It's not uncommon for bands to attempt to write an important album, only to have it end up sounding totally breezy. This isn't a criticism. The recent Grandaddy and Super Furry Animals albums, both excellent, are full of light-sounding songs about heavy subjects. The latest album by U.K. mope-meisters Travis, "12 Memories," isn't quite as good, but its lightheartedness in the face of sadness is impressive. There's nothing that stands out like their depression anthem "Why Does It Always Rain on Me," but the Beatles-esque "Peace the Fuck Out" and the Blur-ish ballad "Love Will Come Through" come close. When frontman Fran Healy sings, "Well, I stand at the crossroads/ of high roads and low roads/ and I've got a feeling it's right," you believe him and hope he's correct.
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