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Although the band had been around for several years before this releasing a few other records it was 'The Man Who' which launched them onto the scene in big style. Many critics loved this album saying that Fran Healey writing was accomplished and the music worked.
Many of the songs on this album are of a slow, slightly somber tone which has drawn some comparisons with radiohead. But even if the songs have a slightly slower pace most of them have a slight upbeat note that leaves you content after listening. With this in mind the opening track, Writing to reach you' sets the tone for the album in a perfect manner. From then on the album goes from strength to strength. I dont think enough can be said about how good some of the lyrics are in this album. Some of them are hauntingly beautiful and are sure to touch the right nerves with anyone listening to these songs. Healeys vocals are also perfect in the majority of the tracks, they fit the lyrics and the music so well it makes the songs practically perfect. Fear, Last laugh of the laughter and why does it always rain on me are personal highlights on the album for me and i think some of the best Travis songs ever written.
One thing that somewhat annoyed me at the time the album was released was that the length of the album wasnt the greatest. I found it to be a bit short and over before you know it. However now I am glad that only the best tracks were left on the album and there is no filler.
This album is a perfect album to chill out to, it will leave you relaxed and with a smile on your face. It is a great collection of music guaranteed to satisfy any musical taste.
The Man Who by Travis came out way back in 1999. This was the album that really launched the careers of the band. This took them onto bigger and better things and they had a string of big hits from the album. This album sold 2.7 million copies and was critically acclaimed as something quite special. I've always really liked this album so thought it was about time I gave it a review. So here is what I thought of each song:
1. Writing To Reach You - Probably my favourite song on the album. This is three simple cords, very much like Wonderwall. The lyrics are funny and clever, my favourite being 'the radio is playing all the usuals, and what's a Wonderwall anyway?'. This is a great mellow chilled out masterpiece, classic start to the album. 5/5
2. The Fear - Another similar slow song, classic Travis really. This one does not quite do it for me like some do, but its still a decent song. The lyrics are not quite as good in this song as in others. 3/5
3. As You Are - This is a slower song than most of the other ones. I like it but it does get a little boring when you have listened to it a few times. Again the words are lacking anything really special, not bad, but not great. 3/5
4. Driftwood - Back to there best here. A classic song that has a wonderful melody. This really does sound good, the words are really clever, using something as simple as Driftwood in a song but really making it fit and work with the song. Classic! 5/5
5. The Last Laugh Of Laughter - I love the piano music in this song. It is first class. The song itself is not quite as good as some but its still pretty good. I love the melody and the way it tinkles along with the words. Very good song I really enjoy. 4/5
6. Turn - Epic! Simply wonderful song this one. I love the video for this, i Think its one of my all time favourites and every time I hear the song I just think of Fran Healey doing press ups in the rain! The words are really moving and Fran really stretches his vocal chords and belts out the words on this one. Its a really moving song that has inspired me many times in life. Musical magic. 5/5
7. Why Does It Always Rain On Me? - Probably Travis' most well known song. Everyone who plays guitar has strummed this one! A classic intro as the song gathers pace and then Fran belts out the chorus. One of the greatest Glastonberry moments ever was this song in the rain, and then the sun came out! This is just one of those songs that makes you smile from ear to ear. 'I get the strangest feeling, we belong'. 5/5
8. Luv - After the previous epic songs this one really slows everything down. Its has no chance of competing with the previous few songs but its still a decent little song in its own right. Its not really one of my favourites on the album. 3/5
9. She's So Strange - Again a decent song but nothing special. It feels a little like filler and really lets the album down slightly. But its still one I don't mind listening to if I'm in a chilled mood.
10. Slide Show - Last song on the album and so how do they finish it off. Something quite slow and rhythmic. I like this song a lot, the words are really clever and they just go with the music so well. This is probably over looked often when people think of this album. But it really is a classic in its own right. 4/5
Overall this is a purely magic album. There are some massive songs on there that I'm sure everyone will have heard. There are also some hidden gems that I really enjoy. There are a few average songs but lets be honest, how many albums don't have any fillers? So if you have never heard this album or are maybe not familiar with Travis, I urge you to go out and get a copy of this. It really is a piece of music history! Great album.
Travis "The Man Who" was released in 1999 by Independiente Records. It is the work of a Scottish quartet rather than just one man as the name of the band would imply. The photograph on the album cover does show the band in its entirety.
There are two versions of this CD. One of these contains 3 extra songs named "Blue Flashing Light," "20," and "Only Molly Knows." I wish I had this version but unfortunately the version I have has only ten songs on it. If you buy this album, look out for the bonus tracks and choose wisely. The version I have contains the following songs:
1. Writing to Reach you
2. The Fear
3. As You Are
5. The Last Last Laugh of the Laughter
7. Why Does it Always Rain on Me?
9. She's So Strange
10. Slide Show
Of these tracks, my favourite is probably Driftwood. The lyrics are incredibly beautiful:
"Youre driftwood floating underwater. Breaking into pieces pieces pieces. Just driftwood hollow and of no use..."
Put like that, it sounds as if it would be a depressing song but it really isn't. This song and the entire album certainly treats some sad themes but because the melodies are so haunting the overall effect it quite uplifting. This album isn't like a day at the beach - it's like a quiet Sunday morning walk along a deserted the beach.
Although only one song on this album is really a love song ("Luv" which is a sad song and not one of my favourite tracks), this is album is an excellent choice to play on a romantic evening at home.
The Indie Pop band Travis came with "The Man Who" in 1999 as their second release. It found the Scottish band refining the sound of their music from more of a Rock sound to a much more mellow, mainstream-friendly Pop material (in comparison to their 1997 debut "Good Feeling" record). It features the same line-up who have gone on to produce a further four albums together with Francis Healey on lead vocals, Andrew Dunlop on the guitar, Douglas pain on bass and Neil Primrose on the drums.
