracks, which all fit together perfectly and go as follows….. Sing – Brilliantly uplifting song, and a truly promising start to the CD. This was the first song released from the album and very deservingly charted in the Top Ten. Remember the video with the period dress, food fight and Fran Healy’s daft ‘do? This song was proven to make people smile, and it is so true. It is impossible to sing along to this song, without a huge inane grin on your face. Extremely catchy and a real mind worm. Hear it once and you’ll be singing it all day. Hey, I just got it, very clever Travis! Sing, sing, sing …:-) Dear Diary – dare I admit it, a Travis song I don’t like? I’m really not overly keen on this one. Dull is a word that kinda comes to mind. For anyone who remembers the weird American David Lynch series Twin Peaks, this song reminds me of that! Luckily it is only short! A real contrast to Sing, but this isn’t a bad thing, I guess it just goes to show the bands versatility. Although not bad enough to skip, I don’t think this shows Fran Healy’s excellent voice off to it’s true potential, as it rarely ventures outside of 3 different notes. I guess if I was being positive about this song I would call it haunting. Side – Again anothe
r uplifting, catchy tune…. much needed after Dear Diary. As I said The Invisible Band bears similarity to The Man Who, but this song could have been lifted straight from it. Not surprisingly the second release from the album. `The grass is always greener on the other side, neighbours got a new car that you wanna drive, when time is running out you want to stay alive’ – a chorus that rhymes so nicely, it makes you want to sing it over and over again! Catchy, catchy very, very catchy! Pipe Dreams – Reminiscent of The Levellers or possibly even older U2 stuff (circa. The Joshua Tree) this song is quite acoustic, with an almost Celtic folk feel to it. It fits in nicely with the rest of the album, and although slightly more mellow, runs well after Side. Certainly one of my favourites. Flowers in the window – Again this song could have been taken off The Man Who. It reminds me of Driftwood, which was my possibly my favourite, or at least one of them, on that album. Lovely sing song-y happy tune. Really heart-warming lyrics – a love song that is everything but sickly. Again another song so up-lifting, it makes you smile. The Cage – Another slower track, with slightly more melancholy lyrics, such as Dear Diary. A lot more tuneful this time though, with a rather pretty, albeit rather sad chorus - `But then this bird just flew away, she was never meant to stay. Oh to keep her caged would just delay the spring’ Safe – rather similar to The Cage. This tune can become a bit repetitive after a while, but picks up a bit during the chorus, but with lyrics repeating I feel safe, so safe, can become rather boring. Follow The Light - For me, this is one of those songs that makes you go all squishy inside (or is that just me?!) Fran Healy hitting all the high notes every time. The tune is very pretty, although slightly nursery rhyme-y. Again really happy and uplifting,
picking you up nicely after the previous two tracks. Last Train – Very much like Radiohead. Despite reference to Flowers in the Window in the first line, this song is very melancholy, with very dark lyrics that include `I’m gonna buy a gun, gonna shoot everything, everyone. And then I’m coming for you, ‘cos it was you that drove me to’. Hmm. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good song with a lilting tune and strong lyrics, I would, however strongly advise listening to Sing again straight after! Afterglow – Again this song reminds me of album tracks from The Man Who. The solo drums and guitar in the instrumental, can sound slightly foreboding, and with a rather creepy lilt in Frans’ voice, a very haunting track. Not one of the best, but very far from bad. Indefinitely – The intro to Indefinitely sounds just like Flowers in the Window, but similarity ends there. A beautiful tune, almost like a lullaby. This song could definitely lull you to sleep with its beautifully mellow tune and soothing vocals from Fran. Another of my favourites. Maybe the mellow nature of Indefinitely is why The Humpty Dumpty Love Song starts with an alarm clock going off! Despite beginning with one of my most hated sounds and having a ridiculous title, this is another pretty little ballad. The lyrics start with – All of the king’s horses and all the king’s men and other reference to the nursery rhyme throughout give the song its title. Despite my slightly dubious pre-conceptions of this song, due to the title, it finishes the album off nicely, leaving you wanting more. Overall, a truly classic album. With a great variety of tracks ranging from beautifully mellow tunes to wonderfully uplifting songs, all brought together by the versatile and lilting vocals of frontman Fran Healy. Maybe not good enough to resign The Man Who back to the shelf to collect dust, b
ut certainly equally as good.
