12 Memories When it comes to the arts, at least something good seems to have resulted from the Iraq war: Travis have snapped out of it. Working… 12 Memories When it comes to the arts, at least something good seems to have resulted from the Iraq war: Travis have snapped out of it. Working… 2003-10-14 Travis Rock
Music Review

12 Memories (2003)

Travis, Francis Healy | WISTFUL THINKING Travis serves up more balmy alt-pop on their third album
Image credit: Travis: Anton Cobijn
WISTFUL THINKING Travis serves up more balmy alt-pop on their third album
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Oct 14, 2003; Lead Performance: Travis; Genre: Rock

When it comes to the arts, at least something good seems to have resulted from the Iraq war: Travis have snapped out of it. Working up a polite but forceful head of steam, the Scots -- who virtually negated the splendor of 2000's ''The Man Who'' with its negligible sequel, the following year's ''The Invisible Band'' -- spend a chunk of their latest addressing the conflict and its psychological effects in direct hits like ''The Beautiful Occupation'' and ''Peace the F--- Out.'' Buttressing these sentiments (and singer Fran Healy's dewy voice) is just the type of production Travis needed: jarring guitar solos, zigzagging harmonies, snow-crunching percussion. 12 Memories doesn't sustain its vitriol; wistful afternoon-tea ballads dominate. But this time, the melancholy in tracks like ''Mid-life Krysis'' is grounded in reality, not twee daydreaming. The album isn't good news for Tony Blair, but it is for those who like a little substance in their balmy alt-pop.

Originally posted Oct 17, 2003 Published in issue #733 Oct 17, 2003 Order article reprints
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