Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Wuss Rock

I've spent the last few weeks on a pretty tight budget (minus a trip to a strip club on Saturday.... it was peer pressure, I swear). Wilco's new album was the last on a long string of my most anticipated albums. Now I'm spending my limited music budget catching up on some releases that I passed on at first. My latest purchase this week is the new Travis album, The Boy With No Name.

I kinda had to debate whether or not I should pick this one up. I used to be really into this super-sappy wussy Brit-pop. I knew the party was over when I picked up Coldplay's last album, X&Y, when it came out in 2005. I really didn't like it. It just felt played-out and boring..... like I had heard it a million times before.

That sentiment still holds true now a couple of years later. Most of my really good friends here are big metalheads. Come on, how would it look if I'm in a car full of dudes and put on Coldplay? Pretty lame. Now there is plenty of sad sappy stuff that I love, but it always seems a little sleazier now. I like that. Will Oldham, anybody?

Okay, so.... Travis.

Travis is definitely grouped in with this sappy stuff I'm mentioning. The only difference with Travis is a little more personal for me. All of their last three album release dates have coincided with some pivotal moments in my life (chronologically: left college, got dumped, got a new car). That's a big reason I still dig Travis. Little too early to tell if this new album will change my life, or something. Especially since I don't think I'll be too terribly obsessed with it.

The album is good. Very good is some parts. However, when the album isn't as good, it's just not good at all. The single "Closer" is a perfect example of the latter. When I mention wuss rock, "Closer" could be an anthem. Just needlessly whiney..... we'll subcatagorize it as "breakup-rock." Maybe I just don't have much to whine about nowadays (except maybe the fact that I'm on a budget).

Now when I mention that the album can be very good, I really mean it. "Colder" is one hell of a song. It's a great reminder of how stirring Fran Healy's voice can be. Also the bonus track "Sailing Away" is just amazing. The Boy With No Name definitely has more positives than negatives. I'm happy about that. Weird.... happy about sad music. You know what I mean.

By the way, here's the video for "Selfish Jean" starring the super-awesome Demetri Martin: