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CD of The Week

Week of 5/02/16

    Travis - Everything At Once (Red Telephone Box)

    The Scottish band Travis has been making jangly guitar pop for over two decades now. Their hit album The Man Who is usually credited with ushering in the late '90s era of mid-tempo UK bands, including a certain polarizing, stadium-filling, Super Bowl-played group. However, Travis is still standing, the four members are still friends and they're still making melodic music, as evidenced by their eighth studio album Everything at Once.

    The chiming opener 'What Will Come' lets you know right away that Travis won't be reinventing the wheel with this record. As always, Travis songs are built around the winsome voice of Fran Healy. The optimistic, breezy 'Magnificent Time' leaps out at you with some truly upbeat guitar playing from Andy Dunlop, almost reminiscent of their debut Good Feeling. Healy says 'Paralyzed' is about feeling both overwhelmed and addicted to technology, and even drops in a Kardashian reference to prove that point.

    Lead single 'Everything at Once' is the least Travis-like song on the record. The tune builds up with its synth sounds and Healy's rapid-fire verses, then explodes with a chorus sung by bassist Dougie Payne. 'Three Miles High' chimes with a classic Rickenbacker sound (which probably means the title is a reference to The Byrds' 'Eight Miles High') and would fit on The Invisible Band. Elsewhere, the moody 'Idlewild' features a chorus sung by British singer/songwriter Josephine Oniyama, who has a bit of a Shirley Bassey vibe to her voice.

    At this point in their career, Travis seem perfectly happy with their place in the musical universe with not trying everything at once. A new Travis record feels like a nice visit from an old, familiar friend.
    Review by Joey O.

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