Glaswegian veterans, Travis, serve up a slice of lukewarm pop with new album ‘Everything At Once’ – out now.
Following 2013’s ‘Where You Stand’, Travis continue down their middle-of-the-road, well, road.
It feels like Travis have always been somewhere on everyone’s radar. They come up in conversation when we’re subconsciously humming ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’ – “Who’s that again? Travis? Oh, yeah.” End of conversation. While they paved the way for the likes of Coldplay, it seems like the band themselves got swept under the rug that was warming the feet of Oasis, Blur and the like.
We went into this album with a clear sound already planted in our head, and we were right. Unchallenging, jangly soft rock. Every Song here is vintage Travis. Opening track ‘What Will Come’ is a game of Guess The Rhyme, while ‘Magnificent Time’ combines an upbeat gallop with crunchy guitars on side and strummed acoustics on the other – and don’t forget the group-chant chorus (‘No regret, don’t forget this magnificent time’).
While nothing here really stands out, there’s nothing bad either. It’s a solid, albeit rather one-dimensional sound. The hooks are all there, but the songs never quite kick into overdrive. Title track ‘Everything At Once’ comes the closest to having a chorus that really blows up dynamically, though this is probably accentuated by the mid-tempo songs sitting either side of it.
After several listens the songs start to shine. After all, they are well-crafted, catchy and sugar-coated. It’s hard to bash this album too much as it knows exactly what it’s delivering and with no apologies, and that has to be respected, even if not enjoyed. For existing fans, there’s no doubt that this is another triumphant effort that sits comfortably alongside the rest of the band’s discography.
For anyone new to the band, this is as good a place as any to start – Travis know what they do well and it seems they’re going to keep doing it. Everyone wins. Sort of.