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Our critics' picks in new releases


As a tease, the opening chords to "Writing to Reach You," the first track on Travis' newly released (in America) sophomore album, The Man Who, just happen to be the same chords as Oasis' "Wonderwall." But besides being mega in the United Kingdom, that's as close as the Glasgow foursome comes to evoking Oasis. Vocalist-songwriter Fran Healy writes assured, solid pop songs; he also manages to sound eerily like Radiohead's Thom Yorke on many of the tracks, especially "The Last Laugh of the Laughter," where his high, overwrought vocal cracks on exactly the right notes. Described by one critic as "Radiohead without the science fiction," The Man Who is still an impressively solid album. Additionally, the U.S. release includes "hidden tracks"--one raucous rocker, two acoustic songs--after track 10.

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