Release Date: May 8, 2007
Record label: Sony
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
Even in their late 1990s heyday, Travis were never a bunch of hard-rocking hellraisers, merely a group of charming chaps from Glasgow with a nice line in a nation-rousing yet utterly soulless indie pop; they're the group at whose feet we can squarely lay the blame for the anodyne likes of Coldplay, Keane and Snow Patrol. In a less liberal country, they'd probably be banished to the margins, but instead they've come back to taunt us with more of the same with their fifth album. Selfish Jean was apparently inspired by Iggy Pop and Motown, but sounds more like it has taken its lead from a meander down the middle of the road in Dullsville, Devon.
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.