Perhaps were looking a little too deep. Maybe were analysing when there is nothing to be analysed. Maybe were just trying to intellectualize what is basically low art. Hence the title. The need to slip away. That need to remove the people from the product and the product from the person and leave us with 12 throwaway pop tunes. "The Invisible Band" achieves that real distinction between being A.I.B (Another Indie Band) and for want of a better phrase - an albums band. Stripped away of all the "U16 Girls" and "Why Does It Always Rain On Me?" style anthems and replaced with more subtle nugget melodies. True, the first time you listen to "The Invisible Band" there will be a sense of disappointment if the feeling hadn't sank in already. But in retrospect maybe this Travis backlash was more to do with "familiarity breeds contempt" rather than any fault of the band themselves. At a time when Travis' critical, if not necessarily commercial, reputation is at stake it seems strange that they release "Sing" (the worst song on the album) as the comeback single. Forthcoming single "Flowers In The Window" is the song of the summer festivals. At times coming across as an even softer Paul McCartney or a more wimpy Crowded House, yet the romantic sentiment can touch all of us once in a while. If anything what lets down "The Invisible Band" from becoming a truly essential guitar album is Fran Heally's lyrical simplicity. While it could be argued that he's touching the man on the street often it appears that the rhyming dictionary has been raided ala Noel Gallagher. Fine, if you're simply looking for a throwaway pop band but then you have to question are Travis any more worthy than A1. When the band avoid the usual clichés on "The Humpty Dumpty Love Song" you can't help feeling that if they just had the strength of character then they could make an alb
um of true merit. Maybe that truly classic guitar album is something of the past, but all "The Invisible Band" offers you is a cheap and quick hit. There's nothing here to inspire a future generation although thousands will sing along to the likes of "Side" or "Afterglow". With three albums now behind then you can only hope the next album is a little more eclectic and experimental. It may seem unlikely at the moment but some of us remember when Radiohead and Blur released 3 minute pop ditties. Travis have got a choice - turn into Wet Wet Wet or join the big boys. Alex McCann
I realised the other day that I hadn't bought a CD for a few months, I didn't blame myself for long as I remembered I didn't work in the music industry anymore (what are you on you have always worked in computers? - ED). I had been spending my spare cash on new DVD's and putting up with my older CD's for a while. The other week though I was sitting watching MTV in its varying guises and a few songs came up that I thought were quite good, the unbearably catchy Kylie "cant get you out of my head", a quality tune by the lovely Alicia Keys (but I cant remember which track it was I heard) and of course the fantastic "sing" by the bunch of lads who go with the moniker "Travis". So I booted up my PC and went to my usual web site for entertainment products, but I soon felt guilty and then loaded up my usual CD and DVD selling website. Those of you who wish to know which one can pretend to be Sherlock for a minute and check out my other opinions (a tip, it wasn't easyjet..). So I ordered three new albums, "fever" by Kylie, "Songs in A Minor" by the lovelier than last time I said it Alicia Keys and of course "the invisible band" by Travis. I must confess to being a funny one, I ALWAYS hate all albums I buy when I play them for the first time, a condition I have sought help for but alas my local GP was none too interested. So after going through my self designed therapy session of forcing myself to press the play button on the CD player and forcing myself through the tears to listen to each of the albums till I grew to love them. And love my new CD's I did; never have a trio bought such pleasure to me since the sooty show. Before I actually get into my review of the tunes, its probably a good idea to know I do naturally lean towards the music of the likes of Travis anyway, so it probably wasn't a surprise to find out that out of the three, "the invisible band" was the
one that I most find singing to myself while cooking me tea. The other two are great mind you, and if I ever get a spare minute I might well pen an opinion on those as well, a special treat for you all to look forward to ;) A minor warning, my CD is an import version so I guess the tracks and/or order might be different to the UK version. Okay, enough BS deets, lets here what you think of the bleedin music! . Okay, hold on, wipe the dribble from your chin, order in a pizza and get ready for "The Deets guide to Travis: The invisible Band." track: 1. Sing. Yes I did, for hours and hours. I love this track, what a start to the CD, one of the best beginnings I have on any album. Yes it?s that good. If you aren?t singing along to this one, then time to get the doc to take the rice krispies out of your ears. Beautiful guitar, great vocals and a wonderful roll to the whole thing. Catchy, uplifting and a true classic that will lift your mood and make you dance with the cat (even if you don't have one). Deets Score: 10/10 2.Dear Diary It took a while for this one to grow on me I must confess. It starts of slow and gentle, quite down beat. The more you listen, the more it all links into together, it builds up nicely and carries you onto the chorus. Slightly haunting vocals, a change from the uplifting first track and gives you an idea muff monkey of the mix of tunes that lay ahead. A nice idea, works, but not great. Deets Score: 7/10 3. Side Yey! I always have a little smile when track 2 finishes as I know Side will be up next. Again I cant say enough how much I love this track. To me its similar to "sing" in how it makes me feel. A confident track where everything works, that great voice just goes so well with the guitar. Picks you up and throws you around and puts you down with a smile. Deets Score: 9/10 4. Pipe Dreams <