1. "Writing To Reach You"
The album kicks off with what was the lead single to the album and one which stood as one of the most popular cuts from the album as it finds them laying down a smooth cut where they are able to ease listeners in and give them a chance to get into their style as they perform a rather mild song which doesn't really do anything particularly eventful to make you feel either strongly in favour or against it.
2. "The Fear"
Off some rather lively and jazzy percussion, with this one you find that they bring in some clear alterative influences in their music in order to come up with a little more variety in it, but I can't say that it was really making enough progress (at this stage) to really bring me in all that much and so I could help but feel that it wasn't for me and that they were going to keep it at this sort of base level throughout.
3. "As You Are"
This one appears to progress the album somewhat as it is seemed that the content of the lyrics appears to take on a form that is made to pull you in any get you interested, but once again I thought that the fact that they were seen to come with a track which maintains the same low tempo as what was heard on the first two songs meant that it wasn't really taking anything anywhere and it just left it as an unappealing composition.
With this one there seems to be a bit more going on (finally) and so it means that you are finally able to get some real enjoyment out of the music as with this one they lift the mood with a much brighter song which has them performing in a manner so that you are able to feel the more up-lifting side in the music. However, just because the subject matter shifts doesn't mean it's really that good, and can't say I actually really felt it that much and the contrast is the only reason why it felt a little better.
5. "The Last Laugh Of Laughter"
They once again return to the samey things which came at the start of the album as they perform an alternative composition which doesn't really seem to go anywhere as they sing anyone cold song which takes from the slight lift which came of the track prior to it to lose all of this for a song which is written well (with a mix of English and French language running through it) but the lack of energy put me right off and held it back for me.
This was a big single form the album and I felt that as soon the percussion (which seemed to carry much more power than earlier) came into effect, it meant that you could really get into the music again and acknowledge the fact that they are going to lay down something which is bound to make much more of an impact her, and this seemed to come with this powerful recording which really does its job at taking you from a low.
7. "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?"
This was another massive single from the band and one which really got their name out there, but I can't say that I really felt that towards it, when compared to what you get from the song which came before it and theirs which they produced, such as "Sing". The format that you get from this one is largely the same as what is found in "Turn" and so it doesn't really seem best placed here, but it is still one of the better ones.
The acoustic songs persist through this one and they are seen to have the sort of dampening feel that comes with pretty much al of the songs on the album, and when you consider that it follows on from two of their most significant singles then it seems to really pull down the listener and make them feel less of it as although they may do things well, the monotony of so many in this structure just puts you right off as they do a break-up song.
9. "She's So Strange"
This one seems to stand out here and I felt that it was a track to pick things up a little as they dreary songs of the album are lifted for a show while with this song and they lay down one where they are able to do things in a manner which reflects the general feel of their style, but has them moving it on slightly with an emotive song which seems to grab your attention much more than they others on here.
10. "Slide Show"
The album comes to a close with a lengthy one as they lay down a recording which goes on for over ten minutes. It is a song which has them doing the typical things which was received through the rest of the album and so it is nothing special, but you do find tha they us the extra added time to experiment a little with the Rock side of the material to show that they haven't completely abandoned it.
I can appreciate what is done on this record, but I can't say that I really felt all that much from it as it is only really the singles which stick out in an album where almost everything sounds the same and they hardly make an effort to try something different.
As I mentioned in my previous Killers review, my son bought me a MP3 player for Christmas with some albums on it and I'm now taking the time to write some reviews for my favourites.
Travis are a Scottish band led by charismatic front man Fran Healy. The seem to write catchy simple mild rock songs and this 1999 record is perfect example of their work.
Arguably the most famous song of their career comes off this album. 'Why Does it Always Rain on Me' is a fairly slow paced steady number which is instantly catchy and memorable along with some typically sombre lyrics. I love it!
The album also boasts the songs 'Driftwood', 'Writing to Reach You' and 'Turn'.
I remember most of these singles from the time they were released (Radio 2 played them) but I only recently became familiar with the rest of the album and I'm suitably impressed, particularly with the beautiful 'As you are' and 'Slide Show'.
This is a very popular Brit Pop album, and rightfully so.
One of the best albums of 1999, if not the 90s as a whole was the second album from Scottish band Travis. They followed up Good Feeling with one of the best albums Id heard in a long time. It took a very mellow vibe but certainly made it work for Fran and Co. As a result The Man Who has become one of those albums that most people own. If you like Indie then Id say its almost a certainty that there is a copy of this album in your CD collection.
This was back in the times where NME didnt pick up on every new band proclaiming them the new this or that. In fact the first album from the Scottish 4 piece was released in 1997 and slipped through virtually unnoticed. This second album would really herald the announcement that Travis had arrived. It was produced by Nigel Godrich, who can now include both Travis and Radiohead as bands he has worked with in the past.
It is quite a musical progression from Good Feeling as Travis appear to have moved away from the raw, rock energy that engulfed that album. This album has a mellower vibe to it, which in turn makes its appeal last a lot longer. Not only are the singles excellent on the album, the rest of the tracks are superb as well. In fact you could go as far as to say that a lot of the album tracks are actually better than a few of the singles.
For me thats a factor that can only work in Traviss favour and makes the album on the whole much more enjoyable. A lot of albums can offer great singles, but fall down on the quality of the rest of the tracks. The album is very guitar driven as Fran really takes the lead role with both the vocals and acoustic guitars. That is the main selling point of The Man Who. The guitar driven sound gives it a slightly upbeat feel but at the same time maintains the mellow vibe that the album gives off from the first chord.
If the guitars give the album its drive and determination, its the bass and drum combination that really provides its backbone. While the lead guitars give the tracks a bit of feeling and compliment Frans vocals superbly, its the backing of the track that really makes it for me. Each track has a nice relaxing beat that seems to dictate the pace at times and gives the album its mellow, relaxed vibe. It is a solid album that at times shows glimpses of Radiohead in the early days.
