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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Man Who

Travis

1999

The Man Who
Album Summary

The Man Who is the second studio album by the Scottish rock band Travis. The album was released on 24 May 1999 through Independiente. It saw a change in musical direction for the band, moving away from the rockier tone of their debut Good Feeling (1997). Four singles were released: "Writing to Reach You", "Driftwood", and the top 10 hits "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?" and "Turn". The Man Who initially received mixed reviews and sold slowly. Boosted by the success of "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?" and the band's appearance at the 1999 Glastonbury Festival, it eventually spent a total of 11 weeks at number one on the UK Albums Chart and brought the band international recognition. As of 2018, according to Concord Music, The Man Who has sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide. It was among ten albums nominated for the best British album of the previous 30 years by the Brit Awards in 2010, losing to (What's the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.04

Votes

10730
Genres
Pop
Rock

Reviews

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Thu Sep 02 2021
2

Listening to this was like eating saltine crackers dipped in skim milk.

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Thu Sep 02 2021
1

Where do I start with this dumpster fire? This is the type of music you listen to when you have no strong opinions about music. It's music for people whose idea of a bad day is that Starbucks got their mochacchino order wrong. Jangly, sad bastard shlock that desperately wants to be Radiohead. I hate that this band exists and if you enjoy this type of music, your taste in music sucks.

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Tue May 03 2022
1

Every song on this album is what i hear when i think of riding in the back of the car while my dad drives us home in late October of 2006 and its 4 pm, kinda dark and raining and the car doesn't have a aux so we have to listen to NRJ Radio and they are playing the 11th most played song of the week and i am listening and feeling miserable because i have to do my math-homework when i get home because i have a test tomorrow and all i can think of is that the song thats on the radio is so bland that it makes me anxious even though i don't even really have a music taste yet because i am 9 years old but what i do know is that this aint it

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Fri Jul 09 2021
2

The answer to the question, "What if Keane had a Bends-era Radiohead phase and did very little to hide it?"

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Wed Nov 18 2020
3

just kinda soft rock stuff, kinda catchy background music and nowhere near as gay as coldplay. 3/5

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Thu May 20 2021
2

Sounds like every young adult series’ music.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
2

This is like if Coldplay or early Radiohead didn’t have a knack for good songwriting.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
4

Attractive voice with quiet acoustic guitar motifs. A bit boring, but still enjoyable to listen to.

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Sun Aug 15 2021
3

À mon humble avis, la suite manquante du groupe de mots désignant cet album n'est certainement pas "speaks french". J'en veux pour preuve le morceau The Last Laugh of the Laughter au cours duquel le chanteur croit duper son audience avec un baragouinage qui ne fera plaisir qu'aux non-francophones : "It's the last laugh of the laughter Sur la dernier page do chapitre On the last day of the year Ma vie Tout ma vie When the spotlight fade away" dit-il selon la retranscription qu'en fait Google. Bien évidemment, le chanteur ne fait, dans la chanson, pas une seule de ces fautes à l'oral et prononce d'ailleurs admirablement bien les passages en français. Mais peu importe. En resumé : un projet ni fait ni à faire.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
2

A weak attempt at a Beatles facsimile, which I found was not uncommon in the 90's. Oasis did similar productions, and I would argue they did it with more passion and balls. Nothing flat offensive about the album, it was just relentlessly forgettable.

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Tue Nov 16 2021
2

Tasteful, gentle, soporific. I was expecting proto-indie-filler, with completely forgettable tunes, and it was marginally better than that. But I never need to hear this album again in my life. The production is a little bit edgier and interesting than I expected (thanks, Nigel Goodrich), but at best, at its most hard-rockin', this comes across as OK Computer Lite. Actually, I'm just listening to the coda of As You Are, and this is the worst case of Thom Yorke wannabe-ism I have ever heard. I don't hate this, as it is custom made to be un-hatable, but it has no grit at all.

