Album Review: Travis Garland - Self Titled
"Where To Land"
The album opener and a great one at that. Having previously appeared on his Fashionably Late vol. 2 EP, Travis reworked the song and removed III’s feature and added a new bridge and some fresh ad-libs. The somewhat dark, late-night inspired urban record is a great indication of what’s still to come.
Definitely a song to bump in your car, prepare yourself for a chill ride if you do so.
I would say this is the most Drake inspired record Travis has done so far. It definitely gives you some Marvin’s Room when you listen to the production alone.
The record itself is nothing Drake could pull off though, it’s more like a Where To Land pt. 2 with more drums and snares. And yes, the beat will haunt you in your nightmares. Travis’ vocals are very enjoyable and you can tell he knows not to oversing if not needed. One of the stand-out tracks on the project.
At first you would think you’re walking on the streets while shopping with your friends and all of a sudden a random person starts making a really strange noise with one of his instruments, and i couldn’t tell you which instrument that would be. It sounded very middle eastern inspired to me but it’s definitely not my favorite production on the album. For me it doesn’t get interesting untill the last 20 seconds of the record, where the song transitions into something a lot more pop. It’s still an original record as a whole though.
The Travis Garland church anthem, that’s what this song is. Another record that appeared on one of his previously released EP’s (in this case Fashionably late vol. 1). The song is about Travis singing about a girl who stole his heart way back in the old days, and now that he’s finally grown, he wants to let everyone know he’s got sinful things on his mind despite the fact he’s a christian lol. “Abby Lee” is very happy sounding, and quite a different sound in comparison to the rest of the project.
A really good song, his vocals are tremendous.
I think this was supposed to be the lead single off the album, a pop/r&b record with a heavy 808 beat that closes out the song. Not his best work but enjoyable still, maybe this just needed a rap feature.
"Pullin My Hair"
This is the “white boy tries a little too hard to do the jamaican accent” record. Also the most obvious sex record on the album and one of the least impressive songs Travis has released, but i see what he’s trying to do with this one though. He’s not an artist who wants to be put in a box and this is one of those experimental records which takes him out of his comfort zone.
It’s a win or lose situation in this case and if you can’t take bass heavy records, i would recommend skipping this track. But it’s still Travis Garland so it’s hard to do so if you know what he’s capable of.
"You Made Your Bed (So Lay In It)"
Lyrically, this is a nice change up from the rest of the project.
Travis is singing about a girl who messed up their relationship and she should deal with the consequences of what she did to him. Production is very much on point. I’m digging the middle eastern (yes, again) transition in the middle of the record.
I don’t really like this song, don’t ask me why. The guitar throughout the song is actually really nice but i can’t get into the rest of the song, maybe the drums ruin it for me.
It’s a raunchy R&B record which Justin Timberlake could have recorded for his debut album but decided to never use.
This song is special, by far the biggest ballad he’s done so far. It actually reminds me of some of his unreleased stuff from 2011/2012, but far better.
You just have to connect to this song to feel it, and that shouldn’t be too hard.
This slightly sounds like a country inspired R&B record judging from the guitar intro. This is a certified jam. Top notch production once again.
The Stereotypes are the perfect production team for Travis, their production compliment and carry his voice perfectly on each record they work on. You can tell most of the records are being build around his vocals rather than they just give him a beat to work with.
"All She Wanna Do" featuring Casey Veggies
This is the perfect record to be send to radio if that was possible. Especially the keys right before the hook comes in plays a big part in the greatness of this record, gives it that 90’s throwback sound.
The Casey Veggies feature is a winner too and gives the album a breath of fresh air. This is a smart record and could help gain Travis some popularity. JT would have definitely done something with Timbaland like this in the past, and i’m not saying this is a throwaway record, because it certainly isn’t. it’s a JAM.
"Blue Electric Roses"
By far my favorite R&B jam from Travis Garland. Such a great record to cruise around with or play for your woman. This jam takes me straight to the beach, and i really don’t like the beach that much.
Travis stated this song was inspired by one of his personal experiences so the lyrics to this one should speak for itself.
The guitar heavy raunchy R&B record previously appeared on Fashionably Late vol. 2 alongside Neighbor, Blue Electric Roses & Where To Land and is definitely some of his better work.
Also, you just gotta love some of the heavy 808 transitions The Stereotypes include on some of their productions. Homewrecker might just be the best one out of the all the records that contain such transitions.
The final part of this record serves me Kanye West 808’s and Heartbreaks to be honest.
"Chariots Of Fire"
This Pop/Rock ballad is definitely not the easiest listen on the album. I’m not saying it’s a bad song because it’s not, not at all. The hook is actually the most powerful out of all the others on the album. But it’s certain you have to enjoy the verses to like the song as a whole, and that won’t be the case for all of the listeners
1 Of 1 (Bonus Track)
A very welcome last minute addition to the LP, you’ve got to love the vocal harmonies on this one. A throwback synth heavy R&B record which would work well on the radio if you ask me.
Travis Garland man, you gotta remember his name because he will be back. Whether that’ll be on a major label or as an indie artist, which he is at this moment. His vocals are surprisingly amazing and some of the singers you hear on the radio today could not even come close to the quality of Travis’ voice AND music. This album is extremely strong for a debut album and you can tell he took his time with it.
Sure, lyrically there’s still much to improve and some of the songs sound a little simplistic concept-wise. But all around, this a great first impression from the R&B singer and there’s plenty other R&B singers that could only dream of creating such a strong debut. Let’s hope Travis will be able to gain more attention for himself because he is the true definition of underrated and i really want him to be succesful.
If you haven’t yet, listen to the album stream here http://noisey.vice.com/blog/listen-to-travis-garlands-new-album and cop the project on itunes on September 10th. Support real talent.
Album score: 79/100