I think the best aspect of the album though is the diversity of the market the album is aimed at as a whole. While tracks like Why Does It Always Rain On Me and Driftwood are obvious attempts to encourage a wider audience to listen to Travis. There are also a number of tracks on the album, which are aimed directly at the Indie market. The Fear is the perfect example of this as it plays of slightly darker undertones to the singles. It sounds a lot more like the old Travis material, but once the singles hook you the rest of the album seems to just drift by effortlessly.
There are of course a couple of tracks that really stick out for me on this album. The first being The Fear, which I think is a truly fantastic track. The simple acoustic guitar riffs and relaxed drumbeat make it a pleasure to listen to. Throughout the album Frans vocals sound amazing, hit both high and low notes and giving the band a unique sound. I really feel his voice makes my other favourite track Driftwood. There is an aspect about his vocals that really suits the style and manner of the song and makes it such a fantastic track.
Overall there are very few downsides to the album. For some it may be a bit too mellow, but I personally feel that they have found the right balance. It has a much wider appeal than a lot of albums and that certainly counts as a positive. They havent come close to making an album as good as this since and it remains to be seen whether they could better The Man Who. It is an excellent album that will certainly stand the test of time, containing a few songs that will stick with you forever.
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Released: 1999 Label: Independiente Play Time: 47.30 (2.00 dead time) Number Of Tracks: 10 (plus hidden) Genre: Alt Rock/Indie/Brit Pop Produced By: Nigel Godrich The Band Fran Healy Vocals/guitar Neil Primrose: Drums Dougie Payne Guitars Andy Dunlop: Guitar 'The Man Who' shot Travis to instant stardom; it brought about a change from the all out rock, which was present on their debut album 'Good Feeling', which was released in 97. 'The Man Who' has a very mellow and softer sound that is superbly crafted and so emotional. The four Scots have come up with an absolute gem of an album, which is based very much on the simplicity of acoustic guitars. As result this is a very beautiful and peaceful almost therapeutic experience that is helped along by the wonderful vocals of Fran Healy. The harmonies and lyrics are so though provoking and just a pleasure to soak up on an album that drifts effortlessly along to its conclusion. This is one of the great masterpieces of recent times and has made Travis a household name, the album has its radio friendly songs on it, but the album is definitely not pop orientated, it is the cutting edge of alt rock and indie music. Fran Healy who wrote all the tracks has penned a masterpiece and then goes even further to deliver the whole story with his infectious vocals, which capture the mood of the album perfectly. The album includes the tracks 1: Writing To Reach You (3.41) 5/5 (charted 14) The first single of the album, which marked a return to the charts after an 11-month absence. This track is just phenomenal; the electric guitars at the start and the drums to just bring your attention. The vocals of Fran Healy are just superb, at times they sound strained, but they are full of emotion and feeling. The lyrics are outstanding and tell of a story of loneliness and of a journey through life and the moments enc
ompassed in it. The music is first rate with some great riffs, melodies and solos throughout the track. There is just the perfect blend of high up tempo moments and slower more subtle moments. Just class, the video was also top notch with Fran walking around and being attacked by various people and even an aeroplane! 2: The Fear (4.12) 4/5 The second track of the album kicks of with a great drum beat. The vocals again are top notch and sound a little like that of Radio head. The lyrics are again so deep and thoughtful; you just cannot help but think about what imagery is being created by the band. The theme of the song is about the fears we have throughout life, and how sometimes we can get so obsessed with them that we forget to enjoy the moments and life in general, and before we know it life has passed us by. This feeling is summed up perfectly by the music and the tone of the vocals, which add to the atmosphere and suspense of the track. A great moral to live for the moment and cease the day, you will feel better for it! 3: As You Are (4.14) 4/5 This is one of the very mellow songs on the album. It is almost very therapeutic and relaxing, but the lyrics contradict this feeling. They tell of frustration and mistrust, and some of the images created are just splendid, for example being caught in a fishing net and being pulled out of the water (feeling trapped). About half way through eh track the song and tones become more edgy and tense. At times Fran screams out the lyrics in pain, the sharp, harsh playing of the guitars pushes this feel of hurt home. A great song full of emotion and atmosphere. 4: Driftwood (3.33) 5/5 (charted 13) (Best Track On The Album) This was the second single to be released of the album and is an absolute belter. The song starts with some great electric guitar, this then subsides and the focus turns very much on Healy's voice. The song just drifts along with a constant but steady b
eat. The lyrics are in my opinion the best on the album and the thoughts created are just amazing. The vocals are again splendid, while not having a great or unique voice Healy drives home each tune with so much emotion it brings the track to life. The theme of the song is about the journey of life and the choices we make and the changes they have on life. The main theme follows taking the wrong path and how your life has becoming meaningless and you have not where to turn and your are just drifting along. While the story my sound depressing the vocals and music make it quite an upbeat affair with lots of hope and resolve. First Class. 5: The Last Laugh Of The Laughter (4.20) 4/5 The track start with some piano, which is a welcome introduction for the album. The acoustic guitars then kick in, this really adds to the atmosphere. The vocals of Healy are very high pitched, and this combined with the low backing vocals make it quite a haunting tracks at times. The lyrics also include some foreign language, which I believe is Latin, but I am not sure. The song is about the end of the world, or death and the passing between this world and the next. The track picks up towards the end with some great guitars and some echoing vocals by Fran. 6: Turn (4.24) 5/5 (Charted 8) This was to be the last single released of the album and without doubt the rockiest tune on it. The video was just first class with Fran doing press-ups throughout the whole day and then not being able to help someone because of his stubbornness. The video to me summed up the whole feel of this track. The vocals of Fran are at times shouted out and are very emotional and expression ate. The lyrics tell of making choices and even if they are the wrong ones, we still must learn from them and grow as people. There is also a great amount of resolve and power following in the theme of never giving up. The lyrics again are so imaginative, there is also so much energy provided b