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Sun Mar 28 2021
1

The musical equivalent of the colour beige.

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Tue Jul 26 2022
1

No, please remove this album from the list.

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Wed Oct 19 2022
1

Wild how clearly influenced by Ok Computer this record is. I feel like Travis owes Radiohead a billion dollars just based on the song "As You Are" alone. This isn't bad but it's like that meme where mom tells you we have Radiohead at home. This is the Radiohead at home. Update: Holy shit, even "The Last Laugh of the Laughter" (dumbass title) is literally just ripping off "Paranoid Android." This is egregious!

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Wed Jun 23 2021
5

Amazing album all the way through. Tons of great tracks with big sound. "Turn" especially. Sounds of the 90s which were refined from their first album. Secret song is also a surprising but great addition to the album

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Sun Feb 21 2021
5

Perfect in every way. Used to listen to this constantly in the first few months of our marriage.

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Tue Feb 08 2022
5

A timeless sombre soft indie collection made for miserable Scots by miserable Scots. Love it. Almost every track is a stand out including miserable secret track.

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Fri Mar 24 2023
4

No one’s saying that this album is better than Born in the USA, right? Just that I like it a lot more. I had to rate today based on how much I loved relistening to this album that I had on almost constant rotation for a few months in 1999. I know every word and can still sing along. I still love some of the moments that happen throughout; a moment in Luv when Fran Healy’s voice seems to crack a little with emotion. Or maybe not. Maybe I’m just being 16 again and hopelessly romantic. Either way, I enjoyed this too, too much.

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Sat Sep 30 2023
1

No longer content to mimic Oasis, Britpop bands of the late 90’s turned their eye to aping Bends and OK Computer-era Radiohead. I’m applying The Rule (TM) here: If you haven’t heard anyone talking about an album in 20 years, you don’t need to hear it before you die.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
4

I liked all of it. Quite solemn, but the production is very bright and clear. Nice!

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Sun Mar 28 2021
3

The man who what, Travis? The man who what? It's been 22 years and we still don't fucking know, damn it.

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Wed Sep 20 2023
3

As a Britpop scholar I found this so derivative of everything else. I know this one has its fans but it’s just lifting wholesale riffs from Oasis and Blur songs that were like 3-5 years old. Why Does it Always Rain on Me is great though

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Tue Oct 03 2023
3

The production on this album is incredible. The songwriting... less so. Which is kind of a shame, really. Godrich and Hedges are genius-level producers and I hate to see their talents wasted on such a bland and frankly boring album.

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Thu Aug 11 2022
2

After listening to this I can confirm that Travis are pretty much the beige, mid-tempo, pop rock band I thought they were. However, what they lack in fun and excitement they make up for with craft - these songs contain really solid melodies and progressions, the format is just a little bit dull for 2022.