br>Now we start g etting into the tracks that most people wouldnt have heard before, time for the album to show if its a Karl or a Darcy. Another good track, nothing too great, probably heard similar on Radiohead OK Computer, but is again carried well and adds nicely to the package. Nice chorus which again shows off the vocal variation. Deets Score: 8/10 5. Flowers in the Window Another one in upbeat style, love this more and more every time I hear it. Sounds familiar, but cant quite put my finger on it. Probably saying something deep but Ill leave that for someone else to decipher! Nice use of seagulls, don't know if they were meant to be there. A cross between the faster paced tracks and the slower ones, but with the trademark chorus that will have your bits tapping away. Deets Score: 8/10 6. The cage Nice and intimate track, feels like he is sitting in the room knocking this one out. Bit of a change of pace, slower than the others and allows for the vocal talents to shine out. Lovely melodic chorus. Deets Score 7/10 7. Safe Were nicely into the album now, had a good variation of tracks. This one always makes me think my phone is ringing when it starts, yes i do have a weird phone. One of the slowest starting tracks of the lot but again builds up as it goes along using the strong vocals to pull you along while it builds. Nice gentle guitar, nice gentle drums. Nice to listen to wrapped up in bed with your eyes closed. Deets Score 8/10 8. Follow the light Okay, things pick up here again and starts strong and carried through the rest of the track. This time it the guitar and other instruments that make this a good track. A up lifter again, like 1 and 3 but not as strong, although only marked down in comparison, stands up well on its own. Deets Score 8/10 9. Last Train Not one of my favourite tracks on the
album. Again sounds a bit too much like Radiohead to me, not that that is bad thing, but I personally prefer the more positive other tracks. Good though, sure those who prefer things deeper will love it, but the angst vocals are not the mood I wanted when loading up this album. Probably my weak spot on the album. Deets Score 6/10 10. Afterglow Ah, this is a bit better. Starts off well, you know this is going to have a bit more to it that the last track, still one of the slower tracks but the instrumental side brings this up. Still a bit too much angst, but to me works better with the slightly faster tempo and stronger vocals. Builds you up to a good ending as well, so you don?t feel quite so negative when it ends. Deets Score 8/10 11. Indefinitely Start reminds me of an old cigar commercial with its slow guitar playing. Another intimate start with the soft vocals and gentle guitar but has more of a punch to it as it plays through. The strong chorus brings this up, a nice mix of the gentle and punchier vocals, which really get moving with the mild orchestral mix. Fades into a relaxing end, which is destroyed with the final effect to strike fear into anyone! Especially if listened to in bed ;) Deets Score 8/10 12. the humpty dumpty love song Oh, are we almost done already? Ah that's a shame, normally my opinions aren't written while having such interaction with the item being commented on. Of course with this I had the music playing while I wrote. To be honest, by the time I get to this track I am usually so relaxed that I don?t even notice this one playing its so soft and gentle. Bit off a different musical bent here, but one that kicks in with a nice surprising jolt only to drop off and leave you with the gentle vocals. Actually this track reminds me of the album as a whole, some great uplifting parts mixed along with confident and stylish slower tempo parts. A
nice end, which leaves you glowing :) Deets Score 9/10 -- -- To summarise Well thanks for reading through all that! I know music is such a personal thing and also fluctuates on the mood or atmosphere of the moment, but this album is one that I think a lot of people would enjoy as it's such a well-crafted example of its genre. If you like radiohead or coldplay then this will also probably tickle your bits nicely but because of the quality of the whole album, it?s not exclusive to fans of that style. Would make a great present for xmas for anyone under the age of 30 and maybe also for a few older than that ;) Some of the tracks are true classics, "Sing" and "Side" being the two main ones, but there is more than enough in the other tracks that makes the album a great purchase. Will have nice surprises for those originally attracted by the MTV friendly "Sing" although to me that track is worth a few quid alone. Definitely one that wont be leaving my CD player for while! Thanks for reading :> Deets
