The Boy With No Name (Epic/Independente)
Break Fran Healy's heart, and still he massages yours. "3 Times and You Lose" sets an ominous tone with its first line ("I had a nightmare I lived in a little town"), but doom and gloom are relative terms where Travis is concerned. On their fifth album and first in four years, the Glasgow quartet continues crystallizing Seventies pop-lite. Healy may be the sad kid, but his melodies are pure delight. "Selfish Jean" hangs the frontman by his heart, "Closer" admitting the breakup, while "Big Chair" can't "get through this alone." Then, like 1999 hit "Driftwood," "Battleships" lowers the boom: "We're battleships, drifting in our wee river. Taking hits Drowning in a sea of love and hate. But it's too late. Battleship down." "Eyes Wide Open" seals the watershed. Sadly, the last third of this Boy sinks, but by then the damage is already done.
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