There used to be a time when the Brits made all the heavy rock, while the Yanks turned out winsome, countryish pop-rock. Now all the heavy stuff comes from the States, while the U.K. is reduced to turning out the slow-fi, introspective rock typified by Mogwai, Radiohead and Coldplay. This new state of affairs means that it is now OK for British men — and, in Travis’ case, even Scotsmen — to have feelings in song.
After trying to jump on the Britpop bandwagon in 1997 with their excellent debut album, “Good Feeling,” and missing, Travis decided to discard the rock swagger and just be themselves, which in singer/songwriter Fran Healy’s case is a gentle, bittersweet, melodic genius with a common touch. 1999’s “The Man Who” completely bypassed the music cognoscenti on its route to national ubiquity. “The Invisible Band” repeats the fresh, unaffected approach of its predecessor but with a stronger batch of fey, countryish, pop songs.
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