The Noise (Boston) – “After She Left” review

Chandler Travis
Sonic Trout
After She Left
11-song CD

This ain’t your grandfather’s Chandler Travis, but it could be your grandfather, and that’s fine. Gone (just for the moment, mind yez) are the multiple horns, the whiplashin’ backbeat, the groan-inducing lyrical punnery (well, for the most part), the preposterous headwear, and overall circus vibe we commonly associate with Travis. Here instead is a more pensive (you heard me) side of the ol’ goofball, and it’s a hot oil massage for the soul. What’s often overlooked during the typical orgy of his Philharmonic shows is that Travis is one fuck of a songwriter. So here’s a quiet glimpse of that brilliance at work, stark raving naked. Under various keys and strings, there’s a wisp of woodwind here, a bop of bongo there, some harmonies so subtle they barely register as such, and precious little else that ain’t crucial, yet it’s still surprisingly layered. I was even all set to slag a cover of “My Bonnie” (yeah, that one), but the wily bastard even made that work. All you hipsters who think it’s just dahhling when, say, Elvis Costello does Burt Bacharach, would be fatally foolish to miss this. (Joe Coughlin)

original online version

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