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Wed Apr 27 2022
1

Put simply, this is the kind of music I remember college dorm dudes playing from their lower bunks on acoustic guitars because of the misunderstanding that college girls liked sensitive guys. 'The Man Who' is sensitive guy music, lots of feelings expressed, sad feelings that we hope might make you girls want to hold us guys with our heads resting snugly between your breasts. ‘Everyday I wake up alone,’ singer Fran Healy laments (his go-to emotion) on ‘As You Are,’ ‘because I’m not like the other boys.’ Another song asks the musical question, ‘Why Does It Always Rain on Me?’ giving rise to yet another question: ‘Why don’t you just get out of it, moron?’ Besides, that’s simply your own delusion anyway, no doubt grounded in some repressed fear you’ve not yet successfully dealt with. 'The Man Who' dredges it all up, in all its weary pessimism, both lyrically and it's accompanying music. There was only one instrumental solo on the entire album, when at 2:40 on ‘As You Are’ Travis finally delivered a fairly decent, brief guitar solo that did rock, temporarily. So, it is down there in these boys, they just have to dig for it. Mostly, though, the melodies, overall tunes, instrumental accompaniments, tempo, etc are soft, slow, and sad. The popular 1970’s soft rock band, Bread, sung and played harder than these guys. The one exception was ‘Driftwood,’ a rare uptempo tune, and with some decent, Dylan-esque lyrics to boot: ‘You’re driftwood, hollow and of no use. Waterfalls will find you, bind you, grind you… So, I’m sorry that you turned into driftwood, but you’ve been drifting for a long, long time.’ Following that respite from relentless self pity, though, we returned right back to… well, the next song title says it all: ‘The Last Laugh of the Laughter.’ I must have missed the last laugh, or I guess it happened before the composition of the song. At any rate, no laughter transpired. Not even a grin, until the final and morbidly slow closer, ‘Slide Show,’ and the most restrained castanets performance I believe I’ve ever heard. It found myself whispering ‘Ole’ with the vigor of said college dude after a Valium and a couple of PBRs. This whole alt folk/rock genre often strikes me as contrived ‘cool.’ That’s not accusatory, I’m just tossing it out there for consideration. What I would like to expose for fact, though, is the unfortunate misunderstanding of the sensitive guy, playing these Travis tunes, ever attracting any girl reaction. Consider with whom, generally, are college girls actually having sex? The bad boy, that’s who! They might eventually marry the sensitive guy, but they’re fucking the bad boy. So, to whom this may concern, if you’re genuinely looking to get laid, then stop learning these self-pitying Travis songs, and cover some Van Halen ones instead.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
1

Whiny the Album Do I hate music?

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Fri Dec 23 2022
1

Remembered this as dull, soulless beigery. Listened without prejudice in case it’s aged well. It hasn’t. I’d remembered it correctly. (IMHO)

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Sat May 08 2021
5

Keimzelle eines Gefühls des richtigen Ankommens in Köln, so jung, noch so viel übrig, das danach trachtete, versaut zu werden. This album was the soundtrack on the journey of ‚the man who‘ I was about to become. Forever 5.0

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Fri Mar 26 2021
5

Спокойно, нормально

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Fri Jul 23 2021
5

I liked this one. Best one in a while.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
5

I like the beginning of this one. It has an alternative sound, which is my jam. I really liked this album and would look up more of this band. I’m surprised I didn’t hear more of it when it was new.

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Thu Sep 30 2021
5

Best song is the hidden track "blue flashing light", perhaps because it has not been overplayed; the drumming is unusual at points, but not in a bad way; Fran can really sing, this is especially obvious on "as you are"; not sure why there is a song half in French?!?

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Mon Dec 20 2021
5

Loved this album. Great balance of folk and rock

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Sat Jan 08 2022
5

Strong emotional ties with this one

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Mon Jan 10 2022
5

I'm surprised I'm not familiar with this band or album, because the sound/style is pretty similar to some of my favorites. Good find.

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Sun Jan 23 2022
5

A deserved classic from the 1990's. Beautiful songs, an album that's worth another listen time and time again

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Tue Mar 01 2022
5

I loved this album back in the day. Nice mellow rock.

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Sun Mar 06 2022
5

A classic. Their 2nd album. One of the best modern British albums.

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

Best song is the hidden track "blue flashing light", perhaps because it has not been overplayed; the drumming is unusual at points, but not in a bad way; Fran can really sing, this is especially obvious on "as you are"; not sure why there is a song half in French?!? Extra point for being Scottish!

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

What a gorgeous album. I hadn't heard this album before and really enjoyed it, every single song was beautiful. Will revisit this multiple times in the future.

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Mon May 16 2022
5

This was really interesting. I liked it.

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Tue May 24 2022
5

A classic from the end of the 90s. Sombre and melancholy at times. This is one for a cold winter's night, wrapped up in front of the fire. Such a brilliant album that I listened to a lot, back in 1999.