When Travis released their previous album “The Man Who” I got caught up in the hype. This band had whom no-one had really heard of before had released an album which refused to leave the top ten of the album charts for months. I first thought this album was superb as it sounded very original, but that was until I chanced across a confession of their singer/songwriter Fran Healy. For all of their rock and roll swagger Oasis’ finest moment probably lies with their track “Wonderwall”. A simple love song played on an acoustic guitar about Noel Gallagher’s (now ex) wife. Fran Healy admitted that the songs on the album were basically “Wonderwall” re-writes. For me this tarnished the album as it lost its originality, it was still a great album with some very well written songs – and the public loved it. That was two years ago in 1999, now 2001 sees the band releasing their follow-up, “The Invisible Band”. So what were Travis going to treat us to this time? A rock opera like “Bohemian Rhapsody” or had they followed Radiohead’s adventurous side and come up with their own “Kid A”? Well no unfortunately: as the saying goes “If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it” and the band seemed to have stuck with the same winning formula. The first things I noticed when I got this album was that the cover and booklet included the same type of lush photography as found on “The Man Who”. The CD also has CD Text – a feature your CD player may have which allows it to display the artist and track title instead of the track number and time. Considering this is quite a simple addition and many CD players have this facility – very few albums have this information available – why? Anyway I digress. The first track on this album is “Sing” which has already been released. Arrgh!! And disaster a
t the first hurdle! It has already been commented on within these reviews that this sing is very similar to the opener on “The Man Who” – “Writing To Reach You”. This seems to be a bad case of song writing by numbers as the chorus of “Turn, Turn, Turn” has been replaced by “Sing, Sing, Sing”. Not very inspiring although the use of a banjo gives the song a catchy edge. “Dear Diary” is up next and this is a much slower song. The title gives away the obvious idea behind the song and it has been well executed with its mournful lyrics and minimalist use of backing music. “Side” is by far and away the best song on the album and probably the band’s best offering to date. It is one of their more up tempo tracks and the chorus is absolutely sublime. If the band release this it will be the tune for the summer – especially at the festivals. “Pipe Dreams” is another example of Fran Healy’s excellent writing skills. The lyrics are of a philosophical nature but the music is pretty standard Travis fare, which perhaps spoils the track a bit for me. The fifth song sees another catchy tune in the form of “Flowers In The Windows”. It doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to work out the song is about having children (the flowers). I have to admit that this song is growing on me as its deceptively beautiful. “The Cage” is a return to the lament of a lost love. It is quite a slow song although short in length, the album’s best offering in the slow song department. “Safe” sees the return of song-writing by numbers again. This time “Turn, Turn, Turn” has become “Safe, so safe, so safe”. Apparently Travis have had this song kicking around for a while now, and its pretty clear why. Although the lyrics (apart from the chorus) are better than good the tune is
dull as it sounds as though it’s stuck in second gear, pity it could have been a lot better. “Follow The Light” is another catchy song and like the previous track “Side” the chorus stands out. Another up-tempo offering which should prove a big hit at the festivals. “Last Train” sees the band entering uncharted territory with extremely dark words, but the tune is damned monotonous – next! “Afterglow” is another song written by Fran for about love but it’s another average track and could easily be mistaken as being from the previous album. “Indefinitely” is another well-written song and is one of slower tracks present. The final track is the wonderfully titled “The Humpty Dumpty Love Song”. The idea of starting the song with the words of a well-known nursery rhyme for a track about love gone awry. I quite like this track and it ends the album pretty well. The problem with “The Invisible Band” is that it should have really been titled “The Man Who Part II”. If you really liked their previous album then I guarantee you will think this is brilliant too. Fran is obviously an excellent song-writer as “Side”, “Follow The Light” and “Flowers in the Window” bear testament – unfortunately “Afterglow” and “Last Train” are poor in comparision. This isn’t my main gripe about this album – it’s the way it sounds. Travis still sound as though they are imitating “Wonderwall”. There is no sign of any experimentation with different instruments and styles which is a big shame. For me this album appears to be too similar to the last – compounded by the repeated choruses I have mentioned. This is a real disappointment as I have seen them live and I thought they were brilliant. Sorry guys but the hidden gems of “Side
” and “Follow The Light” cannot hide the album’s lack of invention from me.
Sorry about the title, it is my poor attempt at humor, and a joke at the title, ‘The Invisible Band’, just to save me having to explain it later. Anyway on with the feature presentation. This album may not exactly be the latest release, but this is Travis’s latest album and the follow up to ‘The Man Who’, something I really enjoyed when that was first released. After hearing a few of the singles off it, I decided to go and get it, they sounded as good as ever and promised a lot. Travis, consist of four members, the lead singer Fran Healey I have a lot of time for, I think he is a very talented singer and guitarist, as well as writing all the songs, and coming up with some cracking lyrics. As a band they produce top quality guitar music. ‘The Invisible Band’ is their third album, flowing up to their 1999 success ‘The Man Who’. The other members are Dougie, Neil and Andrew, all Scottish, but I wont hold that against them. On this album all the mixing and editing was done by Nigel Goodrich, and the album was released under Independent Limited. The cover and inlay includes all the lyrics (something I like), with plenty of snaps of the band members with the cover being, all the members in a wood. Don’t quite get the title, as I can very clearly see all of them in the photo, or I might be missing the point. I got this album off CD-WOW for the great price of £8.99, see my opinion on them for music at an unbeatable price. So what is this album like? Read on for all the tracks, lyrics and my thoughts…. 1. Sing Turn, turn, turn, no whoops wrong song, this time the chorus is sing, sing, sing. Easy enough mistake to make, the songs are pretty similar, but that is not really a bad thing. A good song, catchy and with a nice sing a long chorus. Good song, already released as a single, and a nice easy way to start off the album with quality. “But if you sin
