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Released: May 1999

Rating: 4.129 (average of 12 ratings)

Genre: rock > Britpop

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Writing to Reach You
  2. The Fear
  3. As You Are
  4. Driftwood
  5. The Last Laugh of the Laughter
  6. Turn
  7. Why Does It Always Rain on Me?
  8. Luv
  9. She’s So Strange
  10. Slide Show

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated 2.7
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. 3.0
sales worldwide - estimated 5.7


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart 1 9

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Writing to Reach You (3/20/99) #14 UK
  • Driftwood (5/29/99) #13 UK
  • Why Does It Always Rain on Me? (8/14/99) #10 UK, #35 MR
  • Turn (11/20/99) #8 UK

Notes: Three bonus tracks were added to the U.S. release of the album, which came nearly a year later.


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. Brits Award for Album of the Year. Click to go to awards page. Q Magazine’s Top 100 Albums

The Man Who
“After their successful debut album of murky pop, Travis seemingly felt a need to tinker with the formula. The product of this change is The Man Who,” JD which “captured the very essence of their [Scottish] homeland.” BM It is “a quiet album filled to the brim with atmospheric and introspective ballads. Acoustic guitars and tranquil melodies rule here, as this release is an entirely different affair than the band’s revved-up debut.” JD “Lead singer Fran Healy’s quietly desperate vocals, provide a haunting mask on what is actually a rugged, enduring, and entirely beautiful slice of Brit-rock.” BM

“It is impossible to avoid drawing comparisons between [this] and Radiohead.” BM Travis “summons the same tortured spirits, but what’s absent is the insipid Orwellian undertones that make Radiohead’s OK Computer so disturbing and difficult…Healy strains and soars in a Thom Yorke fashion, minus the maniacal, slightly salivated exasperation.” BM

“The album highlight is Why Does It Always Rain on Me?, a sweeping singalong” JD that “builds on the swelling momentum of great classic pop (and, as a matter of fact, shuffles along the same downbeat as ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head’ – an inadvertent irony that should suit the band just fine).” BM

“The wonderful, circular rhythms and lilting vocals in Driftwood are as celebratory as a James song.” BM “The sitar-tinged The Last Laugh of the Laughter is so sweetly sad, its beauty overrides its sentiment.” BM

The album did draw diverse reviews. On one hand, it was praised as “a highly recommended break from the Brit-rock pack.” BM On the other hand, while the album “took England by storm and became one of the biggest hits of 1999,” JD “fans of the ‘old’ Travis may be disappointed. Gone are the arena-ready stompers and the dirty, grimy singalong pop that comprised Good Feeling. Instead, what is left is merely adequate; The Man Who offers pleasant background music, but no truly gripping moments. It’s lite-rock for late 1990s Britain that’s, unfortunately, easily forgettable.” JD

Review Source(s):

Writing to Reach You (video)

Driftwood (video)

Why Does It Always Rain on Me? (video)

Turn (video)

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Last updated March 5, 2011.