Chris Martin recently said that Scottish band Travis "invented" Coldplay, and repeat listens to Travis' fifth album, The Boy with No Name, provide ample evidence of Travis' influence on a whole slew of UK bands, from Coldplay to Keane to Snow Patrol. Perhaps if Travis frontman Fran Healy had married an actress on par with Gwyneth Paltrow (a.k.a. Mrs. Chris Martin), the band would be getting more attention, but as it is, Travis must rely solely on the melodic and melancholy musings on its latest album. Luckily, it's mostly solid stuff — "My Eyes" is a quintessential piece of sparkling Britpop, while the song "Battleships" showcases a quaint string arrangement behind Healey's winsome counter tenor, and the dreamy ballad "Closer" is punctuated by ethereal harmonies. There are some weak points — "Selfish Dream" employs the exact same drum beat used on both Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life" and Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" — but with a producer like Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, U2, R.E.M.) at the boards, any transgressions are easily forgiven. After all, if there had never been a Travis, there might not have been a Coldplay, either.


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