g, For the love you bring, Won’t mean a thing Unless you sing, sing, sing” Sing, sing, sing, sing 2. Dear Diary Not my favourite track on the album. Slow moving, mournful and quiet. The slow tempo may be to some peoples style, and the fact that it is sandwiched between two of the better songs on the album, but I do not get along with this, it drags on too long. “Dear Diary, What is wrong with me, Cos I’m fine between the lines, Be not afraid, Help is on the way” 3. Side My favourite track on the album, even at this early stage. A great upbeat chorus, superb lyrics all the way through, and guitars provide a good backing. Another big single off the album, and it grows on me every time. Very nice. “The grass is always greener on the other side, Neighbors got a new car that you wanna drive, And when time is running out you want to stay alive, We all live under the same sky, We all will live, we all will die, There is no wrong, there is no right, A circle only has one side, Side Side Side” 4. Pipe Dreams Good song, that has grown on me over the times I have listened to it. Good chorus which again is catchy and pleasant to listen to. Lyrically good, though not as good as ‘side’. Nice song, overall one of the better on the album, but just off the title of my favourite. “I’d pray to god if there was heaven, But heaven seems so very far from here, And it all boils down to the same old thing, Just a yin and a yang, Or a couple of pipe dreams” 5. Flowers in the Window Good track, and a single again released from this album. A good song, same sort of upbeat chorus of ‘side’, a song that is just piped to my favourite by the fine ‘side’. A banjo playing gives it an interesting twist, and a good lyrica
l song, and by no means a bad tracks. “Wow, look at you now, Flowers in the window, Its such a lovely day, And I’m glad you feel the same, Cos to stand up, out in the crowd, You are one in a million, and I love you so, Lets watch the flowers grow” 6. The Cage Slow song, unlike ‘side’ or ‘flowers in the window’, but I still like this one, with a memorable chorus and meaningful parts to it. Not a bad song, better than the average on the album “Oh to keep her caged would just delay the spring, You broke your word, Now that’s a lie, We had a deal that you would try” 7. Safe Not too bad, lacks that touch to make it very good, but I like the chorus, the vocals are very good, and a fine display of Mr. Healey’s talents. The main line consists of ‘I feel safe, so safe’, well sung, powerful and upbeat, and there is constant quality acoustic guitars in the music, and is a good enough song. “And I feel safe, so safe And I feel safe, I feel so brave, I’m not afraid, Of anything they have got to say” 8. Follow the light I like this song, at in the middle of the album, a good chorus which sounds up tempo and happy, reassuring lyrics. Very nice, well sung, although the guitars do not back it up too well in my opinions. “Cos it’s all right, just follow the light, And don’t be afraid of the dark In the moonlight dance till you fall, And always be in my heart” 9. Last Train Dark, and mysterious song that say this is the last chance. Personally not one of my favourites, I prefer the more upbeat tracks like I said, but this is just not in the same quality bracket as others. Interesting variation with songs on the album, but not for me. “This could be the last train, Search wi
thin yourself for feelings, Everybody’s got them” 10.Afterglow Not a bad song, but like ‘dear diary’ I get board of this song pretty quickly, and may not listen all the way through. Very average, but that may just be my taste and style, but this is a slow tempo song, with mumbling words. Really drags on in the end, with a wailing till the finish of the track. “You are the afterglow, Feeling my way all the time, All the time doing fine” 11.Indefinitely Bad way to end, as though they ran out of good enough material after ‘follow the light’. Slow moving, and eventually stops after getting nowhere slowly. Not my taste at all, but it is just far too slow for me to cope with. Some good lyrics though, as shown below. “Time exists, but just on your wrist so don’t panic, Moments last and lifetimes are lost in a day, So wind your watches down please, Cos there is no time to lose, And I’m going to stay here indefinitely” 12. The Humpty Dumpty Love Song A twist on the nursery rhyme, with good lyrics if you listen in to them. Very little music backing, and there is a 30 pause at the start, that made me thing my CD player had gone. Good way to end the album on a note that shows the quality of the writing, but a slow and disappointing musical track. Overall I was slightly disappointed by this, especially after Travis’s last offering, ‘The Man Who’. I only just brought this within the last two weeks, so some of the tracks I did not like now may well grow on me. Also this album was released a long time back, in June, so I was expecting a lot after hearing live clips of all the singles, Travis are just not as good in the studio as they are live. That is not to say this is a bad album, all the singles are on here, as well as song great ones that have not been released, so I would still
recommend you to go out and buy this, just don’t expect too much.
