It now seems as if Travis have slipped in the popularity stakes since their last album 2001's 'The Invisible Band', an excellent album of light melancholia which had enough singalong tunes to ensure they held on to pop's fickle audience. Intriguingly the follow-up sees the Scottish foursome retreat further into their shell. The first singles are indicative of the direction taken: 'Re-Offender' and 'The Beautiful Occupation' are both tuneful enough but wrapped up in a shy exterior eschewing modern indie rock posturing; the former record handles domestic violence whilst the latter is an anti-war lament but both boasts verses as strong as the choruses. After a relatively humdrum middle section Travis at their most sombre are ushered in; it's all in the insiduous sitar-assisted 'Mid-Life Krysis', the unusually angry guitar of Andy Dunlop on 'Happy To Hang Around' and the distant piano which haunts 'Walking Down The Hill'. Somewhat at odds with the dark underbelly of '12 Memories' the final hidden track is the most hopeful song on here as Fran Healy rediscovers his choirboy cooing of old. The tragedy is that this album could kill Travis' commercial viability but for more albums like this they have managed to become a more interesting prospect.