Ode To J. Smith
Label: Fontana North
Travis get back to the rock-ier roots of their 1997 debut on Ode to J. Smith. Fran Healy's unassuming croons never waver as sharp riffs and staccato piano notes guide each song through a charming, yet often derivative flow. The hypnotic, vibrating guitars of "Broken Mirror" have a Nirvana-meets-Radiohead-meets-Blur appeal; the opening line to "Friends" sounds vaguely reminiscent of a Stones hit; the big claps and carefree harmonies of "Get Up" have a Billy Joel-like swagger; and "Before You Were Young" has just a touch of Richard Marx balladry pulsing through its melodramatic melody.