12 simple but irresistible songs about love, life and paperclips. 12 reasons to fall...
Dan Tallis 2003
Travis return with their fourth album 12 Memories, which continues from where they left off with 2001's The Invisible Band. 12 simple but irresistible songs about love, life and paperclips. 12 reasons to fall back in love with four lads from Glasgow.
It's true, each song here is worthy of your undivided attention. Each song here asks you to listen, to nurture and to derive pleasure. The excellent opening track, "Quicksand", quickly confirms that they're still capable of writing great indie pop songs. And proves that the band haven't dared to pursue a radical new direction on this record. The song bizarrely includes the band members casually singing along to Fran's vocals while a cello and violin provide a dramatic edge.
"The Beautiful Occupation" features a rousing chorus and high pitched guitars, that remind me of REM's Out Of Time era.The lyrics and vocals also remind me of their fellow (but lesser known) Scottish comrades The Trash Can Sinatras.
Travis' lyrics have always been melancholic but the songs remain cheerful. Look no further than the wonderfully jaunty "Why Does It Always Rain On Me". But on 12 Memories things are darker and more depressing than before. These songs deal with the frustrations of life whether it be anti war messages ("Peace The **** Out") or the reality of a "Mid Life Krysis".
"People get down, people get hurt" sings Healy on "Happy To Hang Around". Recent single "Re-Offender" deals with the thorny issue of domestic violence. A serious subject that produces a great song that's up there with "Turn" and "Driftwood".
Despite the serious message, "Peace The **** Out" does includes the best lyric on the album "It's all wrong, handbags at dawn...Peace the **** out, I don't know what you're talking about".
Musically the band are on top form. There are a couple of ballads in "Paperclips" and the hidden twelfth track. And there are several up-beat songs to cheer you up. "Somewhere Else" and "Love Will Come Through" feature all the Travis trademarks: A sing-a-long chorus, catchy guitars and an easy to remember, foot-tapping rhythm. Both could be future singles.
12 Memories may be dark but it's still a beautiful record. Each song will provoke dreams, smiles and memories...