As a staunch defender and fan of Travis, Ive got to admit that I was let down the first time I heard this CD. After a few spins, I realized what a great collection this really is. Sure, its missing the outward brilliance of Side or Why Does It Always Rain On Me but the depressed and minor key subtleties of 12 Memories are more appropriate for the fractured, dangerous world we live in now (again). Beautiful Occupation says it best. Dont just stand there watching it happen. Have a nice day. Its a song trying to cope with the arrogance of aggression on a grand scale while balancing it with day-to-day survival. Peace The Fuck Out is a self-explanatory exclamation of outrage from soft-spoken artists. That feeling of isolation and despair rides throughout the record with only a few glimpses of hope. More personal moments like Quicksand and Happy To Hang Around wallow in mood without a break. The most touching song is, perhaps, Paperclips. Disillusion and good memories blur into beautiful confusion and Fran Healys voice is the perfect set of wings to lift the feelings skyward. 12 Memories is not an album you want to put on at a party. Its almost overwhelmingly sad, but on the darkest day, this one is powerful enough to pull you through.
Chris McKay /concertshots.com