y the constant drums and heavy guitars in the song. A definite anthem that will have you singing along by the end. 7: Why Does It Always Rain On Me? (4.24) 5/5 (Charted 10) The biggest anthem of the album starts with a nice bit of violin. This sets the scene well. Then in kicks the great mid tempo guitars and drums that we have come to expect from this album. This was the third and most successful single and the album to number 1 after 20 weeks in the top 20. The song is very tongue in cheek and also very humorous, while this remains true throughout the imagery and lyrics are top notch, the song tells of asking why things go wrong and it always to you. It is a great track that sums up the feeling that you cannot do right in your life at [particular times. While it is quite depressing in that fact, like 'Driftwood', because of the style and beat it remains upbeat and positive and gives you the feeling that better things are around the corner as long as you do not give up. The vocals are trademark Healy throughout and full of emotional as he struggles to reach those high notes. The power of the song is so clear and you will be singing along in no time too, I promise! But be careful they played it at a sunny Glastonbury and, you guessed it made it rain! 8: Luv (4.55) 4/5 Again a very atmospheric intro that introduces a new instrument, the harmonica. The acoustic guitars carry the slow to mid tempo song. The vocals of Healy are almost insipid on this track, which is the only all out love ballad on the album. The track is very emotional and at times quite angelic and peaceful, almost again therapeutic. It is just one of those tracks that passes you by while you lying your bed or couch. The song tells of the power of love and how you cannot bear to be without the one that you truly love. Towards the end of the song the mood takes a twist and you get the impression that things are not working out, as she has to move aw
ay and how this can come between even the strongest of relationships. There is a great line that says ' The only mistake we made, was to never plan to fall in love', absolutely first class, sums up the whole song, very emotional. 9: She?s So Strange (3.15) 3.5/5 This is a very offbeat song, with some rather far out and very vivid lyrics. They capture the feeling of insanity and the nature of being strange very well. The song takes a mid to slow tempo pace, with dominant acoustic guitars and a very steady drumbeat. The vocals take on a similar style to the previous track, being very plane and simple. They are top notch again and Fran can even just hum and make noises, almost screech and make them sound good, that is how good it is. A good track but in the same quality as what has come before 10: Slide Show (10.31 including bonus) 3.5/5 The final track starts with someone getting into a car and staring the engine. This is a nice take on the fact that the journey is nearly complete and the album is almost ever. The final track has a very acoustic, almost orchestral feel to it with the inclusion of violins. The song is a quip about previous songs being released, including the Manics 'Design For Life' and Oasis' 'Wonderwall'. It basically is saying there are no formula for life and no set pattern, just dismissing superstition and saying life is what you make it. The track also finishes with the car door shutting which is a nice touch and shows continuity. There is also an extra hidden track at the end of the album called 'Blue Flashing Light', in kicks in after about 6.50 of the final track, meaning about 3 minutes of dead time. The tracks is very angst and edgy. The song is very loud and all out rock, Frans vocals are slightly synthesized, this adds to the feeling of anger and loss of temper. The track tells of a Saturday night of loneliness, due to your friends not calling, but there
is a feeling that he is an outcast and does not have any friends. This is due to maybe being a criminal or not being forgiven for previous errors. The guitars and drums on this track are played very harshly and this adds to the suspense and trauma of the track. The hidden extra is a strange way to end what ahs been a gentle and tranquil album, but on its own merit is very solid track. 'The Man Who' is juts an absolute masterpiece, which juts glides through from start to finish. The whole feel of the album is placed very much on the journey through love, loss, and loneliness. All of these emotions are punched home by the sheer sincerity of Fran Healy's vocals. Combine these vocals with some stunningly thoughtful and heartfelt lyrics, and you get the genius that is 'The Man Who'. 'The Man Who', for me is one of the finest albums of recent time and eclipses their previous effort 'Good Feeling', which was an all out up beat rock album released in 1997. This album had a few great tracks on it but lacks the sheer depth of quality that 'The Man Who' Possesses. Travis made a welcome return with the release of their latest effort 'The Invisible Band', which was released in 2001. The album to some is considered a sell out and say Travis have come too commercial. I think that the album is just a change in direction with a change of themes. As a result of this change a lot of the songs are more upbeat. The album to me is a middle ground in feeling between their two previous efforts. But still worth a listen. I don?t want to say to much as it would spoil a possible future review! Travis where also due to play at V2002, but has to pull out due to a serious neck injury to drummer Neil Primrose. He had an accident in a swimming pool when he dived in. He sustained serious injuries but luckily the boys where there to help him and he is making a steady recovery, get well soon Neil! Travis
are here to stay that is for sure the quartet of Scots seem happy within themselves and appear to be more than happy with taking their own direction and not being pressured by media critiscm. This boads well for the fans as I don't want Travis to change at all, what with the great lyrics and superb vocals of Fran Healy. If you are wanting to get into Travis I would start with 'The Man Who', it is the best of their released albums and has more depth then the other two. Try starting with 'Driftwood', 'Writing To Reach You' and 'Why Does It Always Rain On Me?' I would also look out for their cover of Britney Spear's 'Baby One More Time'; it is an absolutely great tongue in cheek cover and miles better than the original.
