As the 90’s drew to a close and Britpop was declining in favor, Travis released their sophomore album The Man Who with its single “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?” and brought attention to the post-Britpop movement. However, before their breakout album, The Man Who, Travis’ debut album Good Feeling had already been making an impact in the UK. Coldplay’s Chris Martin has said that Travis “invented [Coldplay] and a lot of others”. However, where other bands aspired to selling out stadiums at the price of “good” songwriting, Travis has consistently created great songs that have never felt like they had sold out. Good Feeling finds the Scottish quartet at their rockiest and most upbeat and still holds up as a great album, though very different than anything they released after.
Indeed, Good Feeling sounds nothing like contemporary Travis. In place of acoustic guitar textures and sullen lyrical content are the sounds of Britpop crunch and lyrics that reflect hedonistic lifestyle that Britpop embraced. On “Midsummer Night Dreamin’” singer Fran Healy sings of excess and on “U16” girls he warns of falling for underage girls. Where Healy’s vocals across most of Travis’ catalogue sounds more hushed, on Good Feeling his vocals are appropriately grittier. The single “All I Wanna Do is Rock” opens the album with an absolute zinger and it builds to an electric guitar filled crescendo which makes it a great album opener. The title track, “Good Feeling” is a jaunty upbeat track that also happens to feature keyboardist Page McConnell of Phish. Though there are a lot of upbeat tracks on the album the gentler ballads “More Than Us”, “Funny Thing” and “I Love You Anyways” gives fans a glimpse into the direction that Travis would make two years later with The Man Who.
Good Feeling is essential listening for any fan of Travis and is being reissued on 180-gram vinyl by Craft Recordings. The reissue is the first time the album has been available on vinyl since its original release in 1997. The sleeve and packaging are made to replicate the original and the sound of the pressing is fantastic. Any fan of Travis or britpop should pick up this vinyl reissue and see why artists like Noel Gallagher of Oasis and Ed O’Brien of Radiohead became fans of Travis so early on.