The Boy with No Name | Epic
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  July 10, 2007
2.0 2.0 Stars
A few months ago in Los Angeles, when Nic Harcourt — the tastemaking host of the public-radio show Morning Becomes Eclectic — introduced Travis as the surprise guests at this year’s “A Sounds Eclectic Evening” concert, you could practically hear the disappointment ripple through the crowd. Travis defy the very concept of surprise; their tasteful, tuneful guitar pop is about comfort and safety and always knowing what’s happening next. So though The Boy with No Name is the Scottish band’s first new studio album in four years (a period that’s seen younger acts Snow Patrol and Keane ascend to heights of popularity Travis have never scaled), it sounds exactly like what you’d expect it to sound like. That’s not always a bad thing: “My Eyes,” about frontman Fran Healy’s new son, is a lovely folk-pop strummer with gently psychedelic late-Beatles strings, and “Selfish Jean” sports a ringing guitar riff and a sprightly glam-rock beat. But as always with these guys, the album bogs down in the middle with a handful of blandly overwrought ballads that seem to go on forever. You can’t say you didn’t see ’em coming.

Travis + John Paul White | Bank of America Pavilion, 290 Northern Avenue, Boston | July 12 | 617.728.1600
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