TRAVIS | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Responses to Travis's fifth and latest album, The Boy With No Name (Sony), have been mixed: fans, of course, mostly love it, while NME, early champions of the Scottish quartet, gave it two stars out of ten and a brutal one-paragraph walloping. Personally, I'd say anyone who can get too bent out of shape about these guys is fundamentally misunderstanding their project. Demanding emotional depth from the band that invented the adult-contemporary-indie genre (influencing a ton of bands along the way, including Coldplay) is like trying to construct a balanced diet around doughnuts. It's telling that the record's powerhouse production team of Nigel Godrich (Radiohead), Mike Hedges (the Cure), and Brian Eno, none noted for a reluctance to get his hands dirty, left the band sounding pretty much the way it always has--that is, like the sonic equivalent of extremely high-quality tap water. That said, the lead single, "Closer," is strikingly gorgeous, like Coldplay with their more maudlin tendencies attenuated. John Paul White opens. a 8 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 773-472-0449 or 312-559-1212, $39.50. A --J. Niimi

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