Travis: 10 Songs (BMG) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, December 11th, 2023  

10 Songs


Oct 09, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

There’s an instant on 10 Songs where all things Travis make perfect sense. It comes on “The Only Thing,” the album’s second track, when Fran Healy leads guest vocalist Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) in a sing-along of la-la-las before the song’s lovely final refrain. In that brief musical moment, Fran Healy’s melodic allure is made plain. The Travis frontman and principal songwriter has been drawing us into straightforward sing-alongs for nearly 25 years now—from early hits like “Sing” and “Why Does It Always Rain on Me?” to “Closer” or “3 Miles High.” Of course a guest like Hoffs would join right in. It’s how we’ve always responded to Healy’s invitation.

10 Songs delivers exactly what you’d expect from Travis after a quarter century of proven Britpop prowess. “Waving at the Window” starts the album off with a timeless mid-tempo construct that could be at home on any one of Travis’ eight previous studio albums. While a bit more plaintive, “Butterflies” inhabits the same terrain with affecting harmonies and steel guitar.

Healy and company do flex some muscle on tracks like “Valentine” and “A Ghost.” The former begins with a few acoustic strums before the electricity hits and their rock background shines through as Healy sings, “If I lie here, I might die here.” The latter is a spirited front porch stomp that enlivens the album’s second half. The vocals haunt in lockstep with Healy’s reflections on past regrets.

Even when Healy sings, “I woke up feeling shit this morning” on “No Love Lost,” the words are set to a sparse yet pleasing piano melody that somehow works as the album’s closing track. The sentiments and subjects have changed over the years, but Healy’s ability to craft a radio-ready earworm has never left. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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