Travis are a scotty band who had already come to my attention before this album with their previous release 'Good Feeling' but went from second division to premier league with this album,not just in my mind but many! Released in 1999 it was the best selling album of that year and was in the album charts for months and months,from playing the likes of Leicester University this album made sure that would be a thing of the past as they went onto stadiums from then onwards. Always a good crowd pleasing live band i had my reservations about the band becoming mainstream and their latest release backs my theory up as its way below standard however back to this album which is my favourite album of all time. My main reason for this is its playability and its mellowness(id class Travis as a guitar band not either Indie or pop but somewhere in between-more pop as theyve aged as a band,not uncommon!) The album is full of outstanding songwriting and has two classic singles that will still be being played for years to come in 'Why does it always rain on me?' and 'Driftwood' Travis have always ,like most Indie style artist, had an emphasis towards album sales rather than singles and the success of this album has hindered them since with their record company trying to make them into a number one single band with huge amounts of cash going into hype and publicity rather than let them get on with what their good at! 1.WRITING TO REACH YOU A lovely single whether you listen to the studio version or the acoustic.Very mellow and catchy, Fran Healy's vocals are oustandingly tender and the lyrics are very good too,on top of this add a great guitar solo in the middle and you have one hell of a start to an album. 9/10 2.THE FEAR A slow paced album filler which is difficult not to sing along to even though its one of the weaker songs on the album. 7/10 3.ASYOUARE A slow starting single about
being led on and being 'Asyouare' ,it gathers pace with stunning vocals and then follows a minute interlude with great guitar work and slows down again,lovely stuff. 7/10 4.DRIFTWOOD My favourite song on the album and favourite Travis song in general.Great guitar intro is very familiar and an incredibly melodic feel to the song with superb lyrics about comparing someones life becoming driftwood floating along under bridges unimpeded.I still hear this song regulary on Radio1 which is rare as they increasingly turn to boy/girl bands to increase their listeners totals which is in turn a big compliment to the quality of this single. Ive heard it a thousand times and i still love it. 10/10 5.THE LAST LAUGH OF THE LAUGHTER A lovely mellow ballad and another with hauntingly good lyrics which includes a bit of french.Its a very dreamy single with drawn out tender vocals making it quite moving.Outstanding! 9/10 6.TURN Much more energetic single with a quicker tempo.It reminds me a lot of one of their latest singles 'Sing' mainly due to boths repetitive vocals.Carries on in the same vein as the others in being superb lyrically. Fran himself says he loves this single but i prefer others. 7/10 7.WHY DOES IT ALWAYS RAIN ON ME? Most people will remember this single which was a summer anthem and coincided with that summer being the wettest for a long time.I remember being at Reading jumping up and down in the rain to this and it brings back great memories.Superb catchy guitar chorus and a massive hit for the band still probably their biggest selling to date. 10/10 8.LUV This song has a sad,sad feel to it making it very emotional.Its about a relationship coming to an end due to distance coming between them and on a personal level i can relate to that and i bet so can many others,having said that its addictive and the lyrics are fantastic. 10/10 9.SHES SO STRANGE Something a bit different here with very odd l
yrics about cats sniffing glue and a girl with a fake black moustache going to Birmingham-you get the gyst!!!!!Still has lovely mellow guitars and goes well with the album. 6/10 10.SLIDESHOW Begins with someone closing their car door and putting a tape on which is quite clever.Im not sure what this songs about but whatever the lyrics are delivered beautifully and its another foot tapping single to go with the rest.The song ends and silence reigns for a couple of minutes before it kicks back into life which put the fear of life into me first time round!! 7/10 This is still one of the most played CD'S i own and ive got over 300 last count.I think the thing that i think is best about it is the quality of the lyrics which i always find very important and where a lot of artists lack. On top of that it takes me back to 1999 which was quite an eventful year for me and quite possibly the best year of my life.
INTRODUCTION: In this category, there will be almost as many reviews of the album as I have written overall in my dooyoo career. So, what have I got to give? Nothing but my undivided opinion. What do I demand? Nothing. Apart from some VU's and maybe a crown (hint, hint... ruthless or what?). No better feeling fills me than when I put 'The Man Who' in to my CD player. It's heart-felt melancholy is vitamins for the soul. The time: Winter evenings, alone. Are Travis boring moaners? Or are they musical geniuses worthy of every ounce of support we can give 'em? This Scottish band have taken the charts by storm, and from this album, numerous singles have been released. "Writing to Reach You", "Driftwood", "Turn", and the phenomenally sing-a-long-able "Why Does it Always Rain On Me?". Which has been a song that can be sung almost daily in lovely wet Britain. It doesn't really grab the title of 'most popular song to be sung in a drunken stupor', which was taken by the "Do you really like it?" song. But, Travis have got a bit of a knack for getting in to them there charts. But unlike most chart albums, Travis Are Good. (notice the capitalisation). But, it's not just me saying that: Q readers recently voted The Man Who as one of 'the most important albums of the last 15 years". And their dominating chart record also shows their greatness. It takes something to sell 2.5million copies of an album in the UK. And with the onslaught (not a bad thing!) of sites like Napster, Gnutella and Audiogalaxy, the ability to sell an album can get blimmin' hard. So, Travis are to be applauded for brining good music back to the UK without having to resort to imports (unless Scotland's -THAT- far away...). The band has got 'a sound', which is something to be proud of. People will be compared to Travis for ages. It'll be 'Travis impersonat
ors 'Coldplay' and 'Starsailor' release new albums'. People just won't be able to make music like this without being recalled to 'that sound'. 01. Writing to Reach You 1, 2, 3, 4: through your right ear comes the distant sound of electric guitar, then the track starts: drums a-pounding, and Fran squealing "Everyday I wake up, it's Sunday": I wish! A really simple, down-to-earth melancholic stroll through life. Around the 2:00 mark, the guitar finally starts rocking through the track. What a brilliant start to one of the best albums ever written, bring on the rest of the track. Their acoustic effect-heavy mumblings continue: "The insides on the outside". Those boys are gone go far... yet they'll stay right there in your CD player for months. 04. Driftwood A really quite simple, yet deep tune, Driftwood is an inspired piece of music. Powerful melodic sweepings provide a powerful undercurrent to Travis' mean electric and acoustic guitar sounds and Fran Healey's grinding voice. A true classic, with great inspired lyrics. Watch the video (on Mindless Tele Vision - MTV!), to see the band do their boy band impersonation. Yes, it's pouring it down, and their sitting they?re: 'we don't give a toss!? A brilliant song if there ever was one. Ignore the critics, and listen to me: BUY THIS ALBUM! 05. The Last Laugh of Laughter More acoustic twinkling, and in comes the piano. A nice singsong here. Will it be miserable? Will it be nice? You?ll know soon. French? Why is there French in here? I don?t know. I don?t like French. After abysmal French GCSE results that I probably didn?t actually write my name properly in, I won?t understand it. But it sounds all right. So there. The song is generally quite cheery, and bouncy. They even play about with some very bizarre vocal effects. It?s not one of my favourite tracks on the album, as half the song is rendered half-inco