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Tue Jul 19 2022
5

How in the heck have I never heard of this band? Dude's soothing vocals are calming, and it reminds me of the early 2000s indie rock/folk era that became super popular at the time. This album sounds timeless, though, and I ended up listening to hours of Travis. What a great find. 5/5.

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

Another great memory from the 90’s. I first heard Travis while watching MTV’s with the “Why does it always rain on me? "video. I loved that kind of music and also loved Driftwood. I don’t think I heard the full album until a few years later but still it has a good place in my youth memories. I knew a girl who was the #1 fan of this guys, and for many years I would only see her at their gigs lol. We got together later but it wasn’t in the cards I guess, we never got to see them live while together neither. I recently learn she saw me with my girlfriend at their last gig here and it broke her hart (her words). I won’t be risking going to their next show (which is next month) because they’re hers. Hope she does go, this band is great and she deserves to be happy. I have my vinyl and my memories nevertheless. This album deserves its place on this list as it is a great time stamp and because it has great timeless songs like Slideshow, that song will always get me.

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Tue Aug 02 2022
5

Surprisingly good. Voice sounds like Radiohead

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

Some of my favorite hidden tracks on a CD, too bad digital doesn't exactly capture the "magic" of hidden tracks.

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Wed Nov 23 2022
5

one of the best albums of the 90s

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Wed Nov 23 2022
5

Really great album. Just well above average songs from start to finish. Highlights are Writing to Reach You, Why does it always rain..., She's So Strange...could go on. 4.5/5

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Wed Dec 21 2022
5

Fantastic. Need to listen to this more, but it sounds a bit like a slightly folkier version of Radiohead.

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Mon Feb 06 2023
5

Love it, reminds me of why I got this album the first time. Like pulling a warm blanket over yourself on a cold morning.

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Mon Mar 06 2023
5

Definitely belongs on any list of music that defined the 90s. Was everywhere. And it's exquisite on headphones. Very slick.

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Sun Apr 30 2023
5

This is a brilliant album from start to finish. The first time I listened to it, it was immediately on my top list. Blue Flashing Lights is one of the best hidden tracks in the history of hidden tracks. The entire album is gold from start to finish.

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Tue Jun 13 2023
5

It's odd that a number of people on here give this a crap score due it reminding them of a bad period in their lives at the turn of the century. It reveals their age. Well this reminds me of happy days so there. However listening objectively there are a number of fairly moody anthemic ballads that have a similar structure and were fairly popular at the time. They are well played and sung and are quite enjoyable despite the current trend to slag off anything from this era. It's good, easy listening.

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Fri Jul 28 2023
5

Dit was echt een fijne verrassing. Ik had weer middelmatige Britse jaren 90 rock verwacht, maar dit was echt super goed. Beetje combi tussen Keane en een rustige Oasis ofzo. Ik twijfel tussen 4 en 5 sterren, en dan doen we vaak toch maar het voordeel van de twijfel.

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Wed Oct 18 2023
5

I really enjoyed everything about this album!

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Thu Oct 26 2023
5

Very Mello perfect for a quiet night in

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Fri Mar 19 2021
4

A lot of nostalgia caught up in this record.... stand college 1999.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

A thoroughly enjoyable album from front to back. Fran Healy's airy vocals are the perfect complement to the low-key, often acoustic-driven musical arrangements. A great example of what the late 90's/early 2000's 'Britpop' genre had to offer.

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Wed Feb 17 2021
4

I had never heard this one but really like this album. It is like a mix of Wilco and Muse.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
4

One of my all time favorites

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Sat May 08 2021
4

Vielleicht die letzte Band der 90er Jahre. Schöne Lieder voller Zweifel und Taumel und Verlorenheit, vielleicht auch wegen der Zeitenwende. Was nun wohl kommen mag? Naja, ich sag mal so: the rain kept raining down on you, und Klimawandel hin oder her, weniger wurde er bestimmt nicht. 3,8. Letzte macht’s Licht a

