October 9, 2020

Travis – 10 Songs (BMG)

As most bands that have been around for several decades, Scotland’s Travis’s has changed their sound quite a bit over the years.  Or, to put it more appropriately, they have added to their various sounds.  From their debut album, Good Feeling, to this release, 10 Songs, you can hear additional layers along the way.  You’ll remember Travis from their big singles, “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?” and “Sing”, but they have far more wrinkles than that – both literally and figuratively.  If 10 Songs marked their final album, it would be a fitting culmination of all that they have learned and tried throughout the years.

You have noisy 90s-esque track “Valentine”, early-00’s piano rock tracks “A Million Hearts” and “No Love Lost”, and late-00’s indie jams “A Ghost” and “Kissing in the Wind”.  It’s a pretty wide swath to cut through an album, but it works – thanks to an undeniable chemistry.   Travis’s composition has remained unchanged since 1996, and it shows.

The four-piece has an effortless sound.  They shine vocally, with Fran Healy leading the charge.  The harmonies are few and far between, but perfect every time.  As far as specific tracks, I was very fond of “A Ghost”, a track about seeing the spirit of what you once were, and how to get back to that.  The ending track, “No Love Lost”, speaks on feeling like shit, but still getting after it nonetheless.  Both songs – as well as several others – touch on that concept, getting through life even when life throws up roadblocks.  In that way, it’s a very inspirational listen.  And 10 Songs is a very, very good listen to boot.

10 Songs is the perfect pandemic record, which is amazing considering that most of it was written before the pandemic.  Travis has proven that they can still strike a perfect chord with their music, some 23 years and change after their debut.  Well done, Travis.

FFO: Coldplay, Keane, The Fray, Semisonic

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