In summer 2001, Travis released their long awaited new album. “The Invisible Band” was always going to have a hard act to follow in “The Man Who”, and the new release starts off very promisingly, and for the first time in a long time I was excited about what I was going to hear. It is the third album from the Scottish lads who seem like they can do no wrong. “Sing” was the debut release from the album, and accompanied with a video full of food fights, it was a hit. When I first heard this song, my gut reaction was not to like it, but within a week I found myself singing the chorus, which is truly catchy, and eventually it grew on me. It is nothing new, and very much the Travis of the past few years, which is so frustrating as I wish they would try something new sometimes. “Dear Diary” is poor in my eyes. Fran Healey’s vocals are drowned out by the music which sounds like it belongs on The Twilight Zone. I think it is a ballad, but even the lyrics are not strong enough to save this poor track, which as it is only the second track on the album is not filling me with hope for what is to follow……OK, I eat my words. The next track, “Side” is an amazing song, and is the latest release from the album. It had single written all over it from the first time I heard it. Again, as with the other hits from the band, it is accompanied by an innovative video, but it is the lyrics where this track comes up as a winner, and they work so well alongside the music. “Side” is Travis at their very very best. This is quickly followed by “Pipe Dreams”, and it manages to keep up where “Side” left off, and in fact there are times during the song, where it is the best track on the CD. The lyrics are refreshing, and it is the perfect song to sit back, relax and chill out to. I am excited again, and when I hear the next track, “Flowers In The Windo
w”, I know I have heard THE best track on the CD. It is an upbeat love song, with lyrics that are touchingly beautiful. In my eyes an absolute classic. “The Cage” does the job of holding my interest, and while it does not come close to the last few songs, it is a nice song that meanders along to the end without really taking your attention, but not being poor enough for you to notice. “Last Train” lets Fran Healey use his vocal talent to good effect, and it makes for a good pop tune, the lyrics become a little repetitive after the first 3 minutes, but it is still an ok tune. “Follow The Light” starts with a really upbeat guitar intro, but again, I thought it sounded like Healey was struggling to have his voice heard over the music for the first minute, and when he manages to it becomes a very good song, that should have been much further up the track listing. “Last Rain” follows, and I am sure after a few more listens, this may be a song which grows on me, but my immediate reaction was that it was a very mediocre filler track. “Afterglow” is a track which shows promise, but never really delivers. It threatens to become more upbeat than it does, and never really seems to get going, and ends up leaving you feeling a bit cheated. “Indefinitely” is the penultimate track, and slows the pace right down, and sets the scene well for the final song, “Humpty Dumpty Love Song”. A love song which incorporates a nursery rhyme is a brave thing to do, but Travis do it so well, and the result is a mellow, well thought out love song. Although, this album failed to be what “The Man Who” was, but it is a very strong offering from a talented band who are going to be around for a long time to come, because the have shown how versatile they can be.
The Invisible band is a fantastic album. It is different to The Man Who, which i thought they would never improve on. It is no better or worse than than it's predecessor, which has to be a good thing. With this album they have continues to make music which toushes ordinary people lives. Each song is different from the next, but it still manages to flow together. A lot of the songs are more upbeat than those on The Man Who, but they still show raw emotion. Sing, the first single, is an amazing opener for the CD. The use of different instruments on the track, such as the banjo, give Travis a new and different sound without a drastic change in direction. Dear Diary is one of my favourite tracks,it reminds me of some of the tracks on TMW. The way Fran sounds insecure seems to carry on from the previous album. Side, the second single, is not one of my favourite tracks. It's still good, but it just doesn't have something. Overall it is a great track. Pipe Dreams, what can i say about this song, fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. It is worthy of a single release, but aren't they all? Flowers in The Window. An upbeat,positive love song. Not what you would expect from travis, but they carry it well. Great song. The Cage. This song is beautiful. That's the only way to describe it. It reminds me of Last Laugh of the Laughter. Safe. This song was written at the smae timeas Good Feeling. It took them this long to put it on an album , and thank god they did. The lyrics in the song outshine the music and it is truly great song writing. Follow the Light. Another more positive track. Great instruments, sounds slighty different but done very well. Last train, the darkest song on the album. a very angry track. Amazing. Also, it has an abrubt ending, which adds a sense oof wonder to the song. Afterglow. This song chnges in voice and tempo a few times throughout. It works well a
nd makes a good song. Indefinately. Beautiful song. This is one of the more emotional songs on the album. Sounds more acoustic ad chilled than some of the others. The Humpty Dumpty Love Song. A very clever song which starts of slow and builds into an amazing masterpiece full of strings. Superb finish to a superb album. If Travis keep making music like this they'll continue for a long time yet. You must by this album, it is another masterpiece, and another chapter in the travis story.
