I remember Travis. No, I mean I really remember Travis. I remember buying "Good Feeling" on the day it came out. I remember thinking that the only decent track on "The Man Who" was the hidden one. I remember when "The Invisible Band" came out this year. I remember it being pretty darn average.
But, the thing with Travis, is that it's really rather difficult to dislike them. You see Fran up there, on some warmly lit stage, playing his heart out on "Driftwood" or something, you can see the genuine feeling in his face, and the effort he's putting in to try to move people emotionally. But it's all so maudlin, so MOR, so....dull at times. But I'd still go for a drink with Fran. Cos I just KNOW he'd be buying.
So here we are with "Side", the second release from that background noise to National Life that is "The Invisible Band". It's best described as Adult Pop. For here is the point of no return. The point where Travis leave their position as an "indie" band and became a "dad" band. They now operate on the same level as Dido or Gabrielle. They sell lots of records and get appreciative comments from Ken Bruce. They do their promo on the Des O'Connor show. They release album after album, with the first single always going Top 3. They tend to mean very little to even less.
"Side" is a jangly, woefully radio-friendly song with a cod-serious message. The line "the circle only has one side" really should sound more meaningful than it actually is.
"Side" is, in fact, a pretty good pop song. You wouldn't turn it off on your radio. You may buy it in a WH Smith sale for 50p. But it WON'T be changing anybody's lives.
7Joe Wisbey's Score