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Thu Jun 17 2021
4

I never realized how much '90s Travis sounds like a Radiohead / Oasis lovechild. A bit precious, a bit tranquil, more enjoyable than I had expected. Also, do you remember when bands used to hide a bonus track on the final track of their CD just by adding a bunch of empty space in the middle of the track? I was startled when, after a few minutes of silence and thinking the album was over, some music kicked in.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

I love this album so much! It has lots of memories of teenaged anxt and a glorious summer. I haven't listened to it for years, but was instantly transported back and knew all the words :)

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Fri Apr 16 2021
4

Veoma zanimljiv album. Nisam baš upoznat sabritanskim bendoviam 90-tih, ali ovo je sjajno. FAV TRACKS: Writing To Reach You The Fear Driftwood Turn Luv Slide show Why does it have to rain on me

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Thu May 13 2021
4

Some great tracks on this - front of the album probably slightly stronger than the back, but an enjoyable listen.

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Thu May 13 2021
4

A little slow and ballad heavy for my tastes, but there were some really great tracks on this one. Reminded me of Oasis.

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Tue May 18 2021
4

One of the better picks so far. Real indie feel to it. Definitely want to give it another listen!

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Fri Jun 04 2021
4

Always a fan of alternative rock.

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Sun May 09 2021
4

Hadn't heard before, some great songs! Very Radiohead like

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Sun Aug 01 2021
4

Great band with killer melodies. I've taught Why Does It... for many years, so very familiar with this band. Songwriter Fran Healy has a great way with wordplay, and a knack for a memorable melody. Favourite tracks are Why Does..., Turn, Writing to Reach You, and Driftwood.

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Mon Aug 02 2021
4

I liked this more than I was expecting to. Reminded me of Radiohead, only more accessible, and maybe a little of Rufus Wainwright, but less maudlin. It was mellow but still held my interest. 3.5 stars, rounding to 4.

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Wed Aug 11 2021
4

8/10. Feels quite enjoyable on a first listen, but I am not sure if it is something that will start to bug me if I relisten, or if I'll grow to like it more. Always fun when the 5th song on an album spontaneously decides to be half in French-as-a-second-language. Hidden tracks don't work well on Spotify at all.

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Sun Aug 15 2021
4

J'ai beaucoup apprecié cet album, je regrette cependant deux points que je vais énoncer ci-dessous, mais avant je voudrais vous partager le score de mes trois derniers entrainements au Grand Quiz du Generateur: 11/20 - 9/20 - 13.5/20 Des resultats en dents de scie qu'il va falloir veiller a stabiliser pour esperer une victoire sous les yeux de Jarry et Arnaud Ducret. - le passage en français était une horreur absolue, et je sais de quoi je parle parlant moi-même la langue de Molière avec une aisance toute particulière, propre aux ressortissants français dont je fais partie - y en a marre des artistes qui croient berner leur monde en laissant 2mn de vide avant un son caché, de 1 on s'en branle que tu rajoutes un son ou non, de 2 quand on voit 10mn de bande sur le dernier son et qu'il n'y a plus de bruit après 3mn on se dit que soit tu es completement abruti et tu as oublié de couper l'enregistreur (ce qui est deja arrivé, cf The Doors), soit tu nous a dissimulé un son.

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Thu Sep 02 2021
4

I liked it a lot, kind of like American Football but via Radiohead. 4

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Sat Sep 04 2021
4

Never really heard anything by Travis apart from ‘Why Does It Always Rain on Me?’ but I was pleasantly surprised by this album. 3.5/5

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Fri Sep 10 2021
4

I find this surprisingly enjoyable, a solid sense of millennial doom throughout. Definitely reminiscent of some other sounds around the late 90s, but I think I just liked this particular flavor.

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Thu Sep 16 2021
4

Classic, late 1990s Brit Pop. Will have to give it a deeper listend beyond "why does it always rain on me"

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

Has an air of less weird radiohead. Enjoyed it

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