When I first listened to 'Turn' from 'the man who' i enjoyed it. Until it reached the chorus. What had the potential to be an absolute cracker of a chorus failed dismally becasue Fran Healey decided it would be a great idea to just have a one word chorus. (If we turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, turn...) Similarly with 'the Invisible Band' one can't help but feel that a couple of fantastic songs are wasted with their one word choruses. 'Safe' is easily my favourite song on the album and seems not to suffer from Healey's apparant drop in lyric writing ability. Then we reach the chorus where Healey informs us that he feels: 'safe, so safe, safe, so safe, safe, so safe'. Always good to know. 'Sing' is a minor culprit; again, a fantastic, two chord verse until we 'sing, sing, sing, sing, sing, sing...' The lyrics to this album are it's predominant weak point. In 'Flowers in the Window': 'there's plenty of time to feel glad, sad, mad'. I don't know how long Fran has been writing songs, but you would think that he would have a little more respect for his own lyric writing ability than to rhyme 'glad' with 'sad' and 'mad'. the songs themselves are fine. One or two will certainly grab you. But for me this is a sizable step down from 'the Man Who' in terms of the quality of songs as a whole. If you are already a big Travis fan then you will undoubtebly love this cd. But for me there's nothing on here that could ever truely compete with the soaring melody of 'Drifwood', or the universal appeal of 'why does it always rain on me?' If you are unsure then buy it. It certainly has instant appeal. But this appeal is very limited. If I hear 'sing' once more you will find me slumped over my desk with a note in my hand something along the lines of 'goodbye, cruel world...' Dan
About two-thirds of the way through The Invisible Band, the follow-up to Travis' remarkably appealing 2000 breakthrough The Man Who, frontman Fran Healy delivers a moment of jarring clarity. Singing just plainly enough to be eerily menacing, Healy announces, "But if it's all the same to you / here's what I'm gonna do / I'm gonna buy a gun / Gonna shoot everything, everyone / And then I'm coming for you." It's hard not to snap to attention, and not just because of the directness of the line: The song, "Last Train," is the ninth track on The Invisible Band, and the first that immediately demands notice. The others tend to blur together in a gentle haze of pleasant affirmation and breezy arrangements. Healy often boasts about his lyrics in interviews, but once again, they're the weakest element of Travis' music. His tendency to fall back on hoary tropes--"When your bird has flown away, she was never meant to stay"--is enough to inspire gratitude that the songs don't require much concentration. If it didn't follow an album with so many sweetly anthemic, sing-along classics ("Driftwood," "Writing To Reach You," "Why Does It Always Rain On Me?"), The Invisible Band would warrant wholehearted recommendation as a pleasant, pneumatic summer trifle. Under the weight of heightened expectations, it's a disappointment. Thanks, please leave comments.
It’s become as fashionable to dislike Travis as it has to like them. The catchier one of their songs is, the more it will be dismissed as pop rubbish. If people actually listened to the music without assuming prejudice against the band because of their general appeal, then they would realise Travis are popular because they make excellent music. The Invisible Band is arguably their finest record to date, with more warmth and musical depth than their previous two albums, Good Feeling and their breakthrough lp The Man Who. First single Sing is the first song on this collection of songs (hey, I’ve just created a new tongue twister!) and just like Writing To Reach You from The Man Who, it is their ‘poppiest’ moment. It’s a good song; catchy from the start but like the aforementioned Writing To Reach You on The Man Who it isn’t one that will grow on you and after time is simply a good intro to an excellent album. Dear Diary, track number two, is a far better indication of Travis’ musical ability and Fran Healey’s songwriting abilities. Just under three minutes long it reminds me of the music from the film To Kill A Mockingbird. It is one of the few songs on the album that sounds like Radiohead musically and is definitely one for the shoe-gazers. Like The Man Who, The Invisible Band is perfectly structured and just as The Fear brought the listener down on The Man Who, Dear Diary tones down the mood on The Invisible Band. Track 3 is arguably Travis’ finest yet. Instantly catchy but one that will not bore after a while it is close in style to much of the bands’ material from the first album – almost a combination of say U16 Girls and Driftwood. Side will be the next single from the band and should be their first number one – a good guitar rhythm reminiscent of REM mixed with soaring vocals from Healy in the chorus make this one of the standout tracks. When the band perfom it live, it