mprehensible due to the overwhelming presence of the froggy language. But otherwise it?s alright. 06. Turn One of the single releases from The Man Who, Turn is a brilliant track, and has some quite good lyrics that I agree with ?I want to live in the world where I belong?, as (don?t ask me why) but everyone in the world seems screwed (and if you?re a staff member at UCC and your reading this, big chainsaw wielding maniac is coming to getcha?). OK, enough of my depressed moanings, and back to the song: slow moving, with heavily reverberating drums. This is really commercial, but really quite good. 07. Why Does It Always Rain On Me? How many times do I sing this? How many times does everyone sing this? Not enough, as karaoke proves: we don?t sing enough! So, come along sing it with me: ?Why does it always rain on me? Is it because I lied when I was 17? Even when the sun is shining, I can?t avoid the lightning?? It is (as someone said in another review ? if it?s you, tell me?) a bumper sticker philosophy, but what a good job Travis make at turning a simple idea like British weather in to a great song. You can?t go 5 minutes without a reference to it, or hearing it played. (Well, it isn?t as annoying as ?Do You Really Like It??). Still great technically and makes a really interesting listen. 08. Luv One of my favourite tracks from The Man Who, Luv is a really relaxing listen. This is a really slow moving, simple song, with so much acoustic whirling in the background, very similar to say Planet Telex from Radiohead?s brilliant The Bends album. Float away? 09. She?s So Strange Dunno what to say. Really. Another good track, if it seems like The Weakest Link of The Man Who. Nay, I cannot say I like this cap?n. It fits in with the album. In rating terms, ?Useful? sums it up quite nicely. Not outstanding, but not bad. 10. Slide Show Starts off with a bit of a cliché if that?s allowed: the sound of someone starti
ng a car, then the plectrum plucking starts. The song starts proper, and although slow and not particularly complicated, starts filling up with more instruments, and orchestras. They even manage a bit of a poke at Oasis (?Not a wonder wall to climb?). A great finisher to the album, or is it? SECRET TRACK! Another bonus thing that happens, when they start putting all these bonus tracks hidden away. This is a kind of weird thing, that doesn?t fit with the rest of the album, quite heavy guitar. If what I have heard about ?Good Feeling? is true, this is a bit like it. Still, nice little bonus. IF YOU LIKE THAT, THEN YOU'LL LIKE THIS, THAT AN' THE O'ER. Radiohead - The Bends (OP) Muse - Origin of Symmetry (OP) Starsailor - Love Is Here Turin Brakes - The Optimist LP Travis - The Invisible Band (OP) denotes that I have written and posted an opinion on this album. THANKS AN' ALL Thank you fellow opinion writers. If I've got this far without being shot through the head, then that's a good thing! Rate fairly, eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we do what we do every day: write opinions. Still I?d like to say to all the churners out there (even though I hate that word) that I have written 16.6 times the minimum expected review length? Oh, and Dooyoo, cheers for the cheque!
I just don't get it. How otherwise articulate and intelligent persons, obviously possessing great musical taste (or they would not have been persuaded to buy the album in the first place), can find only one ill-fitting word to describe this album. Depressing? The album as a whole? I cannot think of a less fitting summation. Why is it that suddenly any song that is less than a headlong rush to the final bar is now depressing? Rather, the slower songs on this album are in turns wistful, autumnal, regretful, and accepting -- but, lest this dissuade potential buyers, let me say that this is only in contrast to the interspersed up tempo tracks. We begin with Writing To Reach You, considered by some to be the strongest track. It certainly has a lot to offer, and may have contributed to the expectations of some who expect all tracks on an album to follow a pattern set by the first track. Continue with The Fear, probably the best track in terms of lyrics (though some would contest that assertion with either Slide Show or Blue Flashing Light (of which more anon)). It may the least romantic love song I have ever heard. Next comes As You Are, a song which for much of its length deserves the appelation 'filler.' But then it kicks into life, and redeems itself. Still strong lyrically (as all the songs are). Then most people's favourite, Driftwood. We have gone from high-ish tempo, to medium, to medium-quick, to upbeat, and the contrast makes Driftwood stand out even more. Superb song. Now my favourite, The Last Laugh of the Laughter. Far too rarely do we hear piano on indie tracks, and this use of it is so subtly mixed with the guitar that it's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. Perfect word-setting, marvelous melody and harmonies. The glorious Turn is next, about which nothing really needs to be said. Brilliance shines out of this track like the sun, and like the sun, the track pro
vides some contrast between Last Laugh and the next song, Why Does It Always Rain On Me. WDIAROM is a classic track (though overplayed on the radio, IMO), and is probably the closest of all the tracks to the appellation 'depressing.' It seems to unselfconsciously wallow in its self-pity -- and yet curiously, does not outstay its welcome. The sheer perfection of the word-setting is probably the reason. For those who complain that all the non-release tracks are depressing, take the time to actually _listen_ to this one! Next is Luv, and, while slow, is quite forward-looking. This is the song I would call wistful. She's So Strange has garnered varying reactions from listeners. I must admit, it's the track I skip over most often, but still worth a listen. I think someone else hit the nail on the head with 'weird.' But, hey, 'strange' = 'weird'. Then Slide Show. I am a sucker for solo 'cello, and in this track, it's used so well that even without lyrics this would be a contender for best track. Add in some of the most thoughtful lyrics on the album, and you have the perfect song to end the album. But wait! We're not finished? Wait a while, and the hidden track reveals a side to Travis not heretofore seen in any of the other songs on the album. No, this is much harsher, more gritty -- dare I say it, more Scottish -- than the rest, and shows that while they may have grown up, there is still an element of 'Let's see what we can get away with.' Blue Flashing Light is probably my favourite track after Last Laugh. And there you have it. Peaks and troughs of tempo, thoughtfulness, and sheer _joie de vivre_. A balanced album, in every sense of the word.
