Bad Album Club – P4k Editions – Travis Morrison

bad album club

Spiel: In it’s early(ish) days Pitchfork gave some 0.0 reviews out. Speaking about them P4k founder, Ryan Schreiber,  commented that he found these records to be “devoid of worth” to him personally and stood by the rating.

Pitchfork now brands itself as “The Most Trusted Voice in Music” so WE MUST ACCEPT THEIR JUDGEMENT.

My Previous: I love Travis Morrison’s previous band The Dismemberment Plan’s albums “…Is Terrified” and “Emergency and I”. I have heard one song from this album – way back in Ought 4 – “Song For The Orca” which I enjoyed.

Pitchfork Says:

They called it, “one of the most colossal trainwrecks in indie rock history”. Again, this is an attack on someone who they previously lionised (see Liz Phair), putting ‘Emergency and I’ in their top albums of the 90’s. Reviewer Chris Dahlen says, “Travistan fails so bizarrely that it’s hard to guess what Morrison wanted to accomplish in the first place.”

P4k are mainly taken back by the messiness, the lack of lyrical acuity, the repetition and the lack of resolution or hope given in this album.

My Take: OK… this honestly does sound like an anemic Dismemberment Plan – no killer lines and a complete lyrical mess. Where the Plan had bite, the rhythms here seem to have been neutered, cleaned and straightened out. It honestly sounds like someone who got Cubase for the first time and went, “Hey this almost sounds like a real studio!”

The tonal choices are particularly bland – especially on the ‘Get Me off this Coin’ series and ‘People Die’. The lyrical choices do seem like first drafts and first thoughts put together. God, I’m agreeing with Pitchfork.

I really want to skip this airless DI’d boreathon of an album… checking how many more songs to go. I just want it to end. Please.

Song For The Orca is still… kinda cool, in a bad production Death Cab For Cutie way. Honestly, in the context of the album the song loses almost all of its charm.

As someone who has put out way too many halfassed, badly produced and ill thought out albums I can empathise with Travis. But, I’m sorry, this album sucks. It really sucks.

I like the album cover though, it’s cool.

Will I Be Listening To It Again: Jesus, no.

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