grows even more – being quicker and more passionate – but the album version is still a fine piece. Pipe Dreams, track 4, was nearly left off the album as producer Nigel Godrich didn’t like it but in my opinion it is one of the finest songs on the album. Similar in style to The Last Laugh Of The Laughter from The Man Who and many of the bands B-Sides, it is a good jangly folk song. Some bands (not naming names Stereophonics and Oasis… oooh bugger) now sound boring and uninventive due to the boring three/four chord structure of a song. Somehow Travis avoid this – the songs are simple but yet are amazingly brilliant; the verse-chorus-verse structure working as well as it did before without becoming tedious. A lot of the credit for this must go to Nigel Godrich (the finest producer around – Radiohead and Travis are Britain’s leading bands currently) for ensuring the same old sound, sounds, well, different. Flowers In The Window will probably be most peoples highlight off the album. Written for his girlfriend, it is basically about having children. It’s one of the Travis ‘everything’s all right, smile’ moments – very akin to driftwood in style and sound. Nearly didn’t make it on to the album because it sounded almost too ‘poppy’ I’m glad it has – The Beatles made a hell of a lot of pop music and this has a lot of the Beatles’ sound to it without sounding like a complete rip off of them. This is likely to be a single and will probably be the most played song of October/November if it is released. The track that follows is one of my favourites on the album and one that saved the process of The Invisible Band’s making (the band thought they were crap and everything was going wrong until Fran played this during a soundcheck and recordings were kickstarted). The Cage is similar to early B-Side ‘20’ in that it is Fran Healey and an acoustic gu
itar. At times it feels he could destroy anything with just his guitar - even an army of squirrels with flutes. Ok the lyrics are a bit corny – ‘And then this bird just flew away, she was never meant to stay’, but Healey’s voice is perfectly suited to the song and it is one of the emotional highpoints of the album. What makes this song standout however is again the backdrop music created by Nigel Godrich. The little chimes and sounds add so much depth to the music that it doesn’t grate like much of Travis’ contemporaries music does (the phonics, oas…). The seventh song on the album is one of the bands oldest songs, written around 1996. This is good evidence to put forward to one of the ‘old’ Travis fans who accuse them of selling out – much of the material on The Man Who and The Invisible Band is older than that on Good Feeling. Safe is basically a safe song – a good album track, good lyrics, good music but not a song that stands out as much as say The Cage. However, it is better than many tracks on The Man Who such as The Fear and The Last Laugh Of The Laughter, and that is probably the key as to why The Invisible Band is better than The Man Who. It has more songs that could be released as singles (on The Man Who there were no songs unreleased that you felt should’ve been) for example Side, Pipe Dreams, Flowers In The Window, The Cage and Safe would all be good singles. The second half of the album is not as commercially appealing as the first. Follow The Light sees Healey reaching particularly high notes and proves he is one of the best vocalists around at the moment. This is probably the last in the line of songs which would probably do well if released to the general public as the second half of the album is not as commercially appealing as the first. The Last Train is probably the darkest moment on the album – the intro sounds very similar to much of Coldplay̵
7;s music on their album Parachutes. It’s only when listening to it that you actually realise it is a really good song. Most people wont recall it as a highlight but it is one of the bands natural moments – similar to She’s So Strange off The Man Who. Lyrically Healey is at his darkest – ‘I’m gonna buy a gun, gonna shoot everything, everyone’. It does have a bit too much Scooby Doo wails towards the ends but nearly every band resorts to this. Another bonus of this song is that it name-checks Che Guevara – shoot the capitalist scum, oh yes. Afterglow and Indefinitely have seldom been played live during the gigs before The Invisible Band was released but both are really good songs (there is no weak song on the album). Afterglow reminds me somewhat of a slow Britpop song – I can’t place what it reminds me of but it does have a sound that seems familiar. Unfortunately you can picture it being played by two yuppies as they sit over a candle-lit meal. This is why a lot of people don’t like Travis but it’s not their fault that such inbreeds like them so don’t be prejudice against it! Indefinitely is again a hallmark of some of Travis’ early b-sides and again demonstrates that Fran Healey is one of the finest songwriters of his generation. Like Afterglow it has a soft, gradual build up before blooming into layers of musical depth (similar to The Man Who’s Slide Show) and then slowing down before fading out. It is another sign that even Travis fillers are class songs and that Fran Healey is now incapable of writing a bad song. Indefinitely would have been the perfect album closer if it hadn’t have been for The Humpty Dumpty Lovesong – the most musically layered song yet in the Travis catalogue. One of Healey’s best vocals yet, it again starts off slowly before building into a full orchestral piece. This is as good a take on a nursery rhyme as there can be. It
is probably also the highlight for the Travis fans who would actually go and see them because of their musical ability and not because they are ‘cool’ or because Travis is ‘fit’ (btw if any of you still don’t know – there isn’t a bloke called Tra… ah feck it). Humpty Dumpty is Travis at their most beautiful and is the perfect ending to another fine album from the Scottish lads. Without a doubt the album will sell millions and make the band a fortune. For this they will be lambasted for selling out and being popular. Strange how their music is similar to the Beatles without being a rip off and yet one band is hailed as the best ever with every person in the world owning their records and paying homage to them, whilst the other is criticised for being pop. Strange indeed…
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Dear Diary
4 Pipe Dreams
5 Flowers In The Window
6 The Cage
8 Follow The Light
9 Last Train
12 The Humpty Dumpty Love Song