I never used to even really know who Travis were, so how could I possibly have imagined that they'd play such a big part of my life as they now do? The first time I played The Man Who, I was completely washed over by the end. And then there was the hidden track... My ultimate favourite track? I don't know. You can't just pick one track from this as 'the best', as they're all so inspirational. Some say Travis' music is depressing, and maybe so, but I find it strangely soothing and if I'm in a bad mood it always calms me down. One major pointer is the fact that there's French in Track 5, which made me smile. Not much else to say really, Dan
Oops – I made the mistake of writing this before looking at just how many opinions there are already for this album, hence the title. Still, overcrowded or not, I've written so I'm posting!! :) It seems to me that a decent album should have an appeal that lasts beyond the appeal of the singles. In fact, I tend to find the well-known singles from an album, while making it easier to get into it to start with, can get quite grating through over-familiarity. So I tend to judge a lot of albums by the quality of the non-single tracks. The Man Who combines both – excellent singles, which are still listenable after all this time, but with a quality that means the non-single tracks are never just 'fillers'. I find myself making a comparison – and I apologise profusely: it seems everyone these days is compared with Radiohead, but as someone pointed out, Radiohead are so diverse and complex, that just about anything you listen to will have something in common. With this, I think the acoustic guitars remind me of a few quieter Bends-era Radiohead tracks, and also the occasional moment in Fran Healy's singing. Partly the clean, high-ish pitch, I suppose, but there are also a few occasions on here where his voice becomes less a vocal and more just another instrument. Coincidently, this album was mixed by Nigel Godrich, who also produces Radiohead's albums (from The Bends onward). Also, I see a correlation between the bands' first to second albums moving from an almost harsh rock sound, to something far more mellow and cohesive. And of course, they’re both favourite albums of mine! Anyway, enough of my babbling about other bands – on to the tracks: (1) Writing to Reach You (#14) First single to be release from The Man Who, after almost a year of silence since the band's previous album. It got them on Top of the Pops for the first time! (2) The Fear A definite fav
ourite of mine. It's almost a surprise to find this is a love song, but a refreshingly un-saccarine one. (3) As You Are I could imagine Thom Yorke (Radiohead) singing this – there's just such a beautiful snarl as Fran sings the line 'As You Are'. One of my favourites of this album. (4) Driftwood (#13) Interesting fact: there's a line in the second verse "Pillars turn to butter". It's not really as cryptic as you might think. Fran Healy, looking for a match for the first verse's "Rivers turn to ocean" thought of caterpillars turning into butterflies – of course, that wouldn't scan, so he just lopped off a few syllabils and voila - pillars and butter! Second single to be release from the album. (5) Last Laugh of the Laughter Just in case anyone doesn't know, the French in the song ("Sur la dernier page du chapitre") means "On the last page of the chapter". A very gentle little track. (6) Turn (#8) Contains the worst line of the album – "And what's the moon? A big balloon" – a rhyme that still makes me cringe every time I hear it! Mind you, the rest of the song's not that much better lyrically – fairly good tune, though, so despite my lyrical misgivings I still like it! The last single release from the album. (7) Why Does It Always Rain On Me? (#10) Because you live in Scotland, Francis. It rains on all of us here most of the time. Stop asking such silly questions!! Only kidding. However, this song is notorious for 'causing' the heavens to open when it was played at the Glastonbury festival. The third single from the album, this has attained something of an ‘anthem’ status, not undeservingly. (8) Luv I think this song is absolutely lovely. A nice, gentle love song, with a harmonica thrown in for good measure. (9) She's So Strange A ra
ther whimsical song. If there's has to be a weakest track on the album, I think I'd pick this – which just goes to show the overall quality, as this is still a good song. (10) Slide Show Another interesting thing: there are mentions in this track of three other songs – 'Devil's Haircut' by Beck, 'Wonderwall' by Oasis, and 'Design for Life' by the Manic Street Preachers. I've heard Fran Healy defend himself on this: it's not meant as a dig at any of those songs or bands, but means the way hearing a particular song can instantly conjure up memories of a period of your life. Now you know! Very slow, not quite sombre track, which I always feel gives something of a sleepy finish to the main part of the album. (10+) Hidden track Hmm... wouldn't it be funny if a band ever actually called a song 'Hidden track'? Actually, I bet someone already has. Answers on a postcard, please. Anyway, this is a gem of a track, very dark. Kicks in about 6:50 on track 10. With the line, "Call me a name and I'll slap you again - You're a slut, you're a bitch, you're a whore", you might want to stop the CD before now if your granny is in the room. Ahem. This is sometimes called 'Blue Flashing Light'. Overall, this is quite a gentle, all-round 'nice' album. There's a good consistency in quality and content, meaning no song jumps out as outstandingly good or really bad. There's a very definite change in style from Good Feeling, the band's first album, to a more introspective, less harsh rock sound. It seems almost a pity that this album was SO successful, as a lot of people have since dismissed it - purely for being too popular, I think. In my opinion, this absolutely deserved to be the album of 1999, and will continue to hold a high place in my CD collection for years to come.
I just don't get it. How otherwise articulate and intelligent persons, obviously possessing great musical taste (or they would not have been persuaded to buy the album in the first place), can find only one ill-fitting word to describe this album. Depressing? The album as a whole? I cannot think of a less fitting summation. Why is it that suddenly any song that is less than a headlong rush to the final bar is now depressing? Rather, the slower songs on this album are in turns wistful, autumnal, regretful, and accepting -- but, lest this dissuade potential buyers, let me say that this is only in contrast to the interspersed up tempo tracks. We begin with Writing To Reach You, considered by some to be the strongest track. It certainly has a lot to offer, and may have contributed to the expectations of some who expect all tracks on an album to follow a pattern set by the first track. Continue with The Fear, probably the best track in terms of lyrics (though some would contest that assertion with either Slide Show or Blue Flashing Light (of which more anon)). It may the least romantic love song I have ever heard. Next comes As You Are, a song which for much of its length deserves the appelation 'filler.' But then it kicks into life, and redeems itself. Still strong lyrically (as all the songs are). Then most people's favourite, Driftwood. We have gone from high-ish tempo, to medium, to medium-quick, to upbeat, and the contrast makes Driftwood stand out even more. Superb song. Now my favourite, The Last Laugh of the Laughter. Far too rarely do we hear piano on indie tracks, and this use of it is so subtly mixed with the guitar that it's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. Perfect word-setting, marvelous melody and harmonies. The glorious Turn is next, about which nothing really needs to be said. Brilliance shines out of this track like the sun, and like the sun, the track provides
some contrast between Last Laugh and the next song, Why Does It Always Rain On Me. WDIAROM is a classic track (though overplayed on the radio, IMO), and is probably the closest of all the tracks to the appellation 'depressing.' It seems to unselfconsciously wallow in its self-pity -- and yet curiously, does not outstay its welcome. The sheer perfection of the word-setting is probably the reason. For those who complain that all the non-release tracks are depressing, take the time to actually _listen_ to this one! Next is Luv, and, while slow, is quite forward-looking. This is the song I would call wistful. She's So Strange has garnered varying reactions from listeners. I must admit, it's the track I skip over most often, but still worth a listen. I think someone else hit the nail on the head with 'weird.' But, hey, 'strange' = 'weird'. Then Slide Show. I am a sucker for solo 'cello, and in this track, it's used so well that even without lyrics this would be a contender for best track. Add in some of the most thoughtful lyrics on the album, and you have the perfect song to end the album. But wait! We're not finished? Wait a while, and the hidden track reveals a side to Travis not heretofore seen in any of the other songs on the album. No, this is much harsher, more gritty -- dare I say it, more Scottish -- than the rest, and shows that while they may have grown up, there is still an element of 'Let's see what we can get away with.' Blue Flashing Light is probably my favourite track after Last Laugh. And there you have it. Peaks and troughs of tempo, thoughtfulness, and sheer _joie de vivre_. A balanced album, in every sense of the word.
Produced two of the best albums of the decade with their debut Good Feeling, and this The Man Who. This one's da bomb with some of the best sing along songs ever. Let's start at the beginning, shall we? Writing To Reach You, using the chords from Wonderwall, turned travis from a garage band into one of the best established bands in Britain. This one's amazing, especially if you've ever heard it acoustic. The Fear is the next classic with stunning vocals and great music to support Fran Healy's dominant voice. Not my favourite but not far off. As You Are sets new standards for the album with a 4 or 5 second guitar solo which makes the whole song. Sublime. Driftwood is one of those songs that, love it or hate it, you've no choice but to sing along. Luckily for me, and most of the people who bought this album, we LUV it! Last Laugh Of The Laughter sees Fran change from English to French in parts on this slow, smoochy song. Basically him backed up with an acoustic. Magnificent. Turn was Travis' last single from this album and though the chorus gets a bit repetitive after a while, the song is still as fresh as the day I bought it. Why Does It Always Rain On Me? is Travis' most famous single and the one that pushed the album higher and higher up the album charts. Sing your lungs out. Luv is probably th slowest song on the album and with vocals to make your heart bleed, it's one of th many high points on the album. Luverly. She's So Strange is quite strange and puzzled me for a while. It just didn't fit in. It's catchiness prevailed though and it can still get me singing along after all this time. And then probably the most brilliant song Travis have ever recorded. Slideshow mixes clever lyrics formed from other lines of songs such as Wonderwall, Design For Life and Devil's Haircut to make the most accomplished song
on the entire album. Spectacular. The bonus track is okay but a bit strange. Overall, it's amazing, it's astounding, it rocks. Buy it, get a loan of it, copy it or steal it (not that I encourage the last two!) because you just have to hear this.
After buying this CD, I later bought Travis's first album - 'Good Feeling', and then decided their debut was better than this. So you might like to consider checking that out before investing in this as your first Travis buy. The Man Who is known to everyone in the UK as TRavis's sucess, but Good Feeling is a well kept secret that might warrent more attention. That's not to say that this isn't a good cd. It is certainly, although perhaps a little over produced and un-raw at times. FRan Healy offers excellent vocals and I think the higlights are - Slideshow (makes you think of times in you life that you frame in you mind) and She's So Strange, because she IS so strange, just like the song. But my favourite has to be the hidden track, at the end of track 10. It doesn't have an official name of course on the sleeve but I think it's 'Blue Flashing Light'. For Travis, this is much darker than their other stuff, and that's what I like about - it's what really lifts the quality of this album up, so don't miss out on it. And remember to check this album's not so well know older brother, Good Feeling - that easily passes this by.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Writing To Reach You
3 As You Are
5 Last Laugh Of The Laugh
7 Why Does It Always Rain On Me
9 She's So Strange
10 Slide Show