Okay, so I am signing up to our collective resolution to post more on music so here goes (I may repost and brush up some pieces I posted on Amazon so apologies if you've seen them before). Contributors to this board seem to be incredibly knowledgeable, as well as having tastes spanning an amazingly broad spectrum so I tend to assume that folks have heard everything and read all the reviews. However, in reality everyone's time is finite (well, except for Todd maybe ) and I know this is not the case. This will not be a "best of", just more-or-less random posts on things I'm listening to that take my fancy.
So let's start with Travis, a Glasgow four-piece who broke through in the mid-nineties. The sound is somewhere in the James Blunt, Keane area or, if you prefer, a less 'anthemic' Coldplay minus the yodeling.
The Boy with No Name, released roughly a year ago, is their fourth studio album and follows a singles collection, a watershed that often seemingly allows a band to 'repent, reset and reboot' and start experimenting with new musical directions. In this case it is a move away from their more overtly political roots and 'anger songs' towards a broader range of themes, lyrical and musical.
As before it is the combination of Fran Healey's superb songwriting skills and great voice that sets this apart from the rest. I wonder whether, like Beethoven, he has a special thang for C minor, as for me the beautiful ballad "My Eyes" (now someone is bound to tell me my ears are deceiving me) has echoes of Beethoven's 5th in its chord progressions which imbue it with a profoundly sentimental if slightly melancholic air. The lyrics have a simple beauty too:
You've got my eyes
We can see, what you'll be, you can't disguise
And either way, I will pray, you will be wise
Pretty soon you will see the tears in my eyes..
I could go on but you get the drift. Unfortunately the SQ doesn't really do the programme justice, on the aforementioned track I find the mix very congested, both acoustic guitar and cymbals have a distinctly 'plinky' sound and some very strange sounding amplified/synthesized violins make occasional appearances. But hey, when the music is this beguiling who cares?
A very listenable album definitely worth four strutses out of five.