Travis: 12 Memories [CD] - £1.58 @ Amazon.com. I'm not a massive fan, but this price seems a little insane.
Next best price is £4.99@ Play.com. Everywhere else £5+
Travis's self-produced fourth album, 12 Memories, is lush and gorgeous, drenched with strings and piano, which add a lazy, dreamlike quality to songs such as first single "Re-Offender" and opening track "Quicksand", and even the occasional bit of experimentation (a dog whining in the background of "Paperclips" is an appropriately creepy effect). But it's also lyrically their darkest album, even by Travis's standards.
Never the happiest of bands, at least on record (after all, they broke through by singing "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?"), they colour 12 Memories throughout with a morose (but, tellingly, never bitter) resignation (the aforementioned single "Re-Offender", about being trapped in an abusive relationship, is a perfect example of this). That's probably down to circumstances: in the two years since their last album (The Invisible Band), they nearly disintegrated when drummer Neil Primrose was badly injured in an accident. But he--and the band--have recovered, and are sounding better for it. Frontman Fran Healy, arguably one of the nicest men in popular music, manages to deliver an anti-war message on "Peace the **** Out" that's more pleading than angry, and all the more affecting. 12 Memories is exactly the sort of album that Radiohead should be making right now--it's accessible and poignant, with an undercurrent of real-world frustration and paranoia running throughout. Travis's best album to date is also their bravest, by some distance.
2. Beautiful Occupation
4. Peace The **** Out
5. How Many Hearts
7. Somewhere Else
8. Love Will Come Through
9. Mid-Life Krysis
10. Happy To Hang Around
11. Walking Down The Hill