Travis might be a one trick pony- the trick being catchy, jangly, perfect-as-a-backdrop-to-a-memory songs lasting no longer than three minutes and thirty seconds- but it’s a good trick. Sometimes, it’s nice to know what you can expect. Everything At Once is another fine album from Travis that makes you feel as though everything is going to be okay. When they tell you not to worry about what will come in the opening track (appropriately titled “What Will Come”), you’re kind of inclined to believe them and perhaps call in sick to work and spend the day feeding ducks in the park.
“Radio Song” is a great tune to turn up in the car. It’s unsophisticated, uncomplicated, and impossible not to bop your head and drum your hands on the steering wheel to. “Paralyzed” and “Animals” are similarly likeable. Title track “Everything At Once”, although not the strongest track on the record, is inoffensive and pleasant.
The final three tracks are the most thoughtful. “All of the Places” makes you take a deep breath and wonder if Travis haven’t in fact been deeper than they appear all along. At the very least, it oozes nostalgia and daydreaming material. “Idlewild”, featuring haunting English/Jamaican/Liberian vocalist Josephine Oniyama, introduces a welcome dimension of intrigue to the album. The final track, “Strangers on a Train”, is arguably the strongest. Understated, effortlessly melodic, and delivered with a level of emotion kept guarded by vocalist Fran Healy throughout the rest of the album, “Strangers on a Train” closes Everything At Once gracefully.
Everything At Once doesn’t stray from Travis’ classic sound. It doesn’t dare to travel to bold, new places. But isn’t that the appeal of Travis? They are reliable. They’re that friend you can always count on to take you out for milkshakes after a breakup. They make you want to hit repeat, unabashedly, several times in a row. That is their offer, and Everything At Once delivers, true to form.
